At 16, I was diagnosed as bipolar, and since then I have been treated with both medication and therapy. Accepting the fact that I will have to take medicine for the rest of my life has not been the easiest task. During my sophomore year at Stony Brook University I participated in an intensive outpatient program based on DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy). DBT truly “saved my life”; it taught me how to cope with the symptoms of my illness and made living with bipolar much more manageable. However, soon after I was diagnosed with hypothyroid disease as a result of taking Lithium to treat my bipolar, I had to accept massive weight gain, which even many years later is still a struggle. Both my therapist and psychiatrist worked with me to overcome most obstacles that came my way. However, in March 2012, my sister was murdered, and things took a turn for the worst. Depression took over my life once again and in a moment of feeling hopeless, I overdosed but was lucky enough to be rushed to the hospital in time. Even with intense therapy and other therapeutic workshops, I was still suffering greatly from depression. I was eventually also diagnosed with PTSD during my first hospitalization this year at Four Winds. After being hospitalized in February 2014, I was once again admitted in April 2014.
Being bipolar is and will always be a major part of my life; however, it does not define me. When I thought it was taking over, I was close to dropping out of school but the strength to be a better person overpowered and I completed Stony Brook only to accomplish my next dream, being accepted into Columbia University’s M.A. program in South Asian Studies. My accomplishments remind me that being bipolar may make my life more difficult and present obstacles, but it does not inhibit my capabilities. While I am not happy or proud of the things that have happened in my life as a result of being bipolar, I can honestly say that I would not change a thing. I am happy with the person I have become and being bipolar has been a major contributor into who I am today. And for that I would not change a thing. I know the road ahead will not be easy but being bipolar has given me strength I never thought possible, and for that I have confidence in my future.