Sometimes when I wake in the middle of the night (usually because I’ve gone to bed not at 3am in the morning) and I feel philosophical and rather zen. So I tend to research things, admittedly it’s either things to do with money like researching buying a new costume or a ticket to something or I research my disorder. I research my disorder because I like knowing what could come. My disorder began to develop in the last few months of 2011 and I couldn’t tell it was different, I didn’t even think the insomnia was a problem because I began to thrive. The late nights meant I was always on top of homework, the hypomania gave me the energy to study and the creativity to make links others could not and in those times depression wasn’t so bad. Depression just gave me a mild sinking feeling in the bottom of my stomach added onto a feeling of sadness. Until one day, around May that year. I suddenly had a bad depressed episode, self harmed and my worried father who’d already pointed out he saw my problems before made me go to the GP. I went and he told me it’s possible bipolar was my condition. Fast forward a few months, passed my first psychiatric appointment. Up to my first hypomanic episode that was more a hindrance than a help to my life but still what I deemed amazing. I was convinced everyone was wrong and that I was experiencing a stronger batch of teenage hormones. Had I have researched even a bit about my disorder – past the diagnosis sites and onto the forums – I would have seen that bipolar can get worse and it can go really negative so now late at night when the depression is taking over my mind. I find solace on these website that people can get better but I’ve also found things about people being torn about getting rid of the worst thing and best thing about them and one day I’ll be on my own and having to make that decision. So looking at research helps me. Looking what the scientists have found or what Jenny from Michigan thinks about her disorder, it’s all helpful.
But thanks to our support systems we tend to not even try a trial period off medication. A strong support system for mental illness is like an onion. In the middle we have family and friends. The annoying people who keep you in check and probably the reason you sought help in the first place. The next layer is therapists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, etc actually medicating and dealing with your disorder. Then doctors, GP. The ones who will take over prescriptions, write out new ones when your medication is giving you pain. The layer after is school or a work force and even if you don’t tell them your bipolar or depressed or have BPD or OCD or any other disorder, the stability and structure it can bring support by itself. Then there are external sources, suicide hotline, Samartians and others. Which I would say, personally for me is my last line of support, some people probably have their own onion support system but I imagine it’s fairly similar.