This week for #freeyourmindfriday, Anna McNamara, the creator of the DIY blog Practical and Pretty, took over our Insta stories to talk about mental health. Check out her bio below!
I’m Anna! I am a mom of 2 and a DIY blogger. I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 for almost 10 years now.
From a young age, we knew something was up. I suffered from insomnia starting in 3rd grade and anxiety surrounding my relationship with a teacher. By age 13 a lot of depression symptoms had begun from isolation to self-harm. At 18 I developed anorexia which was a blessing in disguise because it was the final part of my journey that sent me to a treatment facility.
There I learned about bipolar 2 disorder. My therapist explained to me what she thought was going on and handed me a book with ‘Hypomania’ highlighted. I finally felt like everything made sense.
Bipolar disorder creates a chemical imbalance in your brain that sends your mind cycling between depressive and manic episodes. Bipolar 2 disorder means I don’t suffer from severe mania to the point of psychosis, but I have hypomania. Hypomania symptoms range anywhere from no need for sleep to hypersexuality.
Since my diagnosis, I have learned so much about what living with bipolar looks like for me. It’s not who I am but it is a big part of what made me who I am today. There are parts of my journey that still bring me shame but the longer time goes on the more I’ve learned how much sharing my experience has helped other people feel understood, and their family and friends recognize bipolar disorder isn’t as scary as it sounds.