Dealing With Bipolar One Disorder as a Grad Student

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

I am a graduate student working on my MA in Creative Writing and English. I am also Bipolar. I deal with panic disorder and social anxiety. I have been successful so far in being a student while also staying focused on my writing. How does this happen?

I wish I could say it easy every day, but it far from the truth. I tend to keep this part of my life private. Discussing it now is an opportunity to share some of my wisdom in how dealing with mental illness as a student is about productivity. You have to put yourself in a good position by being productive, be good planning, and always staying on your toes.

One thing that college students don’t know is that colleges, whether online or not, have something in place for those with a mental illness. It is a disability that can affect your education. You are spending all that money on an education you deserve to be able to be comfortable. Talk to your academic advisor to get something put in place for those days where depression or anxiety can take over a week.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

An example. In graduate school, I am allowed an extra two days for assignments if I need additional days. My school’s resource sends a letter to my professors each semester. I did have to provide proof from my therapist and psychiatrist that I do have my diagnosis, and that is one of the crucial things to know. If you don’t have that, seek out help from your college to get help. Mental health is vital to being successful, especially with the expectations of graduate school. I have used this once in the last year of graduate studies, but its important to have that avaliable.

There are other essential things that I do. I plan my week, which includes working around freelance work and writing. I tend to be big on planning out every hour, but also I give myself time to work on mental health as well. I always take Mondays off, and that has proved useful for my mental health with everything that I do in a week.

Have people you can reach out to when things are bad. I am lucky that if need be, there are people in my life that understand the pressure of a graduate student and what that brings with a mental illness. If you ever need someone to chat with about anything, I am here, but I also am living the student life with a mental illness. It is about finding ways to be effective in your way. A mental health day is a fantastic thing you can do for yourself. I go out and do something that I love. Or I write, which is my sweet spot.

Being a student with a mental illness is never easy. It does not matter if you are an undergraduate or graduate student. There are so many resources out there for you. Take advantage of these things because they are there for a reason. Stay strong in the fight.

Always Keep Fighting.

James

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11 Replies to “Dealing With Bipolar One Disorder as a Grad Student”

  1. You are doing really well with your experience on mental illness. You will do even better in the future. I have faith in you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing post. Giving an a sight to those who suffer from mental illness from a student perspective.

    Like

  3. 4 years ago I was in graduate school as well. Glad to hear you are succeeding. Keep moving forward!

    Liked by 1 person

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