Jade is from Cocoa Beach Florida, previously New Orleans, and she is diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder. According to Mayo Clinic, this diagnosis is quite common with approximately 200,000 US cases per year. Depressive symptoms of sadness and hopelessness and hypomanic symptoms like elevated and irritable moods and leave the patient feeling guilt, impulsive behavior, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, self-harm, euphoria, mood swings, anxiety, and loss of interest. Bipolar I is similar to Bipolar II with mood cycles, but in Bipolar II the “up” moods don’t reach full-blown mania and the patient suffers more often from episodes of depression. Jade was diagnosed at the age of 14, and according to WebMD, most people are in their early teens or early 20s when symptoms first start. Jade had a hard time accepting her diagnosis, as most do, and she felt like she was being labeled.
What have been your struggles and how do you manage?
Jade: My depressive episodes are hard to handle at times. They can last anywhere for 1 week to 3+ months. There is really no telling how long an episode can last. I typically just allow myself the space to feel the emotions I am going through. I write down my thoughts and then will counteract them with positive responses. I try to remind myself that the emotions I am feeling now are just temporary; I won’t feel them forever, even though sometimes it can feel that way. I also like to stay active: doing yard work, painting, walking and yoga. Busy hands and a busy mind are really important. Even on my worst days when I can’t leave my bed, I try to at least write poetry or draw something out of nature.
What is self-care to you and how do you prioritize your mental health?
Jade: Self-care to me is remembering myself as the badass woman I am. When the mania is over and the depression hits, it’s extremely easy to forget how great you are. I keep little reminders around my home for this. I have a cute sign on my alter that says “it’s time to be happy”.
My mental health is part of my daily life. I believe it all starts with a solid routine, something you can be consistent with everyday. I take multiple organic tinctures throughout the day, as well as having a skincare routine. I’ve noticed when I fall off track of my routine, my depression tends to sneak back up.
What advice do you have for someone who is struggling with mental illness?
Jade: Seek help. Therapy is amazing and I recommend it for everyone. Even if you don’t have any diagnosis, it’s amazing to talk to someone who doesn’t know everything about it and won’t judge you. Take medication if that is something that helps you. There is no shame in taking them and sometimes we honestly cannot function without them.
Always, always remember who you are without the episodes. Don’t allow your disease to define you, define who you are as a person with this disease.
Jade is a local community artist. She loves to organize meet-ups with other creative individuals to help inspire herself and others. Humanity is her biggest inspiration as she loves people and the planet. She is constantly inspired by nature and other artists.
Find Jade on social media:
Her shop: link
Photos by: @mistibluday