— Mental Health Fdn (@mentalhealth) June 7, 2016
For me this is important because my experience is very unusual. I took antidepressants in my last year of school which, when I arrived at University and took the control of living away from home, helped to induce hypomania.
I was already aware of my mood swings, and studying biomedical sciences. I went to the doctor and said I thought I had bipolar, and he agreed. I had met a superb psychiatrist via student health. Because in my extended Irish family there were a few people who were unusual, and at least two with probable bipolar a working diagnosis was quick.
My school and university experiences were coloured by mood swings. I cycled rapidly between deep depression and hypomania. I ate too much and drank too much, in part because of the medication and in part because of anxiety, and became very obese.
I had some embarrassing moments of drunkenness, self-harm, obnoxiousness and accruing of debt. By the time I felt properly back on an even keel seven years later I had accrued nearly £50,000 of unsecured debt, which it’s taken a decade to pay back.
So I don’t have a house, or a postgraduate degree which I’d have liked and which would help now. But. I had my life.