Hey guys, it’s Hannah. First up, I hope you’re having an awesome summer so far. I’m having a great summer. It’s really humid here in the deep south. I’m five minutes away from my face just completely melting off. But it is so important for you to know what my life looked like prior to this image you see and you know this tone I carry when I speak about bipolar 2. “Hey. My name is Hannah. I have bipolar 2. I’m not ashamed.” You know, that kind of attitude did not come overnight. And I think it’s important to take you back a couple of years and share moments with you that will help you get a better idea of how difficult it was. So I’m going to share with you a story that really shows how hard it was for me to actually reveal my diagnosis to anyone. It was never on my bucket list to reveal my diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder. I thought that it would be easy just to hide it. I went home after the mental hospital. I started working two jobs. Finding myself as an individual. And life was great. But I had this hidden secret. And I really became curious about my diagnosis. So I started volunteering for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I did not even tell them that I had a diagnosis. I told them that I had a family member that had it. So that was awkward when they found out that I did. A woman named Jennifer who worked at NAMI at the time… she’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m actually sitting right here today. She cornered me in her office. It was like, “I know you have a story.” So finally, I was like, “Okay, I have bipolar disorder. Over the next couple of months, she just started encouraging me to speak at this event. And finally, I accepted. I mean public speaking has never been an issue. So I felt like I was prepared… Until I walked in the door and I was 40 minutes away from speaking. I mean I sprinted to the bathroom like a gazelle and like got sick over the toilet, if you know what I’m saying, for like 15 minutes. Got up. Washed my hands. Looked at my pale face in the mirror and just said: “You have the opportunity to live a normal life and you’re choosing to put yourself at this kind of risk. What the hell are you doing? Keep it hidden and get the hell out of here.” So I went towards the door until I saw beautiful Jennifer waving to me. And despite what stigma tells you, you know I am selfless. So I went up to that podium, introduced myself, and said the sentence: “I have a diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder.” And the minute the R came out, I completely – I broke down in a cry that I didn’t think was humanly possible. And people just didn’t know what was going on. A woman had to come up to stage and basically help me off. To which I sprinted out the door pretty much again. These people probably thought I just love to run. Forrest Gump status. But that moment taught me that bipolar disorder was a part of my life and that hiding it was going to reduce my chances of living in authentic life. Which meant, you know, a good life. To anyone out there, I’ve been in a dark place and felt like I was screaming for help and no one could hear me. And there was a time where I thought this life – being honest, accepting my flaws and everything about me would never happen. And I’m still a work in progress. And it’s my story, whether it’s good or bad. And if people don’t like it, that’s not my problem. I don’t wait on other people to tell me something is good anymore to know that it is good. And I trust myself to know when I’m being over the line. But that is my life. That’s my life. And these videos, your comments and response videos, really show the strength and beauty and color of this community. So sharing this on your Facebook or your Twitter could potentially reach someone who has lost hope. And we want to bring them into our community because they deserve to be here. So please subscribe to my YouTube
channel. And I can’t wait to see you next week. Bye.

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13 thoughts on “After I Disclosed My Bipolar Disorder

  1. I made a YouTube video a month after my diagnosis coz in those 30 days of being diagnosed with bipolar 2 and anxiety, trying to keep it to myself was literally driving me insane. Of course, that was also due to a GIANT betrayal from someone in my life just 2 days before I saw the psychiatrist (I swear the timing of bad events in my life always coincides with harder than normal times). Luckily for me I built up a small but AMAZINGLY supportive group of online friends last year so I have them to talk to about stuff. Also, I have to give credit to this channel for playing a part in getting me to hit that upload button. It's honestly like a weight off my back to not be afraid of having people find out about my diagnosis. . .or knowing anything about me really.

  2. I hide in my home a lot, taking care of my disabled partner of 18 yrs. he is so supportive and this week he is having shoulder surgery. Please wish him love. Love to the mental health community everywhere. You are all precious and important!

  3. THE PROBLEM THAT I HAVE is that only after a 20 minute talk with a psychiatrist, he told me I had bipolar disorder.

    And being the perfect example of the way society wants people to be, when it comes to "listening to your doctor", and holding them high above the rest of us, I didn't argue. I BLINDLY TRUSTED him. He was to be held to his oath, never to do harm. I just BELIEVED him. I didn't know what bipolar was. I didn't know how I got it. I didn't know anything about anything.

    I walked in his office the very first time expecting to talk about my life as a child. Maybe some key life-changing experiences, then on continued visits, we could analyze and disect the happenings in my life and reach new conclusions. Afterall, I decided to see a psychiatrist because I was feeling a little depressed.

    It didn't turn out that way. Like I said, after 20 minutes, he told me I had bipolar disorder and wrote prescriptions for three different drugs and sent me in my way.

