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College and Bipolar Do Go Together


This could be you!

ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE

Getting a doctorate degree is not the easiest thing in the world, by far. Only about 1 percent of the U.S. Population has a doctorate . They are generally quite rigorous and take from three to seven years to complete. But if you need it for career or self-actualization, no road is too hard.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 1997 after the medication I was on for my third bout with postpartum depression sent me into a mania spin. For ten years I rode the Bipolar Express while my doctors and I searched for the right medication cocktail to put me back on track. I consider myself in remission from mania since 2005, with brief periods of depression still attempting to derail me. A special education teacher by trade, I earned a Master of Arts degree in 2007 and started a doctoral program in 2009 at California School of Professional Psychology in Organization Development. I came out almost immediately to my professors and small twelve-person cohort. I had ‘come out’ before and am pretty open about having bipolar disorder. I wanted to study what other people’s experience around coming out with mental illness was. I wanted to know if my public disclosure during my current job’s vetting process was like everyone else’s.

2 Comments to
College and Bipolar Do Go Together

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  1. I have Bipolar I Disorder with psychotic features, ADHD, PTSD, and Tourette’s. I have 3 Bachelor’s degrees, a Master’s in Psychology, an LLM (that’s a Master’s degree in law), a JD, and a Ph.D, in addition to twelve certifications in various trades or professions. I earned all of these degrees – Summa Cum Laude – while working full time as a legal professional and raising a bipolar/ADHD/Asperger’s child as a single mom. Yes, I’ve been hospitalized 3 times in the last 30 years, the most recent being 17 years ago, and coincidentally, as I write this I’m just recovering from my first mixed episode, both the mania and depression of which were the most vicious, scary, dangerous, and horrible I’ve ever experienced. I’m still astonished that I survived, and I don’t even know how. Yet I’m back to functioning normally in the “real” world, this time with the knowledge that the cause was a particularly serious exacerbation of my MS that, in turn, distracted me enough to have missed my successful medication regimen for long enough to trigger this awful situation. I learned my lesson, believe me, but the point of my post is that yes, you CAN go to college amd graduate with honors while working full time and being a single mom even though you have a mental illness. I’m livng proof.

    • Well done Anna! What an encouragement you are!Keep fighting the good fight.

 

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