Sitting in my room feeling contemplative and I found one of my notebooks from 2011. I've been writing on and off since I was young and have documented my life, it's so therapeutic.

I was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of just 16. I'm now 28 and have spent the past 12 years managing my illness through medication, therapy and a good support network like the Bipolar UK  e-community.

In 2011, I was suffering from bad depression and anxiety. I had to quit my job in teaching in the April due to stress and depression and was waiting to begin my Masters degree at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the September. I eventually completed my Masters, but ended up suicidal and depressed afterwards. I loved my degree even with my health challenges. Thankfully I managed to get well again after several years of depression.

When I wrote this, I was on mood-stabilising medication to even out my moods. My doctors were begging me to try lithium to improve my moods but I refused, being frightened as I was concerned about the side effects of trying another medication. After my hospitalisation for a manic episode in 2014, I decided to try lithium as it had worked for my dad. My bipolar is far more under control and stable these days.

I want to share this message with you, as a person affected by bipolar. I hope it will raise awareness and give others comfort that they're not alone and that they should monitor their mood using Bipolar UK's mood diary.

My 2011 diary entry:

"If I was to describe how having bipolar disorder makes you feel; it's like having two versions of yourself. I mainly suffer from depression and so this version of  me hides from the world, feels frightened and anxious, down, can't do anything - go to work, see friends, walk down a road. The other half of me is my bubbly, happy self; seeing friends and loving theatre, music, nature, travelling and life.

I am - believe it or not - a people person, but then irrationality takes over me and I don't know who I am. I become a scared child who hides in her bed for comfort. I become someone I don't know. I don't want this anymore.

I don't want to be so frightened. I want to live.

Part of this is not bipolar - it's a separate anxiety that bubbles up when I am under stress in my life. I feel a sickening feeling of fear in my stomach gurgling away, palms sweat and my mind replays the 'fearful' scene over and over. I isolate myself because I become scared of people's judgement of me. It's irrational but the physical symptoms of fear feel very bad.

I know I can get better and rid myself of the symptoms. I know I can move forward and follow methods that will get rid of it. I just have to use all the advice I know and all the common sense I can to push forward. To keep challenging myself because I can do it and I am going to get better."

Rose blogs at

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