Members of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) community discuss the signs and symptoms that led up to their diagnosis, and share how they have coped.
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Female Speaker: There are about 23 million people in the United States who are estimated to have been, diagnosed or living with a mood disorder of some kind of, depression or bipolar illness. Patient1: My diagnosis is Bipolar disorder. Patient2: Bipolar disorder. Patient3: Bipolar too. Patient4: Acute Schizo. Ian Pappas: Bipolar. Joanie Tourison: Bipolar disorder. Patient7: Depression. Patient8: Depression and Bipolar Kenneth Rommel Gillard: Bipolar/ADHD. Joanie Tourison: I was diagnosed probably in the mid 70s with something called Manic Depression. That didn't mean anything to me. So, I ignored it, I took medication for 6months with the help of my Psychiatrist, I was weaned off of it and then probably in 1998, fall of 1998, November 29, Bruce County, I started taking medication for bipolar disorder and then I realized, it was the same thing. Ian Pappas: I was first diagnosed with bipolar in the spring of 2001. It didn't take long, it was my first real true manic attack. So I spent seven days in the local hospital and there was telltale signs of what was going on. Kenneth Rommel Gillard: I was first diagnosed in 1996 and my first diagnose was Bipolar/ADHD. Joanie Tourison: I was watching, I think It's Arts and Entertainment or one of these program that's where Patty Duke came on and she talked about her life and I thought golly! I lived in New York, I wanted to be a famous actress. So, I must have everything in common with her and she indicated that she had a bipolar disorder. Anyway I started to get rather verklempt, in real, actually I did, I started to cry and I thought, I recognized myself in this conversation that she was having with someone on the TV and the next day, I sought help and then that's history. Kenneth Rommel Gillard: I was falling asleep while driving and from that, that started the wheel to roll, sleep apnea, cat scans, MRIs, the whole nine yards. Ian Pappas: I became depressed and it was the kind of feeling that doesn't go away and it just kind of gets stronger night and day. You can't get out of bed. So, I really didn't what to do and surprisingly I did take the step to go talk to some of the people, that will both in the counseling center at school, as well as, the counselor we have for international students. Joanie Tourison: I made my siblings swear, not to tell anybody and I was very sensitive about it. Ian Pappas: My guy, I have got a couple guy friends, okay? Spend some time locked up in the hospital and you really want to see these people but, you know bringing guy friends into this hospital where, I mean, there are all types of strange things going on, you've got to get through these doors, you have security checks, this and that. So, they still came and they even, a couple of times came with my parents and it wasn't, they made it feel like, it wasn't any big deal.