Sr. Analytic Solutions and Insights Consultant
Living with bipolar 2 disorder and anxiety

Audrey’s middle and high school years were marked by bullying and persistent cycles of mania, depression and suicidal thoughts. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 that she began to get the treatment she needed. Since then, she has worked hard to reach and maintain stability. “My life is in a good place right now, Audrey says. “I’ve experienced life with extreme ups and downs and have come out stronger than ever.”

Audrey’s Story

How has your condition impacted your life over time?

I was misdiagnosed with depression in high school and started on antidepressants. Looking back, I see how the diagnosis and medication did not fit.  For years, I cycled between hypomania and depression. Reckless behavior, self-medicating, and sleepless nights were the norm. My condition put me in life-threatening situations, and I caused my parents a great deal of heartbreak.

What was your most difficult time and how did you get through it?

In 2012, I crashed hard. I wanted to escape the roller coaster so badly that I became suicidal.  My sister saw my up-and-down patterns before I did. A therapist I began seeing recommended a psychiatrist, who saw the patterns of recklessness and depression and diagnosed me with Bipolar II. From there I found the tools I needed to get on a road to recovery.

How do you manage your condition and stay healthy?

My therapist, psychiatrist, and medication have helped me move toward stability.  Seeing them regularly helps me deal with life’s stresses before they escalate. Eating well and getting enough sleep has been essential. I also have a daily gratitude practice and surround myself with supportive friends and family.

How has your career been impacted?

Having a successful career despite my mental illness is something I am incredibly proud of. My job also gave me access to healthcare, for which I feel very fortunate. That said, I do not openly share my illness at work. Depression and anxiety have become less stigmatized but bipolar has a ways to go. I want to learn how to feel confident to speak out without shame.

What words of encouragement would you give to someone struggling with a condition similar to yours?

Do research, find support groups and get the care you need, both mentally and physically.  Don’t be afraid to seek help. With the right care and support, you can live a life full of love, laughter, and peace.