About Me

 Click Here To Watch The Video "Unwell" By Matchbox 20 Good Insight!

The most important thing is to be whatever you are without shame."
~Rod Steiger~Actor

 
The aggravated agony of depression is terrifying,
and elation, its non identical twin sister, is even more terrifying—attractive as she may be for a moment.
You are grandiose beyond the reality of your creativity.
~Joshua Logan~American theatrical and film director and writer


In short, I am sharing my story to help others. I have opened myself up in this forum and web site because people have written to me and requested I relate more about my experiences and myself. Thanks for your interest! :-) Some things here I have never told anyone, not even members of my own family. This was a difficult decision to make, but I hope it will help someone somehow.

I am blessed with a wonderful marriage. My marriage is strong because I have a very loving and supportive husband named Greg.  He's been through a lot with me and has tolerated many things that most people would not have. I guess we value our long relationship, and tight bond having met each other in the summer of 1981. We have no children at this time, just our two girl miniature Dachshunds, Ruby age 5 and the newest edition, Ellie a Piebald Dachshund age 11 weeks whom we got in Dec 2009.  Greg and I  try to lead a pretty simple life.  I grew up in a small coastal town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, located between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. It's beautiful here! I am truly blessed to have grown up in such a unique place.

When I was exactly 30 years old, my husband and I sat with a psychiatrist who evaluated me for two hours.  At the end of the session he diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder, in a matter of fact manner.  I had known for a prolonged period of time that something was wrong with me. I had been searching for countless years for answers as to why I suffered from severe depressions and euphoric moods. Hearing the doctor say I was Bipolar was somewhat of a shock but a relief at the same time. It was as if someone had finally opened a window but took away a bit of sunlight.  What I suffered from had a finally had a name.  So here I was, sitting on the clichéd psychiatrist’s couch, being handed a prescription for a mood stabilizer and a book on Bipolar Disorder.

Manic episodes for me can be greatly animating, buoyant, and exhilarating. My first full blown manic episode that I truly remember well in looking back, occurred when I was just 15.  I am giddy, effervescent, grandiose, creative and wild. Everything speeds up, my thoughts race, sleep is non existent, my soul is at one with the universe, and I look for deep meaning in everything. My speech becomes disconnected, as I can’t make sense of what is circulating in my head. I have spent incalculable dollars on trips, cars, clothing, jewelry and the like getting my husband and I into some serious debt.  Then things can change and I become extremely irritable, explosive and sometimes violent. The smallest things set me off into fits of yelling and screaming, shouting expletives and breaking things. I've been behind the wheel of a car I have no business driving speeding along in an erratic fashion.  Sometimes I hallucinate. The thing I crave the most turns into a monster of its own.  Then, what goes up must come down.

Depression for me is brutally unbearable. It’s a torturous pit in hell extruding a forbidding darkness.  I shrink into my gloomy mind, and cease to function. I don’t groom myself for days on end nor eat properly. I’ve literally been in bed for months on end hoping some medication will work. I don’t venture outdoors nor talk on the phone very much. I hide from the world.  My ability to concentrate ceases. Suicide is a comforting thought; my salvation.  Sometimes all and can do is weep and other times I am completely numb.  When I am acutely suicidal I end up being hospitalized. I have experienced ECT treatments because my depression was extremely severe.  Ever so slowly, the deep depression will lift however; I always even out on the “low” side.

So, I suffer from a stigmatized mental illness. I learned to deal with this fact. For the record, I am not one bit ashamed to admit that I have Bipolar Disorder.  It’s a brain-based illness that I have no control over.  I have been through countless medication trials, twenty hospitalizations since being diagnosed. I have attempted suicide on three occasions. I'm still trying to stabilize my rapidly changing moods. The illness can be very taxing at times, making one weary. Manic Depression is bittersweet.

Juliet Wilkerson

Juliet On Her Experiences-Hypomania & Mania & Mixed States and Hospitalizations
 
Juliet On Depression
 
Greg (husband) on Juliet's Illness  

Juliet's Menagerie My poetry and other things of interest

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