I thought about suicide every single day. I never realized that was unusual because it was never discussed. I just assumed everyone thought this way.
I assumed the first medications prescribed to me would be the perfect regimen. My unrealistic view of how psychiatry and medication worked set me up to be very disappointed.
As frustrating as it was that my loved ones didn’t understand my illness, I had to keep in mind that I didn’t initially understand it, either.
For me, the most realistic definition is that I’m spending more time living my life than managing bipolar disorder.
People believe we are unable to work, can’t be in stable relationships, and must live off our parents, among other things.
Medication and therapy are extremely important, but they aren’t the entire solution.
Trying to use my wife as a treatment for mental illness is literally crazy. Pardon the pun.
Yes, being manic did feel good, but it came at a cost.
Diagnosed with bipolar 1 and anxiety disorders in 2003, Gabe Howard puts a human face on what it means to live with mental illness. He is an award-winning writer, mental health advocate, and sought-after speaker. He is the host of The Psych Central Show podcast; a regular contributor to Psych Central, Bipolar Magazine, and other online journals; and a speaker all over the United States on the topic of living with bipolar disorder. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Kendall. He can be found online at gabehoward.com