Patient Assessment Coordinator, Kindred Healthcare
Living with bipolar disorder

Dara began to struggle with Bipolar Disorder in her early teenage years, but it wasn’t until she reached her 30s that she was formally diagnosed. She now loves life and feels that her condition has given her compassion for others and the ability to empathize with the patients and families she works with.

Dara’s Story

Briefly, how has your condition impacted your life?

I was formally diagnosed in my mid 30’s but had symptoms of my condition in my teens.  Although I was able to obtain two college degrees and work in professional sales and healthcare positions, my life was a roller coaster ride until I was properly diagnosed and treated.

What is your life like now? What does success/living well look like for you?

I love life now and feel incredibly blessed to have survived and thrived despite my diagnosis.  Success and living well to me means staying strong and healthy and being able to help others.

What help or specific strategies helped you to get well and move to stability?

Making sure I get plenty of sleep and knowing how to manage stress in my life in a healthy way is key for me.  Also important are having a strong support system and living as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

Are there positives that have come from having a mental health condition?  If so, what?

Yes, I feel stronger having lived through what I lived through. I have a sense of inner peace knowing I survived some very dark times. Having compassion towards others who are suffering both emotionally and physically is also a positive outcome of living with my condition.

How has your condition impacted your work and your career?

I am able to connect with patients and families who are suffering with both physical and mental pain and provide them with comfort, reassurance and encouragement.

What encouragement or advice would you give to someone suffering from a condition similar to yours?

Hang in there. No matter how bad it seems, it will get better. There is hope. Take one second, minute, and day at a time. Don’t beat yourself up when you aren’t feeling well. Reach out to friends, family, and God for help. You are loved.