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Light in the Darkness: hope with bipolar disorder

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

These last 11 months have been the hardest months I’ve ever gone through. What happened? I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I have felt severely depressed. My symptoms range from lack of ambition to do anything to severe symptoms of wanting to die. One of the hardest symptoms was not enjoying running because this normally helps my depression, but this time it wasn’t. I lost myself and my identity.

I did a partial hospitalization program. This program allows for patients to stay at home while receiving the care they would in the hospital.

I completed a 3-month intensive outpatient program. This program was 9 hours a week and truly changed my life. 

I had to quit my job. This was a job I truly loved, but it was so triggering and not going to help me in the long run.

I trialed multiple medications. The medications often caused side effects that were uncomfortable and made me feel more hopeless in an already hopeless situation.

I now take 6 medications to make my brain function. The medications are lamotrigine, lithium, gabapentin, escitalopram, aripiprazole, and bupropion. All of these medications work to balance the chemicals in my brain and as a pharmacist this especially fascinates me. 

I have been suicidal and self-harmed.

Bipolar disorder is no joke.

I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life. Yet, I am still grateful for this experience.

I’m learning how good the good days are because of the bad.

Plus, I realize what truly matter and who truly matters. I see who cares about me and loves me in my darkest moments. And lastly, I have learned so much empathy for people with mental illness.

Yes, this will likely happen again, but I will never let it knock me down. Even with bipolar disorder, I have hope.


By Kim Sundling

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