Finally a Name for my Disease
August 18, 2006
Note: The National Institute of Mental Health describes Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, as a medical illness that causes shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. It's different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through and the mood changes can cause problems at work, school and at home. The disease is treatable and many famous people have it.
Hello! My name is Kamlesh I am from Baroda, Gujarat (India). My first episode of mania occurred when I was 21 yrs old. The experience of being in a maniac state was my life's best moment. At that time, as I was feeling absolutely joyful, it was like heaven on earth for me. It was my new birth. I was a guy full of confidence, boldness, creativity and many other feelings, which I had never felt in my 21 years. Suddenly my eating capacity increased and I started to talk a lot. In short, I was watching the same world but with a different perspective, which was very beautiful.
About 4 months later, I slowly started to feel depressed and all those beautiful feelings disappeared. I was alone with full-blown depression and grief. I cried most of the time because I didn't know what was going on and never dreamed that I would be in such a condition. I skipped my final year of Engineering exams, as my condition worsened. No one in my family knew what was happening to me. Even I was confused because at that time I didn't even know there was something like this disease.
Now my fight against this disease started. The sad part about this fight was that I was alone. No one, like a friend or family member, was by my side because this mental disease was a completely new thing in our background. I still remember those initial days of struggle when I was alone. I use to go to another town to meet with the psychologist because we didn't have a psychologist in our town.
Today I am 29 years old. During my 8 years of struggle I went through many psychiatrists and psychologists. I also tried other things like REIKI and joined a spiritual organization called Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual Organization. All I can say is that they gave me some relief but not a permanent solution to my problem.
I did many jobs, small and big ones, but could not settle anywhere. I traveled to many cities in search of a job but everywhere I went, I was struggling with my condition. In 8 years I had gone through 3 major episodes of both mania and depression aside from many small ones.
Just recently, after 8 yrs, I became aware that I am suffering from BIPOLAR DISORDER disease. I have read everything I could about this disease and finally I feel satisfied that now I know what was happening to me.
Until now I didn't know my enemy, with whom I was fighting with for the last 8 years. I was only getting treatment for depression (UNIPOLAR) but now my doctor has started treating me for BIPOLAR. Today I sometimes regret that I could not pursuit a particular profession in my life, but instead chose a different profession.
One thing I am proud of about myself is that I NEVER GAVE UP. There were many instances in the early days of my struggle when it was almost impossible to continue life's day-to-day activities. It was especially hard when I did not have any antidepressant medication. All I did have was GOD with me and my faith in GOD helped me in tracking down this disease in spite of my lack of resources and my environment.
One more person I would like to thank is NORMAL VINCENT PEALE and his positive book "POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING". This book was the only source of help at that time. The simple practical steps, mentioned in book, helped me to overcome many of my fears and gave me much needed courage to stand up against this unknown enemy at the time.
Today I know I have not won the battle yet, but now I at least know who my enemy has been for the last 8 years. I feel satisfied that my treatment is going in right direction which will definitely help me avoid any further episodes of mania or depression in the future.
If you have benefited after reading my story, then I will feel my goal behind writing it has been fulfilled.
--- Kamlesh Rathod
The National Institute of Mental Health offers a free easy-to-read booklet with a personal story of bipolar disorder — includes a checklist of symptoms and tips on getting help.
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