I look different here but the only thing that’s different is my hair colour. My illness is still there. This was 2017 and I was still in University, recovering and healing from getting diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder two years prior. This was my final year of University, I have brown hair, probably ten pounds lighter, but I still have Bipolar Disorder and ADHD. .
Have you ever wondered if other people look at you and know you have a mental illness? I wonder this sometimes but I remember how hard it was for me just to get diagnosed. After the first psychologist told me I might be bipolar, I had to do everything in my power just to convince her that I was suicidal and dealing with this illness for over ten years now. Doctors said there’s no way I have this, because I’m successful, “pretty and put together”, I haven’t been arrested for public violence and I’m have too many positive relationships in my life. But what these doctors don’t see, and everyone else around you, is the invisible, internal struggle that happens. .
There is something seriously wrong with our medical system if we have to convince our doctors we are sick. Mental illness can be invisible, if it’s hidden but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I meet people and I just know they are battling depression, anxiety or some form of mental illness. Other times, we would have no idea. Some people are still in shock when I tell them I have bipolar disorder. Some doctors still question me when I go get my prescription. They ask me several questions and look at me weird like I’m a drug addict asking for my next fix. Sometimes I still think people don’t believe me. .
What people need to know is that mental health has absolutely nothing to do with your appearance, skin colour, social class, race, gender, or any other thing you see on the outside. Mental illness affects anyone and everyone in the world, and depression is the number one leading cause of disability right now. Bipolar Disorder is the fourth largest reason for disability. These are real illnesses, whether invisible or not. These are situations in which one must get help. Sometimes it’s a matter between life and death.