About

I am a wife, a mother, an educator and a mental health advocate.  I have lived with bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder for more than half my life.  I wasn’t properly diagnosed until the early 2000’s.  It wasn’t until I started volunteering with a suicide prevention charity that I found my voice.  I saw the effect that sharing my story had on others.  For those that had lost someone to suicide, it gave them a glimpse into their loved one’s mind set.  For those that lived with a mental illness, it helped them realize that they were not alone.  This led to advocacy work.  I thought if I could help individuals, then I could sure do something on a national and state legislative level.  That is now where my passion is…educating our nation’s leaders about mental illness and how their decisions or lack of decisions effect us.

12 thoughts on “About

  1. E says:

    Hello,

    I am a 24 year old female, I live in England and am considering speaking to my doctor about the possibility of Bipolar. I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember, and I have been on and off various anti-depressants for the last 6 years. I have very extreme mood swings, sometimes I feel great, but during these times I am also reckless, I drink a lot during these times, I’ve even gotten into the wrong ‘crowd’ where drugs have been involved. I shop excessively also. Then there are the bad times, and they are suicidally bad. I have recently started experiencing panic attacks. I have phases of paranoia. I have been a sleep walker all my life and have hypnogogia problems with lucid dreaming/hallucinating etc. However it’s no longer just during the night. In the past two years or so I have experienced hallucinations during the day. I haven’t kept track of when this happens and I have a really bad memory. In a bad phase of depression I quit college at 17 despite having goals to attend University. This didn’t happen. At 22 I quit my job of four years also because I couldn’t cope with the stress. I’m not coping very well right now. My friends are worried and urged me to take an online Bipolar test (which I don’t believe are reliable) and the result on various tests was always above 95%/severe bipolar.

    I’ve only summarised here and there is a lot more to my life, but I just wanted to see if anyone had any words of advice? I’m a very shy and nervous person and I’m scared and always have been scared about what is seemingly wrong with me. I don’t want to go to my doctor and waste their time if I really just need to get on with my life and deal with the problems I have and not bother people.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your time.

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    1. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. I can really relate to some of what you have been through. I have never taken an online bipolar test, so I’m not too familiar with those. For me, it was an attempt that put me in the hospital that ultimately led to my diagnosis. (I don’t recommend this course of action.) I’m not sure how well trained regular doctors are in recognizing signs and symptoms of mental illness in England. I know the ones in America don’t really have any sort of training for that. I would recommend that you make an appointment with a psychiatrist that can make a proper diagnosis and can start you on the right medications. It sounds like you’ve been taking anti-depressants and if you do indeed have bipolar disorder, taking those alone can make it worse. You would need some sort of a mood stabilizer. You would NOT be wasting the doctor’s time. They are there to help you. Just remember that you are vitally important and treatment will work if you give it a chance. It may take some time, but your life and what you bring to the lives around you is worth it. Please feel free to contact me any time by email. I would be very interested to know how you are doing and if there is anything at all I can do to help you.

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      1. E says:

        Thank you for your response! Here in England I think the way it works is my GP makes a decision whether or not I need to be referred to a specialist (pshychiatrist) and further tests etc are done. I find it all rather terrifying, and even though I am able to talk about myself through words on a screen, I find it almost impossible to do so in person. Which is why I’ve never been able to stick to seeing therapists in the past.

        I do feel sometimes the anti-depressants can make me feel worse. It’s kind of like, I have ups and downs constantly, but on anti-depressants the ups can be worse, and the downs can be a lot worse, and occasionally I have ‘in-between’ times where I feel numb, for lack of better word. I have definitely felt like they have never really been compatible with me. I stopped taking them about two months ago and nothing has improved, but nothing has worsened either. So I’m not sure they are right.

        I guess when I feel I am wasting a doctors time is because whenever I have been about mental issues, they seem to almost shut off and have just always thrown tablets at me kind of thing. And if I’ve said nothing is getting better they either switch to a different one or up the dosage, and that has been the general cycle over the last 6 years. So I suppose that has kind of made me feel like my problems really shouldn’t matter if the doctor has very little concern.

        Emailing would be great, but I wouldn’t want to take up any of your time. Thank you so much for replying to me. It feels good to be able to open up, especially when I struggle so much in person.

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      2. I just had a thought. If it’s easier for you to write it all down, then maybe you should. Journal it and give that to your doctor. Maybe then your doctor will be able to see the big picture and it will help him/her ask the right questions to get you to the help you need. As for the emailing, you would not be taking up any of my time. I am happy to help. 🙂

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  2. E says:

    That’s a good idea, thank you. And that’s very kind of you, can you see my email address I put in? I can’t see yours.

    Like

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