I have had Bipolar Affective Disorder since I was 18 and my mental health problems became more severe during my first year of university, which resulted in me being in hospital for 9 weeks.Gideon's blog It is certainly the hardest challenge I’ve had to face. The rapid thoughts, the irritability, vast spending and insomnia following the manic episode, whilst also having to cope with depression in the aftermath is extraordinarily difficult to get over. For some time after my mania just getting out of bed at a reasonable time was a struggle, I could be in bed until 1.00pm.

Having a family member visit me every day was so vital

When I was diagnosed with bipolar I literally knew nothing about it but, at the time, I was seriously unwell. I can remember screaming and shouting, thinking the media was out there to get me. My thinking was irrational and I was also suffering from what is known as psychosis, but I couldn’t accept that I was unwell. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, though, and it has allowed me to accept that I was unwell and allowed me to identify what I need to do in order to get better. What I do remember from my time in hospital is that a family member came every day to visit and for that I am so grateful and it was so vital in my recovery.

Initially, I was so embarrassed about my mental health problems and I didn’t really discuss it with anyone but after my episode last year I have learned to be more open about it. I let my friends regularly know how I am feeling and give them insight into my illness.

I have also faced stigma and discrimination

I have also had to face stigma and discrimination face on with people saying things like I was putting on my symptoms and “isn’t Bipolar just a fashionable thing that celebrities have”! Fortunately I have found some sympathetic people - such as family who constantly offer me advice, friends who constantly offer me support and my current employer who goes the extra mile to give me time off for medical appointments.

Bipolar may be a diagnosis that I have bit it doesn't define who I am 

On a positive note, it has now been a year since my episode and I am doing very well. I work as an intern for a business, I am returning to University in September and most importantly my mood has stabilized. Also, I think it is important that I have now developed a routine where I am out bed Monday- Friday by 7.30am. When you overcome a huge obstacle in your life such as this, it makes you appreciate the small things in life. For example, beautiful views, a good meal or just spending time with your friends and family.

I have tackled mental health problems and stigma head on and I am still standing and that is what is most important. In the future I want to educate people more on mental health issues and continue to tackle stigma. Bipolar may be a diagnosis that I have but it doesn’t define who I am. I am an individual with a lot to offer the world and I am fighting this every step of the way.

What do you think about Gideon's experiences? Can you relate to them?

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Comments

Great blog!

A very well written blog. Grid, you have come so far and I'm not sure I could have faced the battles that you have with the same strength and determination as you. You are an inspiration to us all :-)

All good wishes

Great blog post Gideon. You've been through the mill all right, but have emerged to a better more stable life. I do wish you well for the future. For anyone with bipolar disorder, I can heartily recommend the information available from Bipolar UK. Their e-Community is a very safe and special place for online peer support too!

Great blog, Gideon, and great

Great blog, Gideon, and great to hear you're back on track and have some really supportive friends and family. Be sure to keep on talking about it when you get back to uni, and make full use of all the support that there is. Check if your uni and SU have signed the pledge - if they haven't already, maybe you could get them to sign! Keep well and thanks for sharing.

Inspirational

Thank you for sharing. It made me smile and has given me hope.

How did you overcome this?

I have had severe anxiety for a long time and now I am finding out I'm bi polar. I wake up one day and I hate everything and am so angry or the next day I'm just so down on myself and cry for no reason. Or it's up and down thoughout a day! I'm going insane living like this and hearing people say oh just brush it off you will be ok just tell yourself to be strong. NO! It's not that easy I cannot control what's going on in my fucked up brain! It affects my school my relationships and my work. I just want to be normal again..it's making me crazy. Then I have manic episodes sometimes what I like to call fuck it moments and I spend to much on things or I get to drunk or even eat too much. And then when it's over you are like why was I acting that way why did I do that!! I just want to be normal what's your advice?

I have too.

Today I just got finish talking to my doctor about bi polar disorder and I wanted to see people who were similar to me. And how they have gone trough their experience. And reading this about your life is inspiring. I faced a dramatic episode too.very similar to yours. And I didn't understand why it was happening to me. It was scary and I couldn't deal with what was going on. I almost lost my job. And I failed 2 smensters in college. And reading your story made me cry because I didn't know that their was other people who went through the same thing and it helps me not to feel alone. Thank you for your inspiring story.

Comfort in your story

Hey, My little brother is going through something extremely similar. We're not sure as its at the beginning stages but his episodes sound similar to yours. Thanks for sharing! It's good to know someone else is thriving with bipolar! Sooooo appreciated!

My story

I have suffered with anxiety for 5 years now as well as having bi polar and depression there are days when I feel so empty but then have such a high point. mental health changes your perception of life completely its hard I know that but I have recovered from depression now and I am working towards beating anxiety and bi polar I just want to tell everyone else we can do this, we are strong x

Gideon post

Gideon Are you still around? My son turned 18 & then boom! Thank God he wasn't yet in college. Our family is breaking down/fighting ever since. Austin will be 20 on 7/7. He wont be able to remember it. But we will. Pls reach out & lmk how you are doing now? TY to you or anyone else who reads this & can help me.

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