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Michelle’s Story (Bipolar Disorder, ADHD)

Michelle's Story (Bipolar)I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for the first time in 1990, when it was called manic depression. I was bulimic back then. I didn’t like the diagnosis, so I rejected it. Then in 1992 I was diagnosed with ‘regular’ depression. I liked that a whole lot better. I was put on Zoloft, and I took that for ten years. I gained over 100 pounds, and stopped the medication in 2002 when it became impossible to lose the weight.

Fast forward to 2010, when I was once again diagnosed with bipolar disorder, along with ADD. This time, after almost 20 years of struggling in all areas of my life, I welcomed the diagnoses – both of them. It’s a huge challenge to be in my forties dealing with both illnesses. Sometimes when I look back on my life, I wish I’d been more open to what was going on with me and accepted the scary reality of having a serious mental illness.

Although I suffered for over ten years with a horrible eating disorder, I realize now how it was merely a symptom of my underlying bipolar disorder. Today I take my medication, I work with a psychiatrist, a therapist, a bodywork massage therapist, a personal trainer (a couple actually), and I am constantly researching ways to manage my disorders as effectively as possible.

I wasted too many years of my life in denial, and I am going to live the rest of my life with intent and purpose. I’m training for my second triathlon this summer, and I’m becoming quite the hardcore athlete. I’m also focusing on becoming a writer and a life coach, so I can not only help others, but also to finally have a career I love that fills me with joy. Life is definitely looking up these days!

New Jersey
Submitted 5-26-2012

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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  1. Dauna Beutel

    <3 Way to go Michelle!

    Denial is a bitch, but a protective one. It's just our way of waiting out a painful truth, before enduring it with our conscious self… and… without knowing why it serves us, for the time being.
    I'm so glad that you sought a diagnosis that eventually, empowered you! You found your way out of the dark!
    May you seek LIGHT in your own life and more importantly, in your own self, every single day… for the rest of your life.
    Be well, Michelle. But, when you aren't well… think well.
    Be kind to yourself … about yourself.
    You have a purpose, now you just have to figure out what that is. Best wishes!

    <3 Dauna Beutel (Lupus survivor)

  2. Megan

    Thank you for your story..i too struggle with needs to be discussed more to get rid of the stigma we still give me encouragement!

  3. grace alozie

    Hi my name is grace I have been diagnosed with bipolar since 2004 I am currently taking the medicine haloperidol cant get a job or study I am a single mum of four and so happy for that but cant keep good relationship s I have just come out of a violent relationship that lasted six years I don’t trust anyone and my family have abandoned me what do I do

  4. Laurie

    Thanks for sharing your story.

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