Posted on July 22, 2013

Five years ago at the age of 16 I went to see my GP. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I was constantly down, yet I had nothing to be down about. I felt guilty, worthless, and in a vicious circle of self-hatred. It didn’t take long before I was moving from one anti-depressant to the next, but then I started to realise it was a whole lot worse than I thought.

I couldn’t explain what was happening, I felt trapped in my own my mind, I went from being constantly depressed and full of self-hate to splashing the cash and having feelings of euphoria. My mind was racing so fast I couldn’t stop to think. I felt like I could tackle anyone or anything. I would stay out all day and night spending money as if there were no limit. I felt myself constantly going back to random women’s houses for one-night stands. This wasn’t me, what was happening?

It was only when I found myself back in my depressive state and in huge amounts of debt, due to over spending, that I realised this wasn’t right. Something had taken over me, I felt like my head was a bomb just waiting to explode. I was self-harming more than ever, and it was only when my parents found me slumped on my bedroom floor after trying to overdose, that I started to get the help and proper diagnosis that I needed.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on lamotrigine; it took an edge off, but still today the rapid cycling and mass extremes of both depression and mania are hard to cope with. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in a few days where it is expected that I will be put on lithium.

That is a very brief summary of my story, and I continue my struggle with bipolar. But I am desperate to fight my illness and I am desperate to raise awareness about the illness and all mental health problems. I feel the media are starting to raise awareness themselves, with a few characters in certain TV shows playing very moving parts for me personally. The part of Stacey played by Lacey Turner in Eastenders was very moving for me, as she struggled with her bipolar as I did myself. There is still a lot of work to be done to help remove the stigma behind mental health, but with great charities such as Mind, I feel we are getting there slowly.

Thank you for taking your time to read my piece, I plan to keep fighting this demon that dictates who I am for as long as I possibly can. I will also do all I can to try and help raise awareness of bipolar disorder, and all mental illnesses.

Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you your true self and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are. Keep strong and keep faith.