WARNING: Super Transparent post!!!
I debated on whether I was gonna speak on mental health. I was like, “I don’t want to share that side.” But I can’t say that I will be transparent and only share certain parts of my story. Like I said, “I’m an open book” and my story can help someone else. The last 5 & a half years I have been battling with Bipolar Disorder Type I and Major Depressive Disorder. I suffer from Anxiety and Panic attacks. When I was diagnosed about 5 years ago, I was in denial. I told myself, “Girl black people don’t suffer from that!” How naïve, right?
I was always known as the comedian out of my circle, family and classmates. I took pride in making people laugh. But what people didn’t realize, I was suffering in silence. I was a depressed little girl on the inside who resorted to making people laugh. As long as people were laughing and the focus was not on me, I was good. The symptoms became more noticeable when I lost my close friend Jaywann back in February of 2013. I shut down. I didn’t go out, I wouldn’t talk, I barely ate. I was unemployed at the time so I had plenty of time just to sit and think and waddle in my depression.
Over the course of 5 years, I’ve been on at least 6 different types of antidepressants along with blood pressure medication, medication for migraines, back pain, and anxiety. It wasn’t until early part of 2017 when I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2013 as well.
I was reading a blog post by Shannon Hennig called “What’s It’s Like to Be a Black Woman with Bipolar Disorder.” (very good read btw). She said something so profound that wrapped up my feelings in a sentence or two. Hennig stated:
Being a Black Woman with Bipolar Disorder is challenging and painful at times. The mental and emotional strain and stress from the symptoms begins to take a toll on you physically, which feeds low self-esteem. Feeling of inadequacy and ‘less than’ consume your thoughts and you’re constantly questioning your worth and existence.
That statement is so true. #honestmoment I thought by sharing this would (1) scare people off (2) people would totally judge me and (3) be a castaway. But God allowed me to share this post for young women like me. Young women who are suffering in silence. Women who’ve allowed this disorder to paralyze them and keep them bound. I’m not posting this to give you a remedy. I’m sharing this to give you day by day advice. Seek help! (it’s okay for black people to see a shrink!) Have open conversations with your family, friends, co-workers about the disorder and how you’re feeling. If prescribed, please take medication faithfully. Surround yourself with a community of people who will not only be there but also be an accountability partner.
Bipolar Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder is REAL! Don’t suffer in silence!
I’m thankful for my community! Link below for further reading on the article stated.What It’s Like to Be a Black Woman With Bipolar Disorder