884756237_619629d647_zWelcome to Bipolar Barb, in which I chronicle my journey through life with bipolar depression and anxiety. Most (but not all!) of my posts are about my past and current experiences with mental illness, and have been described as “upbeat and down to earth,” despite the subject matter.

I was 25 years old when I was diagnosed with major depression in 1994. After I was first hospitalized in 1995, I was correctly diagnosed with bipolar II. I mainly struggle with (chronic) depression rather than hypomania. According to an October 2010 article on bphope.com, “For bipolar II, the ratio of time spent in depression versus mania is a whopping 40:1.”

I’ll recount things to the best of my memory because I’ve had a number of electroconvulsive therapy treatments (ECT or, shock treatment) over the years. I’ll mention if I can’t remember something clearly or exactly. The treatments have affected my long-term memory, which makes remembering some of my past life events or details difficult if not impossible. NOTE: I don’t advocate for or against using ECT. I’m just sharing my experiences.

I hope you join me on this journey!

~Barb Natividad

DISCLAIMER: I am not a mental health professional. I cannot diagnose nor give opinions on anyone’s conditions. If you feel that you need help, please contact your doctor or a therapist. If you are suicidal, please call a suicide hotline. In the U.S., it’s 1-800-273-TALK. If you live outside the U.S., please check online for a phone number.

Photo by tacvbo on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA