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Hi, I'm Amanda, and I have manic-depressive disorder and general anxiety with mild OCD. It has taken me a long time to get to this point, where I can be matter of fact about it, where I can be like this is what I have and where I stand. It has been a long and bumpy road to get to this point.
Looking back on my life, I knew something was off about me since I was young. I wasn't just happy go-lucky like the other kids, and I could tell that sometimes I couldn’t control what I was doing. My family called it being overly dramatic.
As a child it would be seen as tantrums or acting out, being dramatic. I know what they meant. It can be hard to see past what we are used to seeing. She’s acting out, she’s just a normal kid acting out. Nothing more.
When I was a teen it came out in different ways. I started stealing, skipping class, doing as little as possible to pass. Seeing what I could get away with, basically. Which was seen as normal teenage rebellion. But things started to affect me more, when I didn’t get invited out I had a panic attack, what if they don’t like me, what if they hate me, what did I do wrong. I could tell I was spirally but I couldn’t stop it. And I was terrified of anyone finding out.
High school was worse, or better, depending on how you looked at it. I started smoking weed which seemed to help mellow me out some. I was able to calm down and enjoy things. I was still skipping classes but I wasn’t doing the bare minimum anymore, and I had teachers that actually cared about my classwork, that noticed that I was smart and that something was going on. They did push me but they encouraged me.
I even had an a-ha moment when my friend started giving me her Prozac then she went to a different school and my mom noticed that I wasn’t as happy. Then told me I needed to hang out with her more often and I realized it was the Prozac. (Which is now part of the plan to keep me good.)
But I was still terrified of my friends finding out my secret that something was wrong with me. That something was different about me. But at least I was able to be more myself. I did things I wanted to. I took photography, I realized I was really good at something and didn’t care what others thought about it for once. I made my lifelong bestest friend who even now accepts me as I am.
My first clue to having a bipolar disorder should have shown up around graduation from high school when I started getting hypersexual. It started a bit in high school but got worse afterward. I felt freer for some reason. I was most likely manic and didn’t realize it.
I had been accepted to a great photography college but wasn’t able to go because my grandparents wouldn’t help me with the funding. The drawback of having young parents, they had their own student loans to pay off. But they made “too much” for me to get much help. My grandmother said to me that just because it was the best didn’t mean I had to go there.
That was probably what triggered the mania. I quit the job I was working at. I fell into a depression. I felt like I didn’t deserve it. I know my grandmother meant well but she sent me spirally. Looking back it was probably my first big manic episode.
My journey down the rabbit hole was just beginning.