How I was diagnosed with bipolar

Mariia Bonchuk
4 min readDec 12, 2018


I had depressions since teenage years. But last years they became more dramatic. I could sleep whole days, doing nothing, and hardly could help myself.

I am a young artist from Ukraine. Past few years I was searching for a place under the sun after dropping out of university and moving to Estonia. The most hurting for me as an artist was an absence of an ability to create something. It’s not about the inspiration. I just physically could not sit and draw. If I tried I was paralysed by anxiety and panic. Here is an exact feeling I experienced I described in my diary:

“I can not draw or work. Because I absolutely do not feel colours, shapes or lines. For me, everything seemed to be flat, dark and dead. This causes terrible despair. I am sad and sick of it all.”

All of this caused terrible stress for me. Anxiety from thoughts that it will last forever ate me from inside. Plus all these voices inside my head screaming to me that I am a worthless piece of shit. Thoughts that I am a complete failure and I do not deserve anything in my life. All this pushed to thoughts that someone else should be at my place and I should be gone from this world.

In moments like this, I could beat myself, slapping my face, scratching my body. It’s was my way to free all this self-hate from inside. I had suicidal thoughts in different moments of my life. but I didn’t do anything dangerous for myself. I wanted, but always something stopping me.

This year I turned out in a situation where there was nothing to stop me.

“I am disappointed in myself, I do not understand why everything exists and why I am. I want to disappear, just disappear. I do not want to die, I just really hurt, everything is so dark and meaningless around. it is very hard for me to experience everything that happens to me. I am full of the pain of fear and misunderstanding. Why someone decides that we should live. I do not want this life, I do not need it. Maybe someone else needs this life, but not me. I can’t do this anymore, it is very hard for me, it is painful and difficult to live. I do not deserve all that I have. I am not worthy of anything.”

I wrote down this words in my diary. I thought that this will be my last words. I closed my notebook, poured some bourbon in the glass and took a craft knife. I wrote to my husband (in Telegram chat):

“I am so scared and confused. I can’t understand why somebody giving you life, that you don’t want. what if I don’t want to exist at all. I hate my parent for their decision. I hate my life, I don’t deserve it.”

He answered with several messages telling: “Your did not felt this way yesterday. This is not real”. But I don’t care about what he said. I had the aim and nothing could stop me. I went to the shower, sat in the corner and started cutting myself. I drank whiskey and cut, drank and cut. With every cut, I felt euphoric, like with every cut had freed me from all anxiety and bad feelings. I couldn’t reach my veins, they were playing hide and seek with me. And craft knife wasn’t working so good with my skin, as it does with paper. My phone rang and rang, but I don’t care anymore, I was possessed.

But finally, after lots of missed calls, I answered. I can’t tell exactly what I said back then. But my husband immediately took an Uber and called an ambulance.

He was first to find me. As he says, he was relieved that I was not hurt so badly. But also confused about how that could happen and what to do next.

Then an ambulance. Medics wanted to take care of my wounds. But I was fighting with them and screaming: “Go help yourselves, I don’t need it. I want to die, just leave me alone!” They threatened me if I will not do what they say they will call the police. I screamed at them again: “Call whatever you want, I don’t care anymore”. I was completely delusional.

My husband negotiated with me and I agreed to go to the hospital by my own will. I was delivered to the psychiatric clinic. We had a long talk with the doctor and husband by my side. After describing what happened and all my feelings I heard this words “bipolar disorder”. After that, there were 2 weeks at the clinic when doctors were searching for a medication for me. After a few days taking antidepressants, I switched to a manic phase. So there wasn’t any need to deal with my depression any more.

Later I will write about how I handled my mania. How I went through a long depressive period in the hospital. About antidepressants, electroconvulsive therapy, lithium and therapy. How I learned to more or less manage my moods.