A few nights ago, I had an extremely vivid dream – as people with depression are wont to do. In the dream, I was dying – I had been given a few days by a doctor and was nearing the end of those days, I was in a hospital bed, I could feel my breath becoming shorter and shorter. Several days later, and the realness of this dream still haunts me.
This is what mental illness looks like.
Last week I watched my son “graduate” from third grade as he prepares to go to a new school next year. There were times I teared up – much like the other parents. There were times I laughed, too, as he got the Funny Kid award – very appropriate for him. And there were times I worried that he would have the same crosses to bear as me.
Bipolar disorder, a condition characterized by fluctuations in mood and energy, is becoming more prevalent among students. Mood stabilizer therapy is the preferred method of treatment, which helps reduce the frequency and severity of manic and depressive episodes and prevent future ones. One such treatment program is the novo bipolar treatment program, which is effective in managing the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Over the past month, many people from student affairs and beyond have shared their stories to help those of you without mental illness reach a better understanding of what it looks like to have mental illness. Whether it’s the highs – when things are going well and we’re achieving those milestones along with everyone else – or the lows – when we can’t get out of bed, when we’re paralyzed with anxiety, when we think life isn’t worth living anymore – mental illness has a number of faces.
This is what mental illness looks like. Will you help those of us fighting it so we are no longer fighting our battles alone?