5th Feature Story: Getting off the Roller Coaster Ride?

My name is Jane Marie Rouse and this is my story:

It starts when I was adopted at 3 days old.The family thought I was special and I had a good early childhood but that changed when special turned into different as the symptoms of bi-polar started to surface when i was 12 years old.

The first time I was hospitalized was when I was 16 and was diagnosed schizophrenic. This was changed to bipolar disorder a year later. By 18, I had run away from home and I didn’t see my parents for 2 years. I believe now that I was manic for all of that time.

I was raped several times and that destroyed what little self esteem I had left.I arrived back home a wreck,unable to communicate,suffering insomnia, and weighing about 110 pounds.

Within 3 weeks I was gone again and within a year I was married to a man who would turn out to be a monster.At this point I was not medicated although I had been for parts of the previous 2 years.  I had two children who are now 26 and 24 and then the marriage disintegrated.

I was pregnant with my third child when I met the man I am married to now.I suffered very bad post natal depression after having my son and when he was 9 months old I got help and was finally medicated for the first time in ten years. However,  when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I had to stop taking the medications or I might lose the baby. It was a time of huge anxiety as I was worried about my little girl.

She was born 10 weeks early weighing 3lbs 12 ounces. She is now 21. Soon after this, I started counselling for all the issues that I hadn’t dealt with over the years and I began to settle down.

I still wasn’t medicated so there were times when I was very manic, but I had a wonderfully supportive husband who tried to keep my stress levels to a minimum. Five years later I had my youngest daughter and finally got medicated. I have been on these medications for 16 years.  Since then, my life has improved immensely. However, a few traumas have caused me to have panic attacks which I still suffer from to this day.

My journey has been a roller coaster ride. Sometimes I still want to get off but I have a lot of support and for the most part now I cope .Also in the last six years I have gained two mental health qualifications and have worked helping people with mental health issues.This year I set up and manage a pre-loved clothing and baby gear shop. I am proud of what I have achieved and want to encourage others to follow their dreams.

17 years ago I found my birth mother and four sisters and 3 brothers. We are all have  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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