In my honest opinion, I truly believe that when people see the term ‘bipolar,’ they automatically associate it with ‘mood swings.’ Which, don’t get me wrong, having bipolar has a lot to do with mood swings, but there’s a lot more to it than just that. There’s all the associated symptoms that may be experienced during these ‘mood swings.’
Now for me, I experience more of the depressive episodes (rather than manic.) Before I had been formally diagnosed with bipolar, I found it rather difficult to maintain my relationships – mainly with my friends. I found that I would isolate myself from them, I wouldn’t talk to them as much, we barely hungout (most of the time I would come up with excuses like “I’m tired”, or “I have a lot of homework”.)
School was another particularly difficult time for me. I found it harder and harder to keep up with all of my classes and the workload (and I barely had a social life.) However, I must note that I am in fact a book worm. Ever since grade 11, I took my studies a lot more seriously, which evnetually landed me into the program of my dreams: nursing.
Now as for the actually studying part, I knew that if I was going through a depressive episode, that I would procrastinate my school work/studying. I remember times where I would sit up in bed and stare at my wall because every time I opened my books to try to study, I found myself not being able to concentrate and then my mid would end up wondering to another place. So rather than opening my books and wasting my time not looking at them, I wasted it by staring at my wall instead. I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to study, because I did. I wanted to learn and I wanted to get the good grades. It was because I had an underlying factor that would eventually be discovered and then treated for.
I guess the point I’m trying to get across to anyone who is, or has, felt this way, push yourself. I wish would have. Finding that motivation within you to keep moving forward and not allowing yourself to fall behind would’ve been so helpful for me. But also remember to take a break when you need it. Don’t push yourself to a point where it’s making a negative impact on your health.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.