As a long time sufferer of bipolar disorder, I feel the need to share what I have learned through my experiences, schooling, research, and the experiences of others. Mental illness can either build a stronger character or it can destroy a persons' character and life. It all depends on how we deal with the problem. Impaired judgement often accompanies mental illness and it is, therefore, difficult to make good choices that improve quality of life. Through posts on this blog, I intend to help those suffering with mental illness, those who love or know someone with mental illness, and those who wish to become more informed on the subject.
I am not a therapist and I am not qualified professionally to give advice. I did receive a Bachelor's degree in Family Science from BYU. I intended to get my Master's degree in Family Therapy, but I became deathly ill with the pregnancy of my first child instead. My physical and mental health declined from there. It seemed I was always pregnant, nursing, or recovering from the experience for nine years. Most of my life during that time is a blur. I did keep a sporadic journal that reminds me how dark those days really were. If my husband was any less of a man I would be divorced, in jail, and probably suicidal. He stayed by me through all of my troubles and he is still there supporting me even still. I have been lucky and blessed in my ongoing recovery and I wish to pay it forward.
My specific problem is instability in my thoughts, moods, and behaviors. I have fewer ups than downs and it takes a great effort on most days to get out of bed. I finally went to my doctor and he prescribed Citalopram, the generic for Cellexa. The medication has helped take the edge off of my ups and downs so that I can take more control over my life. It also took away the ever present anger.
Citalopram is not the only medication I have tried. The others were for just the downs and made me, well, crazier. I am so grateful there are many different medications, for those that actually need it, that provide relief from many different symptoms. Medication need not and is not part of the solution for many people. For some, medication does more harm than good. Other strategies, in combination with medication or not, do more for some people than any other effort. I plan to offer a well rounded approach and many ideas that have helped people and may help many more.
Let's make this journey together so that we may learn from each other's experiences and lessen the impact of mental illness on the world. Let us be free.