When I was 25 I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 – which was a relief for me. I was someone who had spent my entire life being misdiagnosed, and who had spent years taking the wrong medication; I spent a long time wanting to understand myself and believe that with the right lifestyle and proper medication I too could lead a normal life.
What did that day at the doctor’s office look like for me? I booked 30 minutes with my GP to discuss the patterns of my emotions and behaviours. He asked me a list of questions from a binder, then closed the binder and informed me I have Bipolar 2. When I asked him what that was, he said “you’re nuts, not completely, but pretty much.”
I was given a prescription for medication and was told to book follow up appointments with my GP to have my blood taken, (measure my dosage to make sure I was taking the correct amount) and to discuss the progress of the medication, (how I was feeling.) I was never given information about Bipolar 2, I was never set up with a psychiatrist, I was sent back out into the world with a prescription to fill and my own ability to research.
I knew that I shouldn’t drink while on medication because it said it on the bottle of pills, I knew that 1 drink counted as 2 because of the internet, and I knew that as long as I took my pills, maintained a balanced diet, got enough sleep every night, did some exercise, and didn’t go crazy with the partying – I too would be able to live a normal life.
Has it been easy? No. Do my friends, family and partners understand? Not entirely. But they love me, and accept me and I do my best to explain Bipolar 2 to the best of my ability based on what I have researched and self-tracked along the way.
Then one day – I found Jen Gotch on Instagram. A funny, successful, cool, woman, who is honest and real and also has Bipolar 2. She uses her account to bring awareness and she has not only helped me to feel “not alone”, but has helped me explain Bipolar 2 a little better (I hope).
Today Jen posted a story on her Instagram that is SO HELPFUL and informative. I reposted it on my story and I would also like to share it so that information on Bipolar 2 is here, for you to read, for you to share, for you to understand, for you to feel like you are not alone.
For Jen’s full Instagram story, to stay woke and to feel like you are part of the mental wellness tribe follow @jengotch on Instagram. XO