I was seventeen years old when
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In 2/1998, I quit taking my
antidepressant and my behavior became increasingly reckless and
life threatening. I quit school with four months left to go
(they eventually allowed me to graduate), I had extreme
delusions, and psychosis. I became violent, and on 2/25/98 the
police escorted me to the emergency room.
After an evaluation, I was
incorrectly diagnosed with schizophrenia. Later on that night, I
was transferred by ambulance to a medical center with a child
psychiatric section. They corrected my diagnosis to bipolar
disorder. Since I was having major delusions and was potentially
dangerous, I spent a lot of time in the infamous padded room.
The doctor prescribed a couple of medications, and after two
weeks I was released from the hospital.
I never became "normal"
again, meaning that I lost a lot of friends, wasn't able to go
away to college, and when I did finally return to high school I
was seen as the crazy kid who disappeared for three months.
Since I really didn't know what happened to me, I couldn't
adequately explain my situation to anyone. It was also tough for
me to express myself to my doctors. It was a long time before I
recognized what all the different emotions and mood states
bipolar encompasses. Healing is a very slow process. Every day I
learn a little more. Every year gets a little better. I learn
from my past and only look forward.