The diagnosis of bipolar did not go over too well in my mind. I can live with it but other people around me cannot. So after 2 hospitalizations this year, I am taking the meds, just so I can fit in and be productive. Who knows why chemicals become imbalanced or why this particular disease chose me. I had lots of PMS and a trauma in early life, and when menopause hit and a couple of big stressors hit at the same time, it just pushed me into these mood swings, first depression, then what the experts call mania. I didn't choose this disease, but it chose me and in order for me to exist in a world that sometimes refuses to understand us and our problems, I take lithium and klonapin plus some herbals and vitamins. The MOST difficult part is the rejection I receive from people in my church. I would think that trying to understand this condition would help everyone involved, but that is not the case with some people. Secrecy seems to stave off the stigma associated with mental illnesses, but does nothing to foster the compassionate understanding ,specifically to people with mental disabilities. It is going to be an interesting life now and all I want is just to be productive, peaceful, loving, fun filled. Anyone who wants to talk, or has ideas about how to cope, please email me.