I always hear kids at my school joking around and calling certain teachers or students "Bipolar" because their mood changes each day. However, it is much more than that. In early 2016, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. It started when my parents noticed a constant change in my mood and habits. I would go for weeks, and even months, feeling elated, helping out around the house, and exceeding in my school work. However, other times I would feel no motivation to do ANYTHING and felt as if i were going through, what many call, a 'depressive stage'. I would refuse to go to school or anywhere outside of my house. I felt insecure about EVERYTHING, but mainly my weight. On those weeks in which I feel elated, I am a social butterfly. I always plan trips and exciting things to do with my friends. I am full of creativity and A LOT of energy. I am rarely tired and always make sure I am excelling in my schoolwork, sports practices, and housework. However, in my 'depressive phases', which typically last around 2-3 weeks, I am the complete opposite. I stop hanging out with my friends. I no longer feel the motivation to even start a conversation with anyone. I often get annoyed and aggravated for no apparent reason. This often causes me to lose my temper with certain people. I no longer feel the motivation to complete my school work, attend sports practice, and help out around the house. However, the worst part of this stage is the amount of insecurity I put myself through. In my 'elated stage', I'm always extremely confident, sometimes being a bit overly confident, but when I'm in my depressive stage, I can't even look into a mirror without feeling ashamed. I currently weigh 107 pounds, but when I look into the mirror all I can think is, "I'm still too heavy." Manic Depression is something I have gotten more and more used to, but it will most likely stay with me for my whole life. However, It has gotten so much better. In, this past year, I have only experienced my 'depressive stage' around 4 times. I have felt so much happier recently than I have in the past. I am extremely grateful for my friends who have never gotten mad or upset at me because of the way I act at certain times. They have helped me through so much, and they truly mean the world to me.

Some stages are worse than others, and some stages are better than others. Everyone who struggles with Bipolar disorder goes through different phases, in different time-spans. It's a very common disorder, but it currently has no cure. However, help and treatment are still available.

If you think you are struggling with Bipolar disorder, I strongly encourage you to look more deeply into the symptoms, which you can find online, and contact a medical professional.

This disorder is NOT something anyone should feel ashamed of, and if you have Bipolar disorder, I encourage you to tell a trusted guardian, friend, coach or teacher about it. Opening up to my friends about having this disorder has helped me so much, and I strongly encourage everyone with this disorder to do the same.

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[This is just MY personal experience with manic depression, but everyone's experience is different.]