Youth Blog


Nat's Bipolar Journey

I was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age and then again Bipolar right before High School. Even though ADHD is a topic of equal importance to me, I would like to give those reading some information on my Bipolar Disorder because I can remember it clearly. The first signs were anxiety and constant sadness, it felt like no one understood and that people were not taking me seriously when I was upset. I eventually resorted to violent terrifying, uncontrolled anger outbursts aimed at people who I cared about. I was confused and scared but also felt alone in the world. I came to see Dr Carew in a state very different to where I am now and she showed me what was going on in the parts of my head which I did not understand at the time. Herself and my psychologist started the process of getting me back on my feet and included my parents in it who slowly learnt how to understand and cope with having a diagnosed Bipolar teenager. As the years went by I climbed up the stairs to out of my dark hole and, when I slipped, there were people who had learnt how to catch me. I realised I wasn't alone and that I can use my own experiences to help others. My psychologist and I started a small support group and she is writing a book on my experiences currently. I turned 21 this month and I am happy to convey my message that even though life is hard and the struggle is always there, there is always a way to survive it and that life isn't all that bad. The best part of my Bipolar is it allows me to help others. My advice to anyone who feels lost and scared of what Bipolar is - surround youself with positive, supportive people when you can and to educate yourself and them on what you are experiencing. Reach out to the world to help and be helped because there is always a way. 


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Dr Lesley Carew is a registered Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist practising at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town with a satellite sessional room on Thursday afternoons at the Akeso Milnerton.


Tel: 021 423 8774/6
Fax: 086 641 5388