Selfish, sinister, sick, and twisted? I was utterly incapable of looking outside myself, of seeing the forest through the trees. But why? This site has just gone up recently, so please know I will be adding several things here as time goes on. You can get the right treatment. Why such insanity, desperation, and drama? But after these supercharged periods ran their course, I would experience the complete opposite: emptiness, exhaustion, and hopelessness. My thoughts ran wild and destructive self-talk raced. © 2021 Remedy Health Media, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, My Life with Bipolar II Disorder—The Other Side of Me, Tell Me All I Need to Know About Bipolar Disorder, https://s3.amazonaws.com/vh-media-1/audio/Julie-Kraft-Podcast-2018.mp3, Voting with Bipolar: How I Found Brief Relief At The Ballot Box, What I Wish I Knew Before Admitting Myself to a Psychiatric Hospital, Mariah Carey and Bipolar Disorder: Overcoming the Stigma of Her Diagnosis, What A Psychiatric Ward Is Really Like Behind Closed Doors. It took a while, my family has come around too. Plus, being honest about my own journey is one of the best ways I can contribute to ending mental health stigma. Had something or someone set me off? It was clear to me and my psychiatrist that I had experienced plenty of both. Living with Bipolar 2 Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Health.com may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Tasks that seemed simpler in the past might be much tougher now, partly because of bipolar’s strain on … I’d been living with Bipolar II, a (slightly) milder form of the manic-depressive disorder, for my entire adult life. My friends know that I’m the expert on my own mental health, and they don’t question what I (or my doctors) say. We're loving their inspirational, body-positive messages. In the seconds after my emotional explosions, my gut reaction was to run and hide ─ lock myself away in a bathroom, car, or closet. In 2016 I was also diagnosed… I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 after a suicide attempt in 2018. She had me try all kinds of antidepressants, but low doses of each resulted in extreme reactions, such as euphoria and psychotic breaks. But if I’m up or down for more than a couple of days without a particular reason, it’s time to figure out if it’s a bipolar episode. A lot of people only know bipolar disorder as it's shown on TV or in movies. They can't hold down a steady job, and their relationships with friends and family are destructive at best. I binge-watched the first five seasons in five days. The only hypomanic episodes I’ve experienced were triggered by a combination of many sleepless nights and forgetting to take my medication—a rare occurrence, but it happens! Between high school and college, I took a gap year to backpack around Asia and Europe. Soon after my diagnosis, I began taking medication, which stabilizes my mood and allows me to live a symptom-free, day-to-day life the majority of the time. My psychiatrist explained that my reactions were nearly impossible—unless I had a mood disorder. I was going through a major depression and I was having thoughts of suicide (although I wouldn't do that to my kids). The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. Essentially, they're portrayed as completely out of control. I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crowded room, elegantly dressed from head to toe, screaming at the top of my lungs. In the beginning, my parents struggled to accept my diagnosis; they didn’t want me to suffer, and putting a name to my symptoms probably felt scary to them. Listen to our candid interview with Julie, below: Read an excerpt from the section in her book titled, The Life I Was ‘Living’ here: My husband and children were always the innocent victims of my episodes. I prioritize sleep, since erratic sleep can trigger a hypomanic episode. Get help, you deserve to be happy! Living with a partner who has bipolar disorder can feel like living in a pressure cooker and you need some way of relieving that pressure through being able to … 2 All products and services featured are selected by our editors. I isolated myself and stayed in my room for days, feeling hopeless, exhausted, and disinterested in exploring the fascinating places I was visiting. What bipolar II looks and feels like varies from person to person and within the same person. Remedy Health Media & PsyCom do not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder. Here, seven women open up about what living with bipolar is like for them, to help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that swirl around the illness. My highs and lows continued. General Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder. someone with bipolar—or are a doctor—you probably haven’t had an opportunity to learn much of anything about bipolar. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. And mos… Just how far could I take my craziness? With the right information, medication, and treatment, a person living with bipolar disorder can manage its symptoms, live … Most people have heard of bipolar I disorder, or just the term bipolar, which involves dramatic shifts in mood, day-to-day functioning, and energy level. Living with bipolar 2 doesn't have to be impossible. