Bipolar Too

At age 17, I was given a clinical depression diagnosis. At age 22, it changed to hypomania.  At age 27, it changed to Bipolar II.  Over the course of the last 20 years, I have been hospitalized 4 times. The first time for mania and the last three for depression. For 13 years, I was in talk therapy 1x/month.  My most recent hospitalization was Spring 2013. I currently take one medicine for sleeping and one for mood stabilization.  Those are the facts of my psychiatric care.

Tony did flippantly call me “bipolar lite” on a recent show. The facts above indicate that the level of treatment I have received is substantial.  His statement was meant as a comparison to the reality of his tumultuous cycles to my relatively less turbulent experience since meeting him in 2014. He has never seen me in a period leading to an inpatient stay.

I am thankful that a listener sent us a comment about Tony’s use of the word “lite”.  The listener pointed out that “its not accurate or helpful to think of Bipolar II as begin a less severe bipolar sub-type.”  This is correct.

Tony and I need to be held accountable to our language. Receiving feedback is precisely what we encourage from our listeners as we reveal our voices and our guests on the podcast.

I am currently in the best period of health since being diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2007.  I thank God, my family, my church, my friends, and my community for the support, encouragement, and love they provide on a daily basis.  My relationship with Tony is a part of that stabilization.  He knows that my diagnosis can lead to serious symptoms, but he also knows that sharing the burden together can lighten the load.

We will be releasing an episode on May 24 with Tony interviewing me about my mental health history and ministry.  Knowing my darkness has helped me know the light.  I hope to share this with you through Revealing Voices.

About the Author
Co-creator of Revealing Voices and resident spiritual poet for the podcast, Eric advocates for the development of better mental health through art and environmental stewardship.