I was once speaking to a group on behalf of the Black Dog Institute. At the end of which, a young woman approached me and said, “I also have bipolar and the thing I liked best about your talk is that you are so old.” What she really was saying was, “You have bipolar just like me and you are still alive”.
My white hair, walking frame and inability to remember her name, even though she told me three times, had inspired her. Here she was, recently married, mortgaged and diagnosed with a fairly major mental illness and she thought this would be the template for the rest of her life.
I assured her that this would not necessarily be the case and the older she got the easier her mental health could be to manage. In fact, in many cases of mental illness the news is even better, with some incidents simply one-offs and never to be relived. And even those that are more serious can at least be managed, and a good life lived.
You see, for many of us, a diagnosis is not the end of the road, it’s just the beginning. But the only way to get that diagnosis is by seeking professional help. So, if you’re not feeling well, DO SOMETHING. Find a GP who knows about mental health and get yourself back to health.
Life’s too short not to.