I have bipolar I/manic phase disorder. The psychotic symptoms and/or tendencies I get during mania episodes include schizophrenia, paranoia, and delusions (which are different from hallucinations). I was first hospitalized when I was a little over seventeen and a half, and off and on for over thirty years.

There was no such diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder back then and it was thought that I suffered a drug overdose and would not come out of it. It wasn’t until I was about thirty-four years old that I was diagnosed. I’m fifty-six years old now and have less severe manic episodes, but still suffer with mood swings and the intense emotions that go along with the disorder. I haven’t had to be hospitalized in several years now. I take an anti-psychotic, mania meds, and an anti-depressant, to help not cure the disorder.

I know for me it’s really important to keep to taking my meds regularly as prescribed. I am on med management with my psychologist and I see a nurse for my treatment plan. My son is a nurse and is in charge of my med management at home. Before that, when I was doing it by myself, I’d be okay for a while but during my mania episodes I would forget and take too much, and then have to be hospitalized for a toxic dose.

It has taken over thirty years for this to all come together and that is why I am keen to help others if I can. A few friends and I have started using social media to remind each other to take our meds, because we know how important it is. The meds do not cure but they help us to manage our mental/emotional disorders. You have to have the correct diagnoses and a good psychologist that can prescribe the right medications for your specific illnesses.

About the Author:
I’m a single woman who has spent a lifetime with bipolar disorder. I have endured the stigma and much more as far as society and I are concerned. It didn’t help not knowing for about 18 years of no diagnosis that I was suffering with. I did along with some doctors and my own research have been able to piece together exactly what I was suffering with. I have believed that there was a great need for addressing this disorder for the rest of the world so as to fit into the rest of the world.