Erin's Story

Elon, NC USA

"I was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety three times before I got a new diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder. I didn’t really know what was wrong with me for the longest time. Depression never really seemed to fit how I felt because there would be weeks, every so often, when I was 100% fine and I would completely forget what being depressed even felt like.

 

But, there would also be weeks when my life became desaturated. Everything became bleak and gray. I would be tired and I couldn’t really do anything. So, recently I found a new therapist, stopped my medications that were making me unable to sleep for two months, and got a fresh diagnosis.

Bipolar II, in particular, is under-spoken about, I feel like there’s a stigma surrounding it because there aren’t many positive portrayals of it. My best explanation of it is that my brain uses a lot of serotonin really fast, but then it takes a while for me to get it back. So, there are weeks where I’m 'hypomanic'. I’m really creative, I don’t sleep a ton, and I get so much done. I will write a lot and I’m also really smiley and energetic. But then, after that period, I get to the depression stage. I’m very tired, everything feels a little forced, and life seems desaturated.

 

The hardest part is that when I’m manic or depressed, it’s really difficult for me to remember what the other one feels like. It’s great when I’m manic, but not so great when I’m depressed.

It’s been a ride-and-a-half trying to figure out what’s going on inside my head, but I think there have been good things to come out of it. It’s made me a more empathetic person and less quick to judge. It’s also made me very appreciative of all the people around me, my sorority, and everything that I’m involved in on my campus. It all helps in its own little way.

It is still hard for me to talk about though, I’ve gotten good at bottling things up. Quite honestly, as I write this, a good chunk of my brain is screaming, 'Don't share this on the internet!'. But, at the same time, it’s saying, 'But really, there’s no shame in talking about it.”

Story and Photo Submitted By: Robyn Lane, Elon University Campus Representative

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