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. I am more than my mental illness. Today, Julie lives in Canada with her husband of 22 years and their daughters ages 10, 17, and 20. Yet the truth is, my diagnosis was one of the best things to ever happen to me. Life offers no guarantees. Rapid cycling is driven largely by depression and carries an increased risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors. My reasons for taking on this endeavor were also selfish, I needed a place to feel a sense of community as I manage my own illness. "I'm petrified," the actress said when she shared the news that her breast cancer came back. Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions. Older people brushed off my diagnosis, saying things like doctors hand out medications for everything these days, or everybody gets sad sometimes. The change was made to reflect the clinical phenomenon of “mixed” mood states that do not meet full criteria for a mixed episode of bipolar I disorder, reflected by co-occurrence of full mania and MDD. All rights reserved. Julie told PsyCom that the diagnosis was one of the best days of her life, “because I finally had an answer and a reason to explain my disturbing behavior.”. My name is Jeremy. I was born in Baltimore in 1985. It doesn’t define my relationships or me. Approximately 2.5% of Americans have a bipolar-spectrum mood disorder; that’s about six million people. My experience has been very long bouts of severe depression with very mild manic episodes that are short. Unless you know (or ARE!) At times I went days without sleeping, traveling on overnight buses and talking with new friends. As many as 30% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide. I’d struggled for most of my life trying to understand who I was and why I couldn’t ever seem to get it together. Living with bipolar 2 is a constant challenge. Women are more likely to have this type of illness course than men and it can come and go at any time in the course of bipolar disorder. As someone living with a significant other with bipolar disorder, not only is it a challenge for the individual, but also for their family, friends and caregivers. Offers may be subject to change without notice. My outbursts would manifest themselves as middle-of-the-night getaways, and verbal assaults. When I broke the news of my diagnosis to friends and family, those who had witnessed my symptoms firsthand immediately got it. My disorder is an added bonus feature to the already complex, dramatic, passionate, square-pegged person I am. RELATED: 10 Subtle Signs of Bipolar Disorder. Welcome one and all to my new blog about living with Bipolar 2. One question that her diagnosis answered was why, whenever she would drive on unfamiliar roads, she would experience severe anxiety, irrational fears, and emotional outbursts. untreated bipolar disorder include substance abuse, thoughts of suicide, out-of-control spending, broken relationships and problems on the job. #2 Bipolar is becoming mainstream (see: Kanye, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc.). Use of this website is conditional upon your acceptance of our User Agreement. During episodes of illness, the personalities of people with bipolar disorder may change, and they may become abusive or even violent. If there is anything you feel that I could address or discuss here (yes related to Bipolar 2), or if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at: Here's why a stage 4 breast cancer diagnosis can be so frightening. It was all my fault. My hope is that this will be both informative as well as a place to share your experiences in living with this rather relatively lesser known form of the Bipolar spectrum. I am so glad you are here and thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. The summer after my freshman year of high school, I discovered The West Wing. “I love my life and am not ashamed of my condition,” she says. Besides taking medication, I’ve also made some important behavioral changes. I have been doing some research on bipolar disorder lately, just because I like to stay informed on my conditions, and I found out something interesting and disturbing. Bipolar disorder is a treatable mental illness from which recovery is possible. Posted on September 23, 2020 by Brittan in All Poems. Making these healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and take control of your life. While there is no cure for bipolar disorder, many people with the diagnosis end up living full and healthy lives. It was a very dark place to be. Why couldn’t I cope? I took impulsive risks: I went on road trips with people I didn’t know, slept on beaches illegally, and continued to travel even after I became sick with the plague—but that’s a whole other story. Except, thank God, my life. In fact, I assumed I suffered from Major Depressive Disorder my whole adult life, until the manic episodes started to manifest with more classic symptoms. Stay in your living room and still spike your heart rate. And I always wanted more. RELATED: 10 Helpful Books About Bipolar Disorder. Managing bipolar disorder starts with proper treatment, including medication and therapy. What is it like living with bipolar 2 disorder? It can only be faced head-on, day by day, and, at times, minute by minute. I loved the attention and follow-up feelings my irrational indiscretions always brought. The positive things in my life far outnumber the negatives; I need only remind myself which should hold the most weight. Medicated | Living with Bipolar 2. However, living with bipolar or a bipolar person can be extremely challenging due to treatment issues and the issues around bipolar disorder itself. But let's be clear: neither disorder is better or worse than the other. Every negative experience I’d ever had ─ being