Living With Bipolar and Manic Depression
‘I thought I was just ‘happy’
Anna Preece, a volunteer phone mentor at Bipolar UK, said: “I was diagnosed with depression when I was 23, but my bipolar disorder wasn’t picked up until much later.
“I was going through what I now know were manic episodes, but at the time I thought I was just ‘happy. It wasn’t until a good friend sat me down and pointed out some of my manic behaviour that I started to ask for help. After seeing a lot of doctors, I was finally diagnosed with bipolar when I was 37.”
“This gave me the push I needed to really do something to get back in control of my health.”
‘Now my illness is very well controlled’
Anna started attending a Bipolar UK support group in Cardiff which she claims saved her life. She added: “Meeting other people with bipolar, talking to them and being able to relate to what they were saying was fantastic.
“It was such a relief to know that I was normal, and it helped me to identify which aspects of my behaviour were my personality and which were my illness. “Being able to separate the two is very helpful – I know when it’s me, I know when it’s ill, and when it’s ill I can do something about it. Now my illness is very well controlled with medication and self-management, but of course I still get blip.”
‘I can go weeks without drinking’
Anna stated that alcohol was another major trigger for affecting her mood. “I’ve set myself a rule – if I’ve got something to do the next day, I won’t drink anything the night before. This has really helped me cut down and I can go weeks without drinking because I’m so busy with my volunteering.”
Words by Walesonline