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.