I'm Not Average: Judith V.
Bipolar I Disorder
On August 27, 1987, three months after the birth of my third son, I was admitted onto a psychiatric unit for depression. I was exhausted, crying constantly, afraid to be alone, and had lost weight. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to take care of my children.
When my initial treatment wasn't working, I was admitted to another hospital and was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder brought on by Postpartum Depression. With a new treatment, I was able to go home after a couple of weeks.
Recovery was slow and steady, but by the time my baby reached his first birthday, I felt so grateful that I was well, I wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper detailing my struggle. The editor was so impressed with the letter that he made it into an article, and I was given a byline. I started a support group for others going through Postpartum Depression after feeling a strong pull to help others in similar situations.
What I want others to know is that with the help of antidepressant & mood stabilizer medications, I have been able to live life to the fullest for the past 29 years. I raised three happy, healthy sons, worked part time as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and was married for 31 years. To this day, medication allows me to live a normal and productive life. I enjoy photography, caring for seniors as a nurse, and spending time with family and friends. Without medication, none of this would be possible, and for that I am forever grateful.