You’re Just Like Me: Laura

This tme around we have Laura! Laura’s answers to our questions are the best and so real! We love it! Thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to do it

Q&A people! Love for you to share your story too!

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So, you have a Mental Illness?…Which One?
I have bipolar type II (I’ve also been diagnosed with depression, but that ended up being bipolar depression, and also ADHD, though, if I do have ADHD, it’s pretty mild and doesn’t require medical intervention).
When you were diagnosed, what age where you? Where were you in your life?
I was 22, going on 23 (my 28th birthday is a week from today) when I was diagnosed with bipolar, but I was being treated for depression for the previous 3 years. At that point, I was finishing up college and preparing for the working world via a string of jobs I hated like canvassing and answering phones in a customer service call center. Nothing like being yelled at by strangers over the expiration date of a coupon for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to make you even sicker. I left that job because I needed to go to the hospital as a suicide prevention measure and the company decided that the 2 weeks off I was asking for was too much. Good riddance?
How do you cope/relax from your mental illness?
I’m in therapy and I take a cocktail of meds. I also self medicate with weed sometimes, but I can’t advocate that avenue. My 2 main hobbies are playing music (multiple instruments) and taking a mixed martial arts class, which is awesome ’cause I get a great workout and I get to punch people in an environment that’s safe and fun for everybody.
What are 3 words that you would describe how your illness makes you feel?
YES!
Damnit…
Again???
If you could talk to world leaders about mental illness, what would be the one thing you discuss?
As my final project for my Philosophy capstone course in college, I wrote a thesis discussing mental healthcare as a basic human right (equivalent to access to food and a guarantee of basic bodily safety). Bragging: my 1,000 year-old professor who serves on the ethics board at a well-regarded hospital in my area said it was the best paper he’d read in years and could easily be expanded into a Master’s thesis. He gave the paper an A+ and encouraged me to submit it for publication to academic philosophy periodicals. TL;DR: Access to sufficient and reliable mental healthcare is a basic human right, without the guarantee of which, individuals may be unable to enjoy “secondary” rights such as the right to education. (In this case, the word secondary means you need other things first, so, for example, you can’t fully enjoy the right to education if your basic right to food is not secured ’cause you can’t learn if you’re starving to death. Can’t learn properly if you’re suicidal depressed either).
What is some advice you would give someone who is fighting mental illness?
This one’s tough ’cause mental illness manifests with so much variance from person to person. Actually, come to think of it, maybe that’s a good place to start. Maybe I’d say: don’t compare your progress to other people’s because your illness is unique to you. Other things I might say include: the more active and involved you are in your treatment, the better your chances of stability (I feel really strongly about patient participation and/or not becoming a guinea pig). Also, build a support network and know who to trust with your feelings. Sometimes it’ll be your family or friends, but sometimes the best support comes from people you meet through channels like blogs or support groups. It’s OK if your mom is crappy at being there for you. Mine sure is. But I’ve found out who will be of help to me and who won’t. I’ve adjusted my support network accordingly.
How can we keep in touch with you?
You can also find me on Twitter @LauraBedlam
I don’t use facebook much anymore ’cause it just bums me out.

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If your interested in being featured as a B.U.L.’s(Bipolar, Unemployed & Lost) weekly GUEST BLOGGER, please email the above questions and answers to bipolarunemployedlost@gmail.com. We will feature your Q&A! I’d love to hear your experience and motivation to fight this horrible disease. Anonymous Welcomed!

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