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Mania

Coping and Courage: Amily’s Story, Age: 21

I lived in an endless cycle of depression, mania, and the brief intervals of feeling okay.

What have you struggled with? When did it become too much?

Around the age of 12 I started having a difficult time controlling my overwhelming emotions and racing thoughts. I started constantly being admitted to hospitals, I lived in an endless cycle of depression, mania, and the brief intervals of feeling okay.

In my second year of college, I experienced my most intense episode of psychosis, I missed out on the semester and my mental health was at its worst. Once I began to recover from this, I decided I no longer wanted to live this way, as a slave to my ever-changing and destructive moods and states of mind.

What kind of support did you get at first? Did it work?

I’ve seen a therapist since the age of 12, but the constant hospital visits caused my treatment team to be inconsistent. The therapy helped a bit, but it didn’t make a true difference until I consciously decided to allow it to help me.

Were there any turning points where things really started to change for the better?

Once I decided I wanted to change, I let go of all the negative people in my life, which helped so much. I was able to get back in school, the medication they prescribed me was the first one I’ve tried that actually helped calm my racing thoughts, ease my anxiety and minimize my depression.

What’s your life like now? What have you been able to accomplish, and what are you working towards?

My life is great! I plan on getting my Associate’s Degree this year, then transferring to a four year college. I have a couple of self-published poetry books, my relationship with my family is a lot stronger and my relationship with myself is better than I could have ever imagined,

What would you say to people who are having a tough time? What’s helped you that you wish you had known earlier

To anybody having a hard time. I would say, a difficult time isn’t the last destination, and you are never alone. Reach out and you’ll find there’s people who care and want you to be okay. It does get better, and don’t allow anyone or anything to dim your shine.