Today’s #SameHereHero: Tye King (We’ve touched a lot on mental health complications that often arise from life stresses/traumas building up in our systems. What about complications that are genetic or biological in nature? Thanks Tye for sharing your story!)
“I had a great childhood w/ a great family. High School athlete, college graduate, mostly successful professional career (former sportscaster, stand up comic). My personality was very outgoing, very extroverted. Then in my early 30’s, ‘it’ came out of nowhere. I started to ‘feel bad.’ Feeling bad turned into 25+ days on the couch, not brushing my teeth, not taking showers, just plain despair. I had severe loss of interest in friends & fam. I didn’t return phone calls/texts. I was withdrawn & experienced suicidal thoughts & even actions. I truly thought it would never get better & I’d live w/ sustained sadness.
After tons of doctor visits, therapist appointments, 2 unsuccessful attempts on my life (thank goodness), I was diagnosed w/ bipolar disorder. I’ve felt both the dangerous ups, & severe downs (described above) of this disorder. I know what it’s like to hear people say: ‘you gotta pick yourself up’….’make yourself get out of the house’….’everybody gets depressed.’ I know what it’s like to suffer w/ a mental health disorder, & I also know what it’s like to actually battle a mental health disorder, & there’s a big difference. You can’t just make yourself do the things asked of you above, when you’re in the battle.
I now see a therapist 2x a week for cognitive behavioral therapy & it makes a world of difference. I also take meds. I know meds don’t work well for some ppl w/ stress/trauma-induced conditions, but w a biological condition like bipolar, they’ve done wonders for me – once I’ve found the right ones. But I’ll say, I’ve tried different kinds of therapy, therapists & drugs, & unfortunately there is a lot of trial & error in finding the right one of each bc everyone is unique – but it must be done.
I’m here talking about it bc I’ve been there battling & I get ‘it.’ Nobody in my own family had ever struggled w/ severe mental health disorders, so it was weird for me personally to experience & explain. If you asked the ppl who know me, I’d be the last person they would’ve expected to be struggling w/ this condition. I saw an opportunity to educate ppl that my struggles were no different than a sore throat or broken arm. I needed help & that was perfectly OK. Not everyone feels that way – & I thought I was a good vehicle to open minds. I started following Eric’s Instagram & contacted him & offered to share here as well. #SameHere & it’s true, We’re all a little ‘crazy.’”