If you’re visiting this site I think it’s safe to assume there are three potential reasons for it:
- You stumbled in out of curiosity
- You know someone with a mental illness
- You have a mental illness
If the first applies to you, feel free to have a look around. You might learn something interesting.
If the second applies to you, it is my hope that you will find some answers that help you better understand your loved one, co-worker, classmate, parishioner, acquaintance, person-that-lives-two-doors-down-whom-you-find-a-bit-concerning, or whoever else it might be.
If the third applies to you, welcome aboard! You and I are in the same fleet. We might even be in the same boat. Mine happens to bear the name of “Bipolar Disorder,” written in bright shiny letters along the side, but there are plenty of other ships in this fleet: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Anorexia Nervosa, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Anxiety Phobia, and many, many others.
I have a pretty thorough understanding of mood disorders because I live with one. I also have a fairly decent understanding of ADHD and GAD, thanks to two very close friends who have those disorders (not to mention that Bipolar shares some very similar symptoms with both of them at certain times). As for the rest, I have no personal experience with them. I won’t pretend that I understand what you’re going through if you’re stuck aboard one of those vessels. What I do understand are the many challenges that can come along with being part of this fleet in general. I know its decidedly uncomfortable at times; the boats are leaky, hard to steer, and have a tendency to get caught in frightening storms. The rest of the world rarely makes allowances for our challenges; we have to sail through the very same obstacle courses as everyone else, despite having very uncooperative boats to work with. But disembarking isn’t an option, and nobody’s life is perfect anyway.
What I’m hoping to offer you is some hope, or at the very least a different perspective. I was diagnosed at age 16, and I’m now 24 years old. Some of what I have to say may be more applicable to young people than to older individuals, but for the most part what I have to say isn’t age-specific. I don’t claim to have any easy answers or quick-fixes. All I can give you are the experiences I’ve had and the conclusions I’ve come to as a result. If you’re interested, you can read about my story here. Otherwise, feel free to explore. The List of Topics is exactly what it sounds like. It lists the topics I’ve addressed so far organized by general subject. If there are any topics you don’t see there that you’d like to see, drop me a comment and I’ll see what I can do. And if you have any questions, don’t be shy about asking. I promise, I don’t bite. 😉
Take care, and God bless!