Recently I have written about my diagnosis of exercise induced (and allergy aggravated) asthma, which I am still learning to manage in conjunction with my fitness journey.
However, the medical diagnosis which has most affected every facet of my life and which I have never spoken or written about publicly is Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder. I was first diagnosed around 15 years ago and struggled with it for many years afterward. I have been re-diagnosed twice since then, most recently by my current psychiatrist (whom I only told I had "depression" but who properly diagnosed me anyway).
It's taken years for me to feel comfortable enough to write about my experiences, past and present, and in what ways my coping (and often lack thereof) have shaped my life. I am currently on medication and along with meditation, healthy eating, avoiding excess of alcohol/caffeine (which I'm not always successful at...), and making exercise & physical fitness a priority, I am managing my Bipolar Disorder better than I ever have in my life.
Through my writing I hope to paint a different picture of what most people think of when they hear the words "Bipolar Disorder." I don't feel like the stigma associated with mental illness is as pervasive as it once was, but it still persists. I've been dumped by a boyfriend simply because I admitted to him that I have it; even though no incident had happened, he feared what "might happen" or what I "might do" someday. And that was enough to send him packing.
If you would like to read more about what Bipolar Disorder really entails and about the various types, please read NIMH's page. It's an excellent and detailed resource on the topic.
My name is Garnet Scarabin and I am a writer, a dog rescuer, an excellent cook, a vintage culture aficionado, a soon-to-be runner, a good friend, I hold down a good job, and I have Bipolar Disorder.
(I'm also lactose intolerant, but that's a lot less sensational.)