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I am a 36 year old black woman with bipolar disorder. I am not unique, however, you wouldn't know it because mental illness of any kind in the black community still carries such a stigma. I, however, am no less black, beautiful, creative, or able.

Be Sure to Read Indigo's Journal at Healthy Place


Dealing With Diagnosis

By Indigo Blue


I went to see Christa, a psychologist, because I was constantly irritable.  I seemed to feel this way independent of a reason.  It was like PMS irritability, but it was lasting longer.  I felt for my children.  It was mostly for them that I went.


Christa asked about recent events.  I had felt unusually good.  Wayyyyyy good.  I felt so good that even though I was going to a conservative Christian seminary, getting my eyebrow pierced and a tattoo on the same day seemed like a great idea!  As a person with bipolar disorder, a frequent refrain of mine is, ďIt seemed like a good idea at the time.Ē


When she diagnosed me as Bipolar Disorder II, I thought it was funny.  I did not take it seriously enough to take the recommended LITHIUM.  That stuff was for seriously crazy people, I reasoned.  It didnít occur to me that the wreckage behind me (my life and past) was an indicator that I qualified for seriously crazy.  This is called denial.  In denial you wonder what is wrong with everybody else.  You question your therapistís training.  Surely, not I, you say.


Yes, I.  Indeed I was bipolar, but I slipped through the system and ended up doing talk therapy for three months, until I learned that I was pregnant.  I stopped therapy completely, then. I cannot emphasize enough how much my arrogance could have cost me.  It is now standard that not prescribing medication for a person who is bipolar is malpractice.  Things could have gone very far south, and I donít mean to Florida.   I continued to cycle until 6 weeks ago, when I was so sick that I was incapable of driving safely.  My thoughts raced wildly, and EVERYTHING was funny.  And I got to the hospital on the good side of hypomania!  In my life I have experienced hypomanias that escalated into rages that compelled me to kill myself.  And it seemed like a good idea at the time!  Right now there are scars on my wrists.  I have had my stomach pumped from overdosing on pills.  I have hurt and frightened people I care about trying to throw myself out of a moving car.  That was hypomania.  Depressions that followed crippled me, and robbed me of years of time enjoying what and who is important to me.

So, what do you do when you get diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder?  Here are Some Suggestions 



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