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My experience with Bipolar 2 Disorder
by TeenHelp February 2nd 2017, 12:07 AM

My experience with Bipolar 2 Disorder
By Jenna (~Abibliophobe~)

Bipolar is a disorder that can be really difficult to have because a lot of people don't understand that there are different types of Bipolar. When you tell most people that you have Bipolar they automatically counter that by saying, ďI have never seen you manic.Ē While mania is something that all people with Bipolar have, the intensity of mania varies according to the type of Bipolar people have. With Bipolar 2, the mania is less extreme but the depression is the biggest component and that is exactly what I have experienced. While I do have mania, it tends to only last a couple of days and the biggest issue I face is not being able to sleep and having racing thoughts. I very rarely do the other things that people with Bipolar 1 will do when they are manic such as getting creative, cleaning the house at odd hours at night, or going on mania induced shopping sprees. However, the lack of intensity with my Bipolar has led to doctors diagnosing me with Major Depressive Disorder for quite some time, which resulted in not being placed on the right medicines to balance out my disorder.

When I was 17, I was placed into psychiatric hospitals three separate times due to some suicide attempts and they treated me as having Major Depressive Disorder. I was placed on medications that are used primarily to treat this disorder but since I was Bipolar I also needed to be on a mood stabilizer. Without the mood stabilizer, my moods were all over the place. I would go from feeling perfectly content to wanting to die. These extreme moods were noticed by my doctors but none of them thought to change my diagnosis to Bipolar until my dad brought up his own struggles with Bipolar 2. His struggles led him to believe that I had Bipolar 2 as well. At first the doctor didnít want to listen to my dad and he countered his theory by saying that I didnít present any of the signs. My dad ended up telling the doctor that the signs can be hard to see with Bipolar 2. After some discussion, the doctor agreed to try me on a mood stabilizer. He put me on a relatively low dose at first but then went up and we eventually started seeing a slight change in my behavior.

Even though my diagnosis is Bipolar 2, there are still a number of doctors who try to say they donít think I have Bipolar 2. I had one psychologist tell me he didnít think I needed to be treated for Bipolar and that he wanted to change my diagnosis. I fought him on this because it wasnít until I started getting treated for Bipolar that my extreme mood changes got a little bit better. I ended up leaving that doctor because I knew I would not get the right treatment from him since he was adamant that I did not have Bipolar.

I have been dealing with Bipolar 2 for close to ten years and I still struggle quite a bit. I do notice that with being on a mood stabilizer the slight mania that I do experience comes and goes. In 2015, I went almost the whole year without a manic episode. However, in 2016 I had two or three. Without the mood stabilizer I know that I would not get the proper treatment and the mania I do experience would have been a lot more consistent during the past couple of years.

I have had to accept that I will be on medication for my Bipolar for the rest of my life. This has been a hard thing to accept because before my breakdown at 17, I did not believe in psychiatric treatment. I didnít think it was for me and I thought that if I admitted I needed help I was showing people I was weak. However, three years ago I decided that I would take my medication as prescribed and I would accept the help that my psychiatrist was offering me. There are still days when I start feeling like I do not want to take my medication and a few months ago I got it into my head that I was going to stop but I ended up refraining from doing so because I knew there was a chance it would push me over the edge. Since accepting that I need to be on medication for the rest of my life to stay functional I have made a number of great strides.
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bipolar, disorder, experience

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