In April 2020 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If I’m honest, I’d known for about a year and a few doctors had told me this was probably the case, but only a psychiatrist can officially give a diagnosis and this can take years.
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness which affects about 1% of the population, affecting their mood. Whereas the majority of people experience general highs and lows throughout life, people with bipolar disorder experience extreme highs (known as mania) and extreme lows (known as depression).
Although I was only diagnosed recently, it was likely that it had been affecting me since my late teens or early twenties, undiagnosed. As with many sufferers, the first diagnosis I received was that of depression. I was about 20 years old and had gone from being a typical party girl at university, to unable to leave my room. It wasn’t the stress of university as everyone suggested – I actually found the work pretty easy. It was…nothing. There wasn’t anything I could blame my feelings of sadness on.