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    Bipolar Undergrad?
    An_246249 posted:
    I'm starting university in the fall, and I'm worried. I'm ultra-rapid-cycling Bipolar II, and my symptoms aren't under control. My depression is often debilitating. I'm going to one of the top universities in the country, and one of the largest, aiming for a difficult degree. I honestly don't know that I'm ready, but I've made the decision to try. Has anyone had a positive experience with bipolar symptoms in college? Any tips for making it through with good grades and my sanity?
    DizzyJgirl responded:
    I was not dx'ed when I was in college.

    My suggestion would be to be in contract with the appropriate channels at the university. There must be some help available to you. My son goes to a local, small, college and they have special advisors and help available so I would think a larger university would also.

    When I was in college, I feel like my bp helped me be more social. I met wonderful friends that unknowingly kept me "in line" and were good influences on me. They motivated me and I think if I had ever truly slipped into an episode, they would have had my back right away. And that is all without me, or them, knowing I was bp at the time.

    It wasn't always easy but I loved college. Probably one of the best times of my life. I think being prepared before you go (getting in touch with the right people) is helpful and I think it is great you are thinking of this now. Good luck.

    PS...are you on meds or is there any chance of you getting your symptoms under control this summer??
    Live Life Loud
    ddnos responded:
    Hi, I don't know if this would apply to you, but I went to a 2 year college back in 2001 and I was on disability at the time. I was concerned, not so much because of bp symptoms, but because I have a dissociative disorder that was more active at that time. But I decided that I wasn't going to tell any of the instructors of my issues UNLESS or until they became a problem. Well, it wasn't too long into my program that it indeed started to become an issue; and it was sort of a unique problem that most people wouldn't understand. When I dissociated at the time, i dissociated into a small child (with behaviors as such) or an angry teenager, etc. So, I couldn't just let that go one without explanation, so I got the 2 instructors and explailned what was going on and we discussed stradegies of what I and they could do should it happen again. The program i was in was operated out of 2 classrroms, so the students got to know each other. One of the instructors asked if I'd be willing to get up in front of class to explain the dissociative disorder I have, and symptoms they may see, and to not worry, but just go on about their business, etc. That actually became a part of the first day curriculum because we got new students every quarter who the instructrs wanted to know.

    So in my situation, discussing the situation with them made it less of a deal for them, and the students. No one treated me differently, and actually, there were a few students who took it upon themselves to talk with my dissociated self when that happend, and tried to get me back in the present.

    Granted, I know that wouldn't work in every college, with every instructor and students, but that's how I dealt with it and it worked for me. I will be forever grateful for those two instructors who were accomodating and never once expected less of me in my accademics because of my disabilities.

    Maybe for you, talking with your pdoc about maybe getting you meds that will help stabalize you more before going to school would be better. You don't want to set yourself up for failure if your symptoms are out of control and depression debilitatino. Maybe work on those things first, and then sign up for school, huh?

    GOod luck in making the best decision for you!
    Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
    lexismom11 responded:
    Every university should have a disability office. This office is needed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act if you are in the United States. If not, I don't know how it would work. A disability could be more than just something physical. Depending on your condition you may be able to apply for disability services. These services vary depending on the condition but an example would be asking for more time to complete assignments. The school I go to normally would not allow late assignments without a penalty, but if you are granted this request you would be able to turn an assignment in late without penalty. This would be something you would tae advantage of if you are having symptoms that are preventing you from completing assignments on time. It requires paperwork to be filled out by your doctor and they would need to approve it, but if it is approved it would be helpful to you. This is something you should check into at your school and see if they offer it.
    Anneinside responded:
    Since you wrote "starting university" instead of "starting at a university" I am going to assume that you are not in the US, so the ADA won't help you. From what others have said, I feel sure that you will find a disabilities services at your school. Be sure to get in touch with them and they can help you with resources and contacting your professors, should you want that done. I was a professor in the US and had many students with disabilities, primarily learning disabilities, and was able to work with them so they could meet the requirements of quality rather than always worrying about timing of assignments. Other things can help like sitting in the front of the room to focus better or sitting in the back so you can leave easily for a few minutes.

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