I was diagnosed with major depression and Bipolar at age 19 and was admitted to a Psych hospital at age 19. I was in and out of a few hospitals until I got the right diagnosis and treatment. At age 23 I quit drinking alcohol and started exercising daily to cope with my mental illness. I was a cigarette smoker and used caffeine but that was the only drugs I used besides lithium and Prozac.
At approximately age 32 I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism “graves’ disease” and given radioactive iodine to destroy my thyroid. Approximately 1 year later I found a lump on my thyroid and found out it could be possibly cancer so they operated and found stage 1 papillary thyroid cancer and removed my entire thyroid. A year later I went to school to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and graduated. I worked full time as a LPN nurse for the last 10 years with no thyroid and take synthroid daily to survive. That is a thyroid hormone. A person cannot live without taking a thyroid medicine if their thyroid has been removed.
I have been on Prozac for over 20 years and it has worked well for me. I exercised daily for the last approximately 24 years and that helped a lot with my self-esteem and mental health. Being diagnosed with a mental illness was very embarrassing to me but I had to fight the fight to overcome the way I felt. I jogged daily for many years to get rid of the frustrations I felt at being sick and abnormal but exercise increased my self-esteem to where I didn’t feel bullied by being different. I never did have children because I wanted to take time out for exercise and I worked full time since age 23 and I was married for 8 years but divorced now but still friends with my ex-husband.
I would like to tell all the new people diagnosed with any type of mental illness that what saved me was never drinking alcohol again or using illegal drugs and my belief in God and Jesus and family and friends but the number one thing that helped me was to stay at a healthy weight and exercise daily because it helped my self-esteem and made me feel better about myself.
God bless you all.
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