What I Learned About Bipolar Disorder After My Most Recent Hospitalization


A couple of weeks ago I wound up in the ER for my bipolar disorder– I was experiencing a mixed episode, filled with mania, anxiety, depression and urges to self-harm or do drugs. I even felt delusional about the limitless possibilities in my life, all the while feeling hopeless and empty.

What led me to this moment? My antidepressant — after being on the highest dose for more than two years, had finally crashed and burned. It was deemed ineffective. I also had gone off a drug that helped me with mania a couple months prior because I irrationally feared it made me gain weight (it didn’t… this was simply my eating disorder speaking). No wonder my mood was constantly swinging from severe depression to hypomania and intense mixed states!

What I learned after being stabilized in the psychiatric unit for a few days, is how crucial medication is for bipolar, and in my case, also anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Bipolar disorder, I finally understand, is a truly an illness of the brain. If I’m on the right meds I can function. If I’m not, I cannot. While therapy certainly helps me cope, as well as with my other disorders, bipolar disorder is best managed through the proper medication.

I’m happy I’m now on my proper medication cocktail — a new anti-depressant and mood stabilizer. I learned that medication, in some cases, especially with bipolar, may very well be the main key to being healthy.

Editor’s note: This piece is based on an individual’s experience and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Consult your doctor before starting and stopping medication.

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