It has been ongoing since I was a child – but I was too young to understand why I felt and acted the way I did. I wish that my parents had had an understanding of mental illness when I was younger.
I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 20. I was given a list of conditions: bipolar type 2, borderline personality disorder, panic and anxiety disorder. But, even after so many years, when I was first diagnosed I did not accept it. I felt judged.
I kept it hidden from everyone.
Ten years on, I’m married with two children. I take a mood stabiliser and anti-psychotic medication to control my symptoms.
I’ve learned that just because I have a mental illness, it doesn’t mean I am less educated or weak.
For someone with a similar diagnosis to me I would say: go on a self-management course. Read up on your condition, write down your triggers and be mindful of them. Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
Ask for support – remember those around you are not mind readers – let them in.