Director of Business Systems, North America, The DDC Group
Living with bipolar disorder

Maridee’s symptoms of depression began as a child, increasing over time until severe mood swings impacted her work, health, and relationships. Through a combination of therapy and medication, she finally found stability. “My life is amazing now!” she said. “My career is blossoming. I live in my dream high rise and drive my dream car. I have solid friends and relationships. My body is in good shape. I continue to grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.”

Maridee’s Story

How has your condition impacted your life?

For years, I alternated between debilitating depression, where I missed work for weeks at a time, sitting on the floor of my closet feeling the pain of the world, and hypomania, which I reacted to with hyper-confidence, hyper-sexuality, irritability and temper tantrums. It was hard to keep friends and move forward with my career or schoolwork because I was surrounded by drama caused by my inconsistent actions. My world was full of pain and insecurity. In my late 20’s, the mood swings became more severe and I felt more hopeless. I attempted suicide a couple of times and spent time in the psych ward of the local hospital.

What helped you to get well and move to stability?

Counseling played a role earlier in my life.  But the greatest change came when I decided to listen to my doctor and take medication consistently. It changed my life 100%. It took about three years of gradually getting better before I got to the point where I feel as good as I do now. It is incredible what medication has done for me. Counseling played a role earlier in my life, but it was medication that allowed me to apply the concepts I had learned.

How do you manage your condition on an ongoing basis?

I take my medication! I take six different types of meds. I also pay attention to my body. I get plenty of rest and try to stay well rounded with exercise and nutrition. I try also to keep my life and my space uncluttered. That makes me happy and keeps me clear.

What positives have come from having a mental health condition?

I like that I can help others by sharing my story and that I have developed wisdom through the years about myself and handling hardship. I want to be part of spreading the message that people can live successfully with a mental health condition. Hope is a powerful healer in times of despair, and so many people are suffering in desperation from mental illness. I believe I am very strong mentally and emotionally because of what I have gone through.