Alec’s Story

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The person featured in this video is sharing his individual experiences living with bipolar I disorder. He has been compensated for his time. Individual experiences with the condition and treatment will vary.

This resource is brought to you by AbbVie.

Alec’s Story


I first started showing signs of bipolar in my senior year of college. I was engaged. I was doing quite well in school, and all of a sudden I kept getting more sad and more depressed. And along with the sadness, were feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. And then thoughts about that, maybe I’d be better off if I wasn’t here.

The summer prior, I was on this energy kick like I had never been before; buying things that I couldn’t afford, taking unnecessary, dangerous risks with my car, with my motorcycle, very agitated, easily, you know, turned into aggression. So my wife and my mother helped me find a doctor, a psychiatrist, and I was diagnosed.

The first people that I told about my bipolar diagnosis insisted that it was the wrong diagnosis. That can’t be it. See another doctor. You don’t want this hanging over your life for the rest of your life.

The day that I was officially diagnosed with bipolar I, it was the best, worst news I had ever gotten because I knew that I was in trouble. I knew that I needed help. And now, I knew what I was up against.

My mania crashes when I’ve done so much damage. A lot of times it’s my words, my anger, my aggression. And then sometimes it’s the fallout from all of these wild, crazy schemes that I come up with about how to make millions of dollars and in some cases at its worst moments, believing that I can do these things because I’m God.

Currently my bipolar is being managed primarily with medications. I see a psychotherapist on a regular basis, and I’ve also learned coping skills.

What was crucial to my diagnosis was the feedback, and the insight, and the observations that my mother and my brother were able to give to the psychiatrist because that starts to put the pieces together. I was living through these things and I didn’t want to see them from the outside. If you don’t want their help, fine, they don’t have to help. Let them at least contribute.

The most supportive person for my illness has been my wife of 23 years. We were together when I was diagnosed, so for my wife to constantly put herself in the line of fire, there aren’t words to describe that.

I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire and motivate others to seek out help.

I’m Alec. I’m 44. I’m a husband. I’m a father. And I’m living with bipolar I.

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