I remember first starting to notice the signs of bipolar disorder in my early twenties, and it was absolutely terrifying. I had no idea what was going on or what I should do, but I did know that my rapidly fluctuating moods were taking a heavy toll on my mental health.
At first, I tried to push through the lows and the highs alone, feeling embarrassed and ashamed that I couldn’t keep my emotions in check. When it became too much to bear, I finally reached out for help from a licensed therapist who helped me figure out what this roller-coaster ride of emotions meant.
Learning that I have mild bipolar disorder has been both a comfort and challenge over the years. In some ways, recognizing the underlying source for why my emotions were so turbulent helped me rationalize it and better cope with them - but in other moments it feels like there are no solutions and like no one understands me. It’s hard reacting so dramatically to certain situations when most of my friends don’t know the real reason behind why I feel things so deeply or crash so quickly.
My best advice for anyone struggling with any type of mental illness would be this: reach out for help- in whatever form you need be it therapy, medication, understanding loved ones or reaching out online. You don’t have to be alone in figuring things out; you just have to take that scary first step!