"(Bi)polar Bear."

About: University Hospital Llandough / Mental Illness

(as the patient),

Since I was about 14, my moods started getting more extreme. Sometimes, I could be extremely low and have had points where I couldn't even get out of bed. I started to self harm at 14, too, and between 14 & 20, attempted suicide around 9 or 10 times.

I also had extreme highs. At the time, I didn't realise this could cause a problem for me. At 18, I think I experienced my first 'manic' episode. I wasn't sleeping for days on end, had bags full of energy, got into thousands of pounds of debt, almost lost my home, converted to Islam, etc. Then, I sort of 'lost touch' with reality, convinced I was a prophet.

The moods carried on like this, and in the summer of 2012, I experienced another big high, this time, followed by the worst crash of my life. In November, I took a serious overdose of diazepam with vodka and can't really remember much after that. I can't remember being in A&E or being in poisons unit. However I do remember being walked down to Llanfair, an acute psych unit and told I'd be on Gorwel ward.

I don't remember the first few days there. During ward rounds, my allocated consultant wasn't listening to a word I was saying and instantly diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder and made me keep taking the same anti depressant I'd been taking on & off for years.

I met with an advocate, who was awesome. We composed a letter requesting a change of psychiatrist. Finally, I had a psych who would listen. She sorted out mood stabilising medication & stated that I was in fact, 'on the bipolar spectrum'. In January, I was discharged.

All in all, the staff are amazing. I do feel that a couple of them just do the job for the control & power but some are so passionate. 2 NA's, 2 Nurses, & all 3 of the students at the time, made my stay there bearable. Those 7 deserve a medal for their patience, compassion, & kindness.

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