1st Feature Story: I know now that I’m not Crazy by Kalie Dalbey’s Story

 I had symptoms starting at age 5. I felt sad and cried, but I  never understood why. When I was 31, I finally talked to a PA at my doctor’s office about the way I felt.   She said it sounds like bipolar disorder. She put me on Depakote and it was like night and day. I wasn’t officially diagnosed until a few months ago by a trained professional.  I am on Cymbalta and Lamictal.
I am doing much better. I have been married for 31 yrs and we have 3 kids ages 28, 25, and 23. The  two oldest are married and we have 5 grandkids between them. Even though I have known I was bipolar for 19 yrs old, I was in denial until 4 1/2 yrs ago. I went into a deep depression for 3 yrs and  couldn’t function.  I think all my kids moving away triggered that depression. I decided I had to get help or I was going to die. I was diagnosed officially last year and have been in therapy and getting better. I am learning to recognize mania and depression and what my triggers are. Educating myself on bipolar disorder has helped me understand it. I always thought I was crazy, but I know now I am not crazy and that it is bipolar disorder.
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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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