Trigger warning: discussion of suicidal thoughts.
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Hello! My name is Joshua, I am one of seven. 1 in 7 people have bipolar disorder. I have noticed that mental disorders are often overlooked or misunderstood. So here I am, stepping up to talk about it in the open.
I would not be here today to write this if had I not gone through my bipolar epiisodes and become stronger. I will not lie and say I have conquered it fully, but I am able to tame the beast . So, I hope I can help you. Are you struggling with any mental disorder? I love you and know you can fight it. It will not be easy, but you can do it.
The devastating effects of bipolar depression aka the main problem
First, a topic frequently avoided is suicidal thoughts.
Have you ever felt suicidal? I sure have. I wanted to die so badly at such a young age. I broke down crying on the floor after I almost attempted to. Welcome to severe bipolar depression. A very difficult thing to cope with.
Do you still feel suicidal?
Honestly, I think everyone has these feelings. But bipolar and depressed people feel them seep into their hearts and minds much stronger. Suicidal thoughts are a nasty beast, attacking people at their weakest. Mental illness can break even the strongest people- if you are going through it right now, you are so strong!
Do you still feel this way today?
So to answer your question honestly, I do still have thoughts sometimes. Will I ever end my life ? No! I will promise you all that today. Promise me today that you will never do it as well. Stay with us, hang in there, please. You must fight with everything, to live. You are a wonderful person and you deserve to live as long as possible! So am I! Fight with me!
One in seven? That is a lot of people! Do I know any people with bipolar disorder?
Chances are very high that you know someone dealing with bipolar. Lots of famous people are affected today and also in the past.
‘Never, never, never give up’. – Winston Churchill. I have a poster that I like with a frog being eaten by a pelican. Except the frog is choking out the pelican and not allowing himself to be eaten! Be the frog. So, never ever give up. To succeed in life this is demanded.
My favourite quote is ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’ – Winston Churchill
Fight on and continue!
When did you realize you had bipolar disorder?
First, from an early age, I realised I was different. Not in a bad way, but unique. I would say around 7-9 years old, I was already in counselling. 7-9 years old was one of my worst times for sure and I started experiencing bad symptoms aged 13. Mental disorders often begin in puberty due to hormonal changes. Hormones plus bipolar do not mix well. Controlling emotion is a big part of conquering bipolar.
Do you take medicines now? They work well for some. Do they help you?
I have tried many different medications. My team tried their best to see what would work with my body chemistry. Yet, there was a big problem. Every single medication had terrible side effects. The killer for me was the massive migraines.
During high school, trying to function felt downright impossible! I was so depressed I could not get up in the morning. The medications I tried were challenging for me and didn’t always agree with my body.
Tell me a little more about you. What makes up the mind of a person with bipolar disorder?
I am far from perfect, but on a great path. So I am not here to brag. Everyone is intelligent in their own ways. I have always been intelligent as well. So my point is that you should do your best to not let this hold you back. It does not have to be a disadvantage. Also, many people with bipolar are highly intelligent.
I have always loved people. So I always try to see the best in them. I am a triple full-time dad and entrepreneur. I have started multiple successful businesses. Currently, I run websites. RebuildRepairCredit.com is a free credit repair clinic I started. Every single day I better myself. Now I try to better the world around me every day as well. You too can do the same. Improving yourself is the best investment you can make.
What else is difficult when you have bipolar disorder?
There are manic times. More recently I have learned to harness these gifts. However, if you are not careful these gifts, they can be challenging.. They were most of my life. Manic episodes can leave you awake for days or weeks and longer! Have you ever been awake that long? Sleep deprivation is torture. Be kind to these people! As I said before I have been awake nearly a month straight with 5-minute naps. This was a manic episode worsened by the wrong medication. Antidepressant only without mood-stabilisers can do this! Finally, in manic periods someone with bipolar may do things they would not normally do.
Final tips and advice on getting through bipolar
First, be sure to seek professional help when needed. These can be lifesavers. Sometimes a professional ear can break down an issue and make it easier to deal with. Keep your chin up! So you will break, you will fall. This does not mean you have failed! Also, you are stronger than your weakest moment. So recover, stronger each time. Fight back!
To conclude, if you or someone you know has bipolar disorder, be kind. Nobody really knows the struggles another is facing. You may feel broken. Know you are loved and can overcome this. It will take time and lots of effort, but it is worth it. Finally, know you can still lead a full and productive life. Fight past your disabilities whatever they are. Because you are more powerful than your minor shortcomings.