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The 5 Things I’d Wish I’d Know Before Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

I am going to be honest, slap your in your face, the 5 things no one tells you about being beautifully bipolar before you are diagnosed.

Nothing can prepare you for what lies ahead

  • Before I was diagnosed in 2008, I had barely heard the word bipolar before, let alone knew that it was a medical diagnosis.
  • Once I was diagnosed, I read everything – and I mean everything. Books, scientific findings, blogs, forums, websites. I thought if I could just find the key to it all I could save myself, but that’s the thing: there is no key.

People will be cruel

  • People will say things not just in front of your back, but blatantly, in front of your face. They will talk about your inability to be trusted. They will make hollow jokes.
  • During a bipolar episode you may do or say things you regret, they will be quick to remind you of those things later on.

All trust will be lost

  • People won’t know this new you or what to do with you.
  • Once you try to kill yourself, no one will ever trust you again. Point. Blank.
  • They can’t expect you to take your meds, especially if you have a history of going off of them.

You are sick

  • You are “sick”
  • But even though you are, no one will come to the hospital to visit you, because psych wards are scary. Never mind that you are there 24/7 without seeing a friendly face. It is about their comfort zone; not yours.
  • Bipolar disorder is a chronic disorder. You will not just “get over it”.

It is physically incapacitating, too

  • Headaches, nausea, hand or leg tremors – perhaps both, hyper sexuality, the inability to orgasm – the symptoms of bipolar disorder go on and on.
  • But the one that really kicks the bucket (pun intended) is that 1/3 of people who attempt suicide deal with bipolar disorder. Can you fathom that number? Life with this mental illness can be so hard that they assume figure dying is better than living.

I don’t mean to drag you down, I am simply saying I get it and that it is true for a lot of us living out there with disorder. Some days are better than others. Some friends are better than others. Some doctors and therapists are better than others. But have hope, because what I didn’t know then has changed over the years. Keep on being beautiful.







The 5 Things I’d Wish I’d Know Before Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2017). The 5 Things I’d Wish I’d Know Before Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Mar 2017
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