Hi guys! So up to this point, I have been pretty upfront about my own journey with mental illness & some of my history, specifically about being Bipolar. This blog will touch on sort of a sore spot or "trigger" for me-and that is the word 'manic'. Mania is obviously a big part of Bipolar Disorder (aka Manic/ Depressive Disorder), for some more than others depending upon their specific diagnosis. Personally, I experience mania more than the depressive side of it, but when someone uses the term manic to describe my behavior, whether it is accurate or not, it drives me crazy!
In this post, I will discuss my point of view being manic, and why the term bothers me so much. If you haven't read my previous blog, Being Bipolar, then I will catch you up quickly. I was officially diagnosed in around 2011, when my mom brought me to my primary doctor (not a psychiatrist) and told him a list of my symptoms. At first he decided I had depression, and prescribed an antidepressant. I tried that for a while, and not only did it cause a lot of stomach pain and vomiting, but my mom did more research and went back and told the Dr that she thinks I'm actually Bipolar. He quickly agreed and I was prescribed my first Bipolar medication.
At this time I was going through a lot! I had just lost my father, who I was EXTREMELY close with, when I was 17 years old. By 18 I had moved 4 hours away to attend the University of Central Florida, and started experimenting with different substances to try to numb the pain- mostly alcohol. I still managed to maintain my GPA, and even made Deans List 4 consecutive semesters. I maintained all appearances with my family that I was fine, but I really wasn't. I got to the point where I was drinking alone, and blacking out (almost on purpose) night after night- all the while appearing as though I was just socially 'partying'.