Bipolar Disorder

Tears were building up as I was reminded of the events that took place the previous year. Amy and I had been friends for several years when all of a sudden, everything took a turn for the worse - she was diagnosed with a mental illness known as bipolar disorder. Date: 24/09/2004

Dear Diary,

She's so far away from everybody now. The fight that separated us forced her to find company with her new "groupies". I'm not sure where the girl I once knew went, but it feels like she was stolen away from us and this can only be explained using two words; bipolar disorder. But is this the truth? Can someone be that moody all the time? How am I meant to cope with it?

A disagreement would turn into a drama and that drama would lead to her holding her arm at school the next day…

Would it just be better to go out separate ways? Lead our own lives? It just has to be done.

Dear Diary,

It's amazing how hard those two little words are to say; I'm sorry, but there was no shortage of them tonight when Amy started talking to me. I never thought she would miss me, but she did, and I missed her too. Things aren't back to normal yet. We have a lot to talk about and I'm scared of what might happen, but I am willing to try to get to know her again. It never hurt to try, did it?

Well we might be catching up soon and I'm actually looking forward to it.

I started to feel sick as I finished reading this. I was unaware at the time, but what happened between us affected Amy much more than I realised. To her, self harm had become like taking all your anger out on a punching bag. This was her method of relieving all her emotions. Her arm now possessed many scars and her condition had worsened. Worse yet, I wasn't there when she needed me the most.

In just a short amount of time, Amy had changed everything about herself. Spikes and sweatbands were now her favourite accessory. Her clothes never varied from black and her music taste revolved around metal. But she was still the same on the inside - loving and caring.

It's been a few months since this whole incident took place, and after talking for a while, Amy and I managed to sort out the majority of our problems. We decided to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. Not all people are as accepting this though. Many people are unable to see past the new exterior and use such terms as 'freak' or 'goth' in a dismal attempt to describe her.

There have been some rocky times, but the good ones have made up for everything. I've finally come to the realisation that I want to help Amy through her problems. I can never begin to understand what she goes through, but if I don't try, I never will. Bipolar disorder has not only affected Amy, but those around her too.

Copyright © 2005 Nicole Spitalieri