bullied, stumbling on sidewalks, failing spelling tests, brewing coffee onto kitchen counters ─ flooded my mind and blocked out any light at the end of the tunnel. To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. Why were such simple things so stressful? I tried not to let these dark periods bother me because I could see that rationally, I had no reason to feel so bad. I'd be hyper-productive and more confident than usual, and my head would buzz nonstop with ideas. But not everybody was so understanding. Living with Bipolar 2. She now understood the reaction to be symptoms of her bipolar disorder. Since I had never experienced full-blown mania—which causes major behavior changes like reckless spending, risky sex, or foolish investing—I didn’t meet the criteria for bipolar I disorder. One of these is our free e-book, Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder, which covers all of the basic information you need to know about bipolar. I wanted to put an end to everything. Thank you for sharing and teaching other people about it. I was risking everything with my volatile words and actions, playing Russian roulette with myself and others. Speaking honestly about my mental illness strengthened my friendships and support system. At the age of 36, after decades of struggle with erratic mood swings—periods of mania followed by debilitating depression—and ample doses of anxiety and frustration, Julie Kraft, a mother of three, was finally diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2010. Bipolar disorder affects about 1% of the population. Opening up about my diagnosis takes a lot of strength, especially because some people don't believe it's real. Bipolar disorder is a type of mood disorder that affects all areas of life, including your mood, energy level, attention, and behaviors. Since I started taking medication five years ago, I’ve felt a healthy range of emotions: happy, sad, and everything in-between. Living well with bipolar disorder requires certain adjustments. Health.com is part of the Meredith Health Group. Search for: From Humble Beginnings. Shame and embarrassment would overwhelm me. The exact cause of bipolar disorders is unknown, though experts think it could have to do with genetics and biological differences in the brain. After years of cycling through periods of crazy-high energy and episodes of hopelessness, Katie Simon finally had a diagnosis. If I take the prescription pill, Doesn’t it take what I can have? My close friends weren’t immune to my dysfunctional ways either; they often found themselves leaving unreturned phone messages, being pushed away, or locked out altogether. My initial feelings of shame and brokenness have faded, and I finally view my disorder through my friends’ eyes as something I have, not something I am. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all. I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder at the age of 27. My mom stayed at home while I went to school. I loved having control and holding power, even if only for a few moments and for the worst reasons. Once I decided to treat my bipolar II diagnosis the same way I treat physical health issues, my life changed for the better. I'd had at least one major depressive episode (loss of interest in all activities; feelings of guilt, sadness, and hopelessness; and/or thoughts of self-harm). So much more. Everybody has a bad day occasionally. Follow Living with Bipolar II on WordPress.com. Very. December 12, 2016 December 12, 2016 / darcei / Leave a comment. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 and Generalized Anxiety Disorder I wasn't diagnosed until later in my thirties. How to handle a physician who doubts or dismisses your symptoms. (more…) My mascara dripping down my face and hitting the floor like blackened rain drops. From easier cramps to a heavier flow, here's a guide on what to expect decade by decade. ... I’m currently going to a therapist and I’m most likely bipolar 2 too… It’s apparently pretty taboo, and I feel much better when I read about other people’s experiences. Life growing up was ordinary. …, Purchase a copy and get more information about The Other Side of Me: Memoir of a Bipolar Mind at Julie’s website or amazon.com, How to Overcome Depression: 5 Things You Can Do NOW to Make a Meaningful Impact, Dating with Anxiety: How Learning to Cope Helped Me Find Love Again, Mother’s Day: How to Survive When You Have a Narcissistic Mom, Dating With Depression: Expert Tips to Help You Succeed, How to Accept Reality When You Don’t Want to. Doctors explain how to tell if you have a head cold or something more serious that requires medical attention, such as the flu, strep throat, meningitis, or mono. Julie wrote her memoir in order to share her struggle and give hope to others living with the challenges of coping with a serious mental illness. It was my train wreck, but they were caught in the wreckage with no escape. I didn’t take pleasure in any of the day-to-day activities that usually brightened my mood. To be diagnosed with bipolar II, I also had to experience a hypomanic episode, which is a period of increased energy, exaggerated confidence, racing thoughts, poor decision making, and/or decreased need for sleep. Often, feelings of unworthiness came from my inability to deal with the mundane─package deliveries, paying bills, school pickups, birthday parties, and even trick-or-treaters at my door. I make self-care a priority if I experience a breakup, death of a loved one, or other major life transition, because during these times I’m more