I was around eight when I first was diagnosed with a mental illness, nine when I started medication. My diagnoses would change over the years, but mood disorder remained the same underlying term used to describe my ups and downs. Now, the diagnosis I most connect to is Bipolar Disorder. I manage it with medication and therapy, and with support from my friends and family. I’ve learned I can’t deal with my illness alone, so I reach out to others, and those I trust to help me will help me through any rough patch I happen to be in. When they need help, I do the same for them, reminding them that it will pass and supporting them through their pain. Having friends and family you can trust is very important. You need people who won’t judge you, who will support you without question, but who will protect you from yourself if need be. Once you have those people, you can start on other parts of your life, knowing that you have support to fall back on in case something goes wrong. Sometimes you’re not able to ask for help. When this happens to me, I try to channel my feelings into something creative, something that will make me feel better at a later date. Whatever you do, it should bring a smile to your face again. When times are bad, just remind yourself that it will pass. Because it will. All moods pass. The bad moods are no exception. They will pass, and you will be happy again.

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