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We are amid one of maybe the scariest global crises we have seen in our lifetime — the COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic.

In a matter of days, people’s lives have been uprooted. Schools are closed; people are being mandated to stay home; recreational activities are cancelled. People are being forced to adapt to a new lifestyle that they could have never fathomed just a couple of weeks ago.

This is a time of intense fear and anxiety, even for those with no mental illnesses. …

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Chances are you will have one friend with some type of mental illness in your lifetime. In the United States alone, over 46 million people lived with a mental health diagnosis in 2017. This is 18.9% of the U.S. population or almost 1 in 5 people.

Living with a mental illness can be difficult. There are mood and behavioral changes accompanied by them. And we get that it is hard for our family members and friends to cope with our disorders. But like any average person, we just want to be loved and cared for.

Often, I have friends that…

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After a breakup with a guy I thought was the love of my life, I downloaded Tinder — the app infamous for hook-ups. But somehow I managed to find a relationship on it and I was overjoyed.

I spent all my time with the man I met and I thought it was love at first sight. But in reality, the man was a walking red flag and I was blinded by my feelings.

About a week into our new relationship, my then-slumlord threatened to evict me over something that wasn’t my fault. Though I successfully begged to stay, I knew…

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Because of my Bipolar disorder, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on fatigue.

No, I don’t know the exact mechanisms or why I’m so damn tired all the time, but when it comes to managing and coping with symptoms, I’ve got it down.

To me, coping with the fatigue and the constant exhaustion of my disorder has been the hardest part. I want to do the normal things people do in their 20s. But my brain does not cooperate, and it makes me frustrated.

Though I am still constantly learning to cope with the exhaustion of Bipolar disorder, I’ve learned…

I instantly had an outpouring of support from people I’d never imagine.

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Recently, I read an article on The Mighty about a Twitter trend.

People started coming out about their mental health history in an Alcoholic's Anonymous fashion.

Though I am not a Twitter fanatic, I felt compelled to follow the trend on my Facebook.

I was raised not to talk about my mental illnesses. People might think I’m crazy and judge me. Gasp!

But in that moment, I longed support.

So I wrote:

My name is Julia. I’m 27 years old. I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar disorder type 2. …

I’ve mastered the fine art of working with a mental illness. You can too.

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Like many parents, mine expected that I would grow up, go to college, and find a career. Though they understood my disabilities and mental illness to the best of their ability, they saw potential in me. They knew I was bright and funny and witty.

I graduated college cum laude. Getting to that point felt like a constant uphill battle, but I felt it was like something I needed to do. But unfortunately, that was just the start of my journey.

After graduation, I was thrown…

I was still me, regardless of labels.

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On December 30, 2019, I sat in my psychiatrist’s office riddled with anxiety. I always found it ironic how sitting in a place meant to help my anxiety triggered it more.

I suffered a few difficult months of confusing and alarming behavior. Just two days before the appointment, I had one of my not-so-proud moments thanks to my mental health. I ended up getting into an argument with my boyfriend — one that I started. I ended up getting angry over something insignificant and started throwing things around the living room. This is…

Pills in various colors and shapes.
Pills in various colors and shapes.
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I remember the day clearly:

I was almost 13 years old when my parents and I paraded into a near-empty doctor’s office around 6 p.m. It was a dreary fall day in mid-September — something that set the tone for what would happen.

It was a rare occurrence for my dad come to a doctor’s appointment, so I knew this must have been important. But I didn’t fully grasp why I had to come to this doctor.

I now realize that over the couple years before that appointment, my mental health rapidly declined. I was prone to outbursts, and I…

Julia A. Lange

I write about my brain and other things that interest me.

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