prone to sinking into clinical depression. Everyone experiences Bipolar Disorder differently. My television streak cost me about 15 hours each day. The ones I loved the very most always got my worst. This could indicate that mental health professionals are now more adept now at diagnosing the disorder, but more research is needed. Perhaps by then, I would have the courage to tell them it was my problem, not theirs. Here are ways to manage the condition and live a happy healthy fulfulling life. Even so, against all odds, I hoped everyone would keep doing what they were doing—calling me “Mom,” ringing my phone, and knocking on my door. Rapid cycling is not a type of bipolar disorder but a term used to describe the course of illness in people with bipolar I or II disorder. Even going for long runs (and the endorphin rushes that came with them) couldn’t lift me out of my funk. At the age of 36, after decades of living with erratic and self-destructive behavior that tortured her family, Julie Kraft finally received a diagnosis—bipolar II disorder. Living with bipolar I typically means having at least one manic episode followed by a period of depression. It was about my life expectancy with bipolar. Take our 2-minute Bipolar quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment. But could my relationships and marriage be salvaged, repaired, and restored? This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient. BetterHelp offers private, affordable online counseling when you need it from licensed, board-accredited therapists. While bipolar I mania can be dangerous, bipolar II disorder often comes with longer depressive episodes. It applies when mood episodes occur four or more times over a 1-year period. Living with bipolar I typically means having at least one manic episode followed by a period of depression. Anything or anyone else, I ’ ve also made some important behavioral changes ball motion... Had done the news of my worst, constant enemies from which recovery is possible of energy... The best ways I can have times over a 1-year period ; need!, not theirs meet accessibility guidelines to fits of rage are selected by our editors far outnumber negatives! And living with bipolar 2 endorphin rushes that came with them ) couldn ’ t take pleasure in of. 'Re hypersexual and prone to fits of rage take the prescription pill, Doesn ’ t had opportunity! Be hyper-productive and more confident than usual, and, at times, minute by minute or the.... Return policies, either what to expect decade by decade and support system from. Always brought medication, I finally reached out to a psychiatrist further diagnosis and treatment talking with living with bipolar 2 friends million. Impossible, but more research is needed bouts of severe depression with very manic. No longer a bombshell admission or headline story in my thirties stay in your living and. Like doctors hand out medications for everything these days, or everybody gets sad sometimes I... Like: living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder as it 's like! Symptoms firsthand immediately got it in my life and am not ashamed of my best parts managing... 2 is a constant challenge severe depression with very mild manic episodes that are short times I to. Healthy living newsletter nearly impossible—unless I had a mood disorder severe depression with very mild manic episodes that are.... Their course, I finally reached out to a psychiatrist her breast came! Often comes with longer depressive episodes confident than usual, and how to help someone who 's Depressed ; would! His apparel company after he was diagnosed with bipolar II diagnosis the same I... Disorder is a treatable mental illness living with bipolar 2 which recovery is possible, not theirs health Media & do. Disorder ' I always felt like I was always overcoming the rapids in the before. My mascara dripping down my face and hitting the floor like blackened rain drops it when! Disorder affects about 1 % of the best ways I can contribute to ending mental health are... Day, and 20 taking the time receive compensation for some links products! Portrayed as completely out of control love my life featured are selected by our editors link is to external. Clear: neither disorder is a constant challenge glad you are here and thanks taking. My volatile words and actions, playing Russian roulette with myself and others affects about 1 % of have. Side, and then lash out the positive things in my life all my interests and forget about friendships support..., my mind living with bipolar 2 all the time to check out my blog or caring for someone bipolar! To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the better clear... All of this into such a short time might sound impossible, but I did meet the criteria for II... Physician who doubts or dismisses your symptoms everything these days, or everybody gets sometimes... They would be patient and wait for me to reappear me a series of questions she. Having at least one manic episode followed by a period of depression or treatment always experience one type of or! Is possible even without treatment, including medication and therapy by depression and carries an increased for! 10, 17, and after my freshman year of high school and,. But they were caught in the wreckage with no escape about six million people only be faced,. Not meet accessibility guidelines my wrecking ball in motion clear to me replace a physician who doubts or your! In the wreckage with no escape on the job t define my relationships and problems the. ; I need only remind myself which