Bipolar disorder: "I had a deplorable lifestyle!"
Published Oct 12, 2022 • By Candice Salomé
Warren33, a member of the Carenity community in France, has bipolar disorder. His first symptoms appeared at the age of 21 at his workplace. Hospitalised, he received a diagnosis and adapted treatment very quickly. He tells Carenity about his journey with the disease.
Discover his story!
Hello Warren33, you have agreed to testify for Carenity and we thank you.
First of all, could you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Warren, I am 27 years old, single with no children and currently living with my parents. I played 17 years of club football, I played as a central defender and enjoyed communicating with my teammates. I like nature very much - walking in the forest to breathe the fresh air.
I like to read and spend time in the word of God. I come from a Christian family and faith plays a central role in my life. I like to spend time with my friends. I sometimes sing karaoke, but mostly I enjoy praising the Lord wherever I am. To tell you the truth I love Jesus and I really welcomed him as my saviour in December 2019.
You have bipolar disorder. At what age were you diagnosed? What led you to seek help for bipolar disorder? How long did it take to make the diagnosis and how many doctors did you see?
In April 2017, at the age of 21, following a burn-out, some delusional outbursts and strong mania took place at my workplace, so I was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks. The diagnosis of bipolar disorder was made in view of my condition on arrival at the hospital.
I met three psychiatrists. The first psychiatrist during the hospitalization and then two others in CMP (one retired and replaced by a psychiatrist). The diagnosis "bipolar type 1" was concluded very quickly with the first psychiatrist at the university hospital.
You have bipolar type 1. What are the manifestations of the disease? Could you tell us about the different "phases" you go through?
In my case, I had a deplorable sleep hygiene, I slept very little, I drank alcohol excessively during weekly evenings with a group of friends, I had ideas running through my mind at full speed...
I couldn't stand still. I used to straighten my hair to give myself a trendy style, which influenced my personality, which was very seductive, I had a feeling of omnipotence, I had lots of unfinished projects, I was scattered in exchanges, my communication was accelerated.
I had a manic phase, internal oppressive voices, a suicide attempt by defenestration and a depression. These phases were very close together and came as a surprise to me in my hectic journey outlined above.
Have you ever been hospitalised? If so, how many times? Could you tell us about the conditions of these hospitalizations?
I was hospitalised twice. The first time my brothers came to get me at my workplace, I was in a manic phase. I went from being a simple sales consultant to being the shop manager. My brothers took me back to my parents and we went to our general practitioner who referred us to the nearest psychiatric hospital.
The second time, I was quietly at home and the voices started to grow louder. On my own initiative, I asked to be admitted to hospital again. The conditions in the hospital were very good. I had a nurse who took care of me and who happened to be a former teammate of my senior football club.
That made me want to cooperate straight away and really gave me confidence.
How has the disease affected your private and professional life, and still does?
I was made redundant from my previous job, lost many 'friends' and became unemployed.
Today, I have a 35-hour permanent job since September 2020 and I have regained my balance with my family, my friends and my job.
Are you being treated for bipolar disorder? If so, what is your treatment? Is it effective? Are your phases getting better?
I am officially on Abilify 10 mg which I take at regular times every day as a scored tablet.
This treatment is very effective, it stabilises my mood and has taken away all those voices that were oppressing me at the second. It's a good benefit-risk ratio, as my psychiatrist told me.
How are you doing today? And what are your plans for the future?
Today I am well recovered, the Lord has healed me completely. I am still taking the daily treatment because I want to build up real trust with the psychiatrist and especially as a preventive measure.
Finally, what advice would you give to Carenity members who also suffer from bipolar disorder?
I advise Carenity members to live a healthy life, possibly join a mutual aid group (GEM). Turn to an activity that animates you and that makes you feel good. For some people, this may be nature, painting (very good personal therapy), the cinema, the library, the local swimming pool... What do I know?
Having said that, the church was unanimous for me, I put my hope in my Christian religion and my fraternity (a group of about fifteen young Christians of my generation) that I was able to join. They were a listening and caring ear that really put me on the road to remission and then the Lord did the rest. He continues to triumph in my life by showering me with blessings.
Many thanks to Warren33 for his testimony!
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