My daughter, Justine was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when she was a teenager. We had had some very scary and shocking displays of recklessness. Justine was our first child and we thought it was rebellious teenaged behaviour. We soon realized something far more serious was going on. In the search for help we felt helpless and dismissed by the health care system until we finally were given the name of a caring counsellor and found the right medication. It took years of going on and off various prescriptions to find one that worked. It was a terrifying time.
I had always hoped Justine might speak about some of her experiences but now it’s up to me. Justine was killed in a car accident last year. I want to tell her story in the hopes that other families will not have to go through the same loneliness and frustration we felt trying to find someone who understood and cared. Lifting the stigma about mental illness is the first step and I do think it is getting much better.
I’m writing a book about her life so she will never be forgotten. She lived a lot of life in her 29 years. Most people don’t know much about it because it was alway her story, not mine, to talk about. That’s why I have called my book, “Not My Story To Tell”.
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