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Mental Illness; The Journey Of A Bipolar Disorder Survivor

What really comes to people’s minds when you mention mental illness? Some actually think that mental illness is solely based on insanity but that is actually not the case since the term mental illness refers to a wide range of conditions that affect mood, thinking and behavior.

There are quite different types of mental conditions. Some of these conditions include:

Anxiety disorder which is characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. Bipolar disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from extreme highs to extreme lows. Autism which is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) a condition brought about by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event, this condition may last for months or years with triggers which may result to flashbacks accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.

Let’s take a look at Bipolar II Disorder which is usually characterized by hypo manic episodes where one has a lot of extra energy which may last for longer periods of time.

David Otieno (not his real name) shared with Ghetto Radio his journey with this mental disorder.

“I’ve always known there is something wrong with me from back then because I am too hyper but I was diagnosed in 2014,”says Otieno.

None of his friends knew that he was actually living with this condition but they were keen enough to notice his hyper traits whenever they spent time together.

He mentions that he used to party a lot, almost every day and that was when his uncle who is a doctor came in and counseled him on his behavior and advised him to get professional help from a psychiatrist.

After the diagnosis, he became interested in knowing more about his condition which lead him to carry out more research on it to understand himself much better.

“It is important for people to know themselves and gauge their behaviors, even the slightest change in someone’s mood could be a sign of mental illness which should not be dismissed,” he says.

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He adds that it is important for someone to know their triggers in order to prevent their condition from worsening.

Once someone in recovery knows what triggers them, they are in a much better position to control their condition and their overall well-being.

“My triggers were alcohol and also supervision at work does not work well with me, I’m never supervised at my work place,” he says.

Most importantly, seeking professional help from a therapist the moment somebody notices the slightest change in their behavior that is affecting their day-to-day activities could come a long way in managing mental illnesses and coping with these conditions.

By Stella Anyango