    For TWENTY YEARS I continued to just believe everything he told me. For 20 years I never questioned him. I could have been the poster child for an obedient, society-trained individual, who held my doctor in the highest esteem. He never got an argument from me. I never questioned his judgement.

    I never got to talk about my past. I never resolved some issues I had with my family life as a child, or the violent and bizarre environment I grew up in. The root cause of my troubles were never discussed, so I continued to hold everything inside; whether or not these incidences had distorted my perspective on life and the way I saw other people would remain a mystery.

    TWENTY YEARS after I started taking his formula of mind-altering chemical compounds, he slipped up and demonstrated his true feelings for me as a patient. After recognizing he was not sincere in his work, and thst he really did not care about the well-being of his patients, I stopped taking the toxic drugs he told me that I "needed", afterall it was a lifelong illness with no cure.

    I know now why I was feeling depressed when I originally walked in his office. I have a new perspective on why I am the way I am, because of the effects of my childhood. I know now that violence, drunkeness, and emotional turmoil as an environment when young causes disfunction and distortion. I was very much a success in life. I achieved everything I was supposed to in life that was supposed to make me happy. I had plenty of money, multiple houses, I drove the dreamcars everyone wished they had . . . but I still wasn't happy. So by the suggestion of a friend, I made an appointment to see a psychistrist. He SHOULD HABE TOLD ME that money and success does not necessarily provide happiness. He SHOULD HAVE asked me the question, "What do you think may be lacking in your life that would truely make you happy?" INSTEAD, he threw a bunch of pills at me and said, this should fix the problem and by the way, you'll need to keep coming back to see me to get more pills, because you will be needing these pills (and me) for the rest of your life. (cha-ching, cha-ching)

    That guy was so full of shit, he should have been incarcerated for impersonating a doctor. He should be tortured with his own psych pills for his poor performance as someone who cares. His specialty I learned later was bipolar disorder. If course everyone stepping through his doorway had . . . give it a guess. You're right, bipolar disorder.

    People only know what their doctor tells them. It's a matter of trust. I walked around for TWENTY YEARS telling everyone I had bipolar disorder, ONLY BECAUSE that is what my trusted doctor told me. I believed it, ONLY because that is what he told me.

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Hannah. I'm hoping this will encourage my husband to be honest about having bipolar 2 and living an authentic, inspiring life.

  5. Thanks for sharing Hannah πŸ˜ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸΎbefore I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 , I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. For years ( my depression began in my childhood ) I hid my depression and refused to even acknowledge it . I remember filling out papers at the doctor office and seeing a box marked "depression" and skipping it out of fear that someone would see it or ask me about it . I didn't find confidence until I turned 20 ( a few months ago ) . I went and signed myself up for therapy , and finally told my family and friends that the person they were proud of and thought they knew was not okay , and that I wanted to do something about it . I'm still adjusting to my diagnosis of bipolar , but I have no problems discussing my medications , my symptoms , or saying it out loud without fearing rejection of judgment

  6. Wow! After watching your video, I kinda have to admit to myself that, here writing to others about having bipolar2 isn't a problem for me. I feel comfortable and don't have the fear of being judged. But out in gatherings or just talking with family and friends, I seem to have no problem talking about having ADD, but a lot of times I do seem to leave out the bipolar part of my mental disorder. ADD, is becoming a more "acceptable" disorder in society, where the symptoms I guess, appear to be not as noticeable. But when you mention the word bipolar, people automatically jump to the idea of the high manic and severe depression type, and mentally unstable. Not much info about bipolar 2 is being "publicly" put out there. So I guess I'm an open ADD person, but a semi closet bipolar2 person. Thanks Hannah for your video to help me recognize that in myself. You know, there are lots of "parades" out there for cancer, physically disabled, gays, trans-genders..etc… Maybe there should be a "parade" put on for mental health disorders. πŸ™‚

  7. after i got released from the hospital i was very open about it…thats when i found out who to keep in my support system. my own sister basically told me she didnt trust me around her children and i needed to be chaperoned. then a friend when we got in an argument she replied "go take your lithium." neither these people i respect anymore. im still no more quiet about it than i was…i did a video on "Mental illness and stigma" because it pisses me off so much

  8. This video almost brought me to tears bc I can feel how you felt that day asking yourself whether or not to stay or run. It's hard to be yourself already in a self righteous judgmental world, but then we have the stigma of bipolar added to the mix it makes it more challenging. You can either "fight or flight", and we have to fight for ourselves and fight to find ourselves. At the same time, we have way too many good qualities to hide them from the world so we need to be genuine, and other people need that also. I appreciate how real this video is bc it truly expresses the struggle is real.

  9. Hi Hannah. I love your channel and you are changing and impacting so many lives by being honest, geniune, and courageous sharing your story and sacrificing your personal time doing so. One day I will post videos, write a book about my life, and share my story. It's going to take time, practice, self discovery, pain, and healing to do so. In the mean time I want to check out NAMI in my community and go to groups and volunteer.

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