In 2013, I was in college in Denver, Colorado when I began to feel serious symptoms of bipolar disorder. My episodes began with me just staying up a couple days a week and not getting any sleep, but as time progressed, I began to stay up for days at a time and struggled with debilitating depression. At the time, getting no sleep seemed to be a regularity on a college campus, so none of my friends told me something was wrong when I let them know I was staying up all night on multiple days of the week. While I was having a hard time, no one else could see that because I was socializing, doing my homework, and was always “happy.”
It was a different story when I got home from school. It took a lot of energy to paint a picture to everyone else that things were normal with me. At home, all the protective walls came down and the symptoms of bipolar came out. Feeling manic, I would come home and clean the house all night. The next day, I’d wake up feeling depressed and suicidal. It affected the way I lived — by March 2013, I was struggling. My grades had gone from A’s and B’s to F’s. I was almost put on academic probation. I was staying home because of depression and made excuses to professors so I didn’t have to go to class. Looking back now, I had obvious episodes of mania and depression.