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I was just diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder after going into crazy rapid cycling episodes caused by trauma. It is scary and frustrating not knowing if what you are doing and feeling is yourself or the disorder. I’m scared of the prejudice that I am crazy. Any words of wisdom?? 

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I personally prefer to frame it as I am bipolar.  Bipolar and how it has affected me has informed my identity so much that saying I have bipolar like I have the flu doesn't sound right or feel right.  

I too was very prejudiced when I was first diagnosed, despite having psychotic symptoms from a young child, I always knew I was different, but self-stigma is strong.  You'll get good support here.  

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thank you both so much for your answers and support!! I truly appreciate it!! I think I am going to choose to embrace it because it is not going anywhere and it is me!! It does not make me lesser or crazy, it makes me stronger, it builds me to become who I will be! 

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I oscillated a lot between "I am"/" I have"  until  some  of my symptoms went into significant remission.

This remission was basically due to persisting with lithium over many many many years. It's not a common story in the forums, but my pdocs have seen it before me. I'm still on meds, for life.

Anyway, my NOS-type BP had a significant seasonal pattern that has been flattening and flattening. I still get occasional hypomanic "breaks"  that left unattended quickly spiral out. But last year I was feeling like crap and approximately due for my regularly scheduled autumn depression. But it was low intensity; I told my wife "I'm not sure if I'm depressed or if I'm coming down with a bad flu." 

At that moment I realized I have bipolar. [Hypo]manic and depressive episodes are things that happen to me. -- I'm not a fundamentally overconfident or melancholic person.

 

 YMMV, of course.

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