Personal Story: How Invalidating My Bipolar Disorder Invalidates Me

I was finally given the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. That was a huge breakthrough for me. It made the way I felt and the severe mood swings I would experience feel validated. There was a reason. I now had words to explain what I was going through: mania, depression, hypomania.

Personal Story: We Don’t Talk About Grandma

My parents never directly told us that Grandma had died by suicide. My sister and I simply figured it out from overhearing hushed conversations. My grandpa had passed away two years earlier, and the stark difference between how the two losses were handled in my home was not lost on my 13-year-old self. It became clear immediately that we would no longer be discussing grandma, ever.

Preventing Suicide: Our First Line Of Defense

With no earlier experience with mental illness or plan for how to handle psychiatric emergencies, our family had no idea what to do or where to turn. We didn’t know that suicidal thinking is usually an emergency that requires immediate treatment. If my mother had received care when her suicidal thinking first started, we could have averted a possible tragedy.