I Didn’t Know I Had a Mental Illness

James at The Bipolar Writer challenged his readers to write about the early warning signs of mental illness. This is what I came up with to exemplify my experience of warning signs for Bipolar Disorder, which I didn’t recognize at the time.

 

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I was extremely moody as a child.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I cried in my room almost every day, sometimes for no reason.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I had angry outbursts over the smallest things.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I stayed up all night, starting projects I never finished.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I got very excited and talked so fast people couldn’t understand me.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I fell on the floor in college, laughing uncontrollably, at something that wasn’t very funny.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I felt tired all the time.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I was always sad for no reason, for close to a year.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when I was sent to the hospital for suicidal thoughts resulting from that sadness.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when the hospital therapist told me that my “depressive episode” was a result of other circumstances in my life, like the stress of school and a failing relationship.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness when my primary doctor prescribed me medication for depression, not realizing that it would last.

I didn’t know I had a mental illness until a psychiatrist officially diagnosed me with Major Depression.

 

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder when I thought I had Major Depression.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder when more depressive episodes began to occur.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder when I was taking medication for Depression for a number of years.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder when going off that medication made me feel really great and then come crashing back down.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder until an increase in that medication during yet another depressed state resulted in mania.

 

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder because I never looked at the full picture.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder because I didn’t know the warning signs.

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder because who tells their doctor about feeling “too good”?

I didn’t know I had Bipolar Disorder because I didn’t want to know.

But all the signs were there,

And now my life makes sense.

 

4 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know I Had a Mental Illness

  1. Great post. I see a kindred spirit in you. I too have been misdiagnosed at least two different times in my life with major depression. I too took myself off medication once I started feeling great, and then was devastated when it came back without warning. I can relate to much of what you have written here, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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