This I Believe

Nadia - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: illness
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I never believed in mood disorders. I never thought about them. It is just a term that doctors use to describe the natural ups and downs that everybody has, right? I guess it is one of those things that do not exist until somebody has to deal with it. I remember a time when I did not even know I was dealing with it. I can remember in high school how I would have weeks where I could go to swim practice at 6am, then go to school, then back to the pool for afternoon practice, get home about 5:30pm, watch TV and go on the computer and do homework all at the same time, maybe eat something, watch more TV and do crossword puzzles till 4am, sleep, then get up at 5:30am and do the same routine again. On the other hand, there would be weeks where I would not be able to get out of bed, not because I was sleepy but because I did not have the willpower to move, so I would skip practice and a few classes and finally get up and go to school around 11am. I would attend class but not really having the focus to pay attention. I would go to afternoon practice trying to stick to routine, but then I would go home and not be able to concentrate on any of my homework. So I would lie down and watch TV. All night long. Because I could not sleep. I rotated between these two extremes in my junior and senior years, and for a while after that. This was never something I thought was wrong with me, it was just how I was. My friends just figured that this was how I was. Nothing new, nothing wrong. I did not really see my parents much so they could not tell the difference of how I acted. However, eventually it caught up with me. I went to college and had severe depression. That was when doctors finally took notice. I found out that what I have is a disorder. I am bipolar. Now, I take a mood stabilizer. Now, I function just like everyone else. Now, I believe in mood disorders.