Voices for Recovery
My name is Daphne, and I have bipolar disorder.
I was diagnosed in 2009, after delaying doctor visits for fear of being labeled “weak” or “crazy.” I was ashamed and in denial. Only after experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) did I take my counselor’s advice to visit a psychiatrist.
My counselor, psychiatrist, and recovery group have been God’s gifts to me.
My counselor has helped me to process my feelings – not only with PTSD, but also with mood swings that accompany bipolar disorder. She has taught me specific techniques to process life in general and to continue the process of self-reflection and personal freedom.
My psychiatrist has helped me to understand – and accept – that bipolar disorder is an illness just like any other chronic illness. It took a while to identify the medications that worked for me, but my psychiatrist never gave up on me. He listened to me, and he encouraged me. I now have an excellent medication with few side effects. When I feel an episode coming on, I use the techniques he has taught me to identify it early on and to deal with it in a healthy manner. My psychiatrist truly has given me “better living through chemistry.”
My recovery group has supported me every step of the way. They have listened to me. They have never judged me or treated me any differently. They have loved me unconditionally.
I now understand that it’s okay to get help – from family, friends, counselors, doctors, recovery groups, and yes, even medications.
I couldn’t make it a single day without God’s help. He has brought me to where I am today. He loves me just as I am – and now, I do too.