In what ways or areas have you found to be thankful despite or DUE TO your diagnosis with bipolar disorder? In other words, are there ways in which you have actually benefited from having bipolar disorder?
I see two completely separate questions above. The first is asking if I am thankful to have been diagnosed. And the answer is most definitely! I spent the last of my teenage years wondering why I was not happy and why my brain seemed to be doing everything it could to prevent me from getting to happy. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked myself almost every night. Things escalated as I was taking Wellbutrin via my family doctor, and she sent me to a psychologist. The psychologist and his colleague, a psychiatrist, diagnosed me with bipolar disorder, ADHD, and depression. I was not surprised in the least.
Besides having to explain the diagnosis to skeptical friends and family members, I was thankful for the label I finally had for what was wrong with me. But then I started to rely on that label. I used it as an excuse and a way to describe who I was. That worried me. I made the decision to stop referring to myself as a Bipolar, and instead as someone who has bipolar. That dramatically helped my progression because I was able to take responsibility for my life – for the good and the bad.
The other question – in which ways have you actually benefited from having bipolar disorder? – is much more difficult to answer. As a writer, I have benefited by spending hour upon hour in my hostile head. That has certainly lead to some prolific writing. Having bipolar disorder has also lead me to engage with great people, like Marybeth. We knew each other ahead of my revealing I had bipolar disorder, but the commonalities we shared cemented our friendship. Her passion for this site, and for spreading the real knowledge, has benefited me too!
I am curious to seeing your answers to these same questions. Did anyone interpret the questions differently?