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Since my early twenties, I have suffered from bipolar disorder. I am now in my mid-forties and have managed to keep it under control through the use of meditation as well as the support of my friends, family and my wonderful and compassionate husband. Unfortunately, it took a long time to get to the point I am at now. For many years, I suffered through the challenges of trying to lead a productive and functional life despite being plagued by the imbalances brought on by my condition. During this time, I was able to seek proper treatment because I was unaware that I had bipolar disorder. I had been diagnosed with depression by more than one doctor and the medications I was given did little to no help my overall condition. My periods of depression were followed by brief stretches of manic behavior, some more intense than others. I always assumed these were the ups and downs of life. During my periods of depression, which also varied in length and intensity, I often found it difficult to go to work. I was unable to concentrate as the feelings of despair were so overwhelming at times that on some days I never made it out of bed. During my manic times, I often felt that anything was possible. While my outlook was positive during these episodes, I was often irritable and hard to deal with. My euphoria was sometimes followed by periods of normalcy, though I would eventually slip back into depression. During a particularly long battle with depression , I was finally properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Just being aware of what had been taking place inside of me helped me to understand some of the problems I was experiencing. I was placed on a series of medications designed to manage my condition and through counseling, learned to anticipate the onset of episodes and maintain rational thinking throughout. Although I must constantly be aware of my condition, I now lead a functional and satisfying life which I enjoy. Thankfully, today there are many sources of information on bipolar disorder and the medical community is much more cognizant of it’s existence. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms I have described, I urge you to seek more information and to tell your physician about your concerns. Know that if you do suffer from bipolar disorder, you can get your life back on track through the treatment options available today. My thoughts and prayers are with you.