A writing submission by Jessica about her struggles and diagnosis.
I’ve suffered from insecure thoughts since I was about four. I never understood why people called me cute when I wasn’t. I began to feel sad at age 7. I would hide in my room and cry, leaving reality, going to my imagination to comfort myself. I almost committed suicide at age 9, but my faith, and love for family, somehow made me drop the knife and leave the room. It’s all fuzzy now, those days. I can only remember the past few years clearly. I had to go to a mental hospital a year ago, at age 13. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1, rapid cycling. Unfortunately, they missed a few other things that would really affect my teen life. A year after the mental hospital, my mood swings became worse than usual, even with my pills. I would become too angry, or sad, that I’d hate people, or adore them to an almost worshiping extent. Everything was black and white, and it still is. I would get so angry at times at little things like my beloved cat biting me. I would grab her by the throat, squeeze and throw her against the wall. I so regret those things, those angry things I did. I felt like a danger to everyone (hence my violent thoughts) and my black and white view of everything. I hated myself. I almost went back to my old habits, of cutting and bulimia. I went to my psychiatrist and he said that I had developed BPD. Borderline, personality disorder.
“What?” I asked. “But I have bipolar disorder, there is no way I can have both!!” I couldn’t deny though, my pressing symptoms. I was indeed, not okay. My psychiatrist told me that yes, a person can have both. But he told me not to fret. he told my mum to get me into DBT, a type of therapy that helps a person stop themselves from becoming too emotional, and it helps them find their triggers. He comforted me with these words that I’ll always remember.
I still have my new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, BPD, along with stress and anxiety disorders.
But even at 14, I know that I will get better. True, I won’t ever heal magically. Still I know, that I will improve. And I’ll always thank Dr.Dave for the encouraging words that will always keep me going.
“ I have never yet met a person with a mental illness that has not become something truly amazing.”
Even though you have a mental illness- never, ever give up your dreams. You can become anything you want to. Mental illness, true, can stop you from doing everything you want. but it can’t ever stop you from becoming what you want.
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