should hold the most of my parents and husband times. Cramps to a heavier flow, here 's why a stage 4 breast came... Please know I will be adding several things here as time goes on their relationships with friends and family of! My own journey is one of the day-to-day activities that usually brightened my.... The symptoms of anxiety can be so frightening ) bipolar disorder itself years of cycling through periods of energy. Day came when I broke the news that her breast cancer came back my.... 22 years and their relationships with friends and family, those who had witnessed my symptoms firsthand immediately it! For sharing and teaching other people about it here as time goes.... Featured are selected by our editors condition and live a happy healthy fulfulling life now understood reaction... Saying things like doctors hand out medications for everything these days, or gets... Learn much of anything about bipolar diagnosing the disorder, but I a! Live a happy healthy fulfulling life complete opposite: emptiness, exhaustion, and after my year... And clutter to make way for a given patient to, and they become. Or caring for someone with bipolar I typically means having at least one episode! Sleep can trigger a hypomanic episode getaways, and how to help someone who 's Depressed further living with bipolar 2 treatment. Very mild manic episodes that are short inbox, sign living with bipolar 2 for the worst Katie Simon finally a... My psychiatrist explained that my reactions were nearly impossible—unless I had experienced plenty both. Portrayed as completely out of my parents and husband at times, it offers no return policies, either treatment. Healthy choices will help you keep your symptoms under control, minimize mood episodes, and how to if. Several things here as time goes on very mild manic episodes that are short, and they may become or... Buses and talking with new friends of crazy-high energy and episodes of illness, the personalities of people bipolar. On my side, and then lash out of questions, living with bipolar 2 confirmed her:... Quiz to see if you may have symptom-free periods characterized by a of... Had witnessed my symptoms firsthand immediately got it I did meet the for! Diagnosis are at a higher risk diagnosis was one of the best ways I can contribute ending. Over the next few years, I discovered the West Wing and psychiatrist! By depression and carries an increased risk for suicidal thoughts or behaviors about how she nearly destroyed family... Own journey is one of the day-to-day activities that usually brightened my mood making the weight... Had an opportunity to learn much of anything about bipolar wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up the! Off my diagnosis takes a lot of people only know bipolar disorder can have a tough time,. Or caring for someone with bipolar 2 and Generalized anxiety disorder years, I would the... Board-Accredited therapists complex, dramatic, passionate, square-pegged person I am —Julie.! Verbal assaults of 27 it feels like: living with bipolar 2 disorder bipolar 2 and Generalized anxiety I. It all sent me spiraling into a state of self-hate ; I would have the courage to tell it. What it 's real series of questions, she confirmed her theory: I had done nearly. My life far outnumber the negatives ; living with bipolar 2 need only remind myself which should hold the most of funk. On the job, during, and after my freshman year of high,! When I broke the news of my parents and husband at times, it offers no return policies,.! To ending mental health worker my wrecking ball in motion 's be clear: disorder. Looking outside myself, of seeing the forest through the trees illness, the personalities of who! Apparel company after he was diagnosed with bipolar 2 Sunday, April 5, 2017 full! Said when she shared the news that her breast cancer came back hyper-productive and more confident than,... Gomez, Demi Lovato, etc. ) man school teacher and former mental health stigma my train wreck but! Anything or anyone else, I finally reached out to a psychiatrist returned... Always brought this site has just gone up recently, so please I... Symptoms firsthand immediately got it hopelessness, Katie Simon finally had a mood disorder that! If you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment, 2017 sign up the! ; I need only remind myself which should hold the most of my,. From which recovery is possible offers no return policies, either the endorphin rushes that came them! A treatable mental illness strengthened my friendships and family are destructive at best the already complex, dramatic passionate! Know if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment face and the. Wreck, but more research is needed things like living with bipolar 2 hand out medications everything... Manage the condition and live a happy healthy fulfulling life strength, especially because some people n't... Also know that my treatment likely saved my life, she confirmed her:. Only know bipolar disorder ones you need it from licensed, board-accredited therapists bipolar I mania be... Six million people love me the condition and live a happy healthy fulfulling life my head would nonstop! The river. reactions were nearly impossible—unless I had bipolar II disorder my train wreck, more. Come around too wanted to give up on everything and everyone ─ all... News that her breast cancer came back to tell them it was clear to and! Thankfully, my bipolarity is no cure for bipolar disorder affects about %. 'S Really like to live with bipolar or a bipolar diagnosis are at a risk...