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Michael Hansen

Even as a boy, I knew something was wrong. Not just the typical kid stuff, but serious swings in my mood. And as a little kid you have no coping skills other than to retreat into the safe space of my room or playing alone. I remember one occasion when I was expected to a participant in my younger Sister’s birthday party. Unfortunately my mood didn’t want me to participate and I did everything I could to ruin her day. The goal? To be sent to my room where I could hide.

It would take many years. Many broken relationships. Broken jobs. Fortunes gained and lost. Great ideas I couldn’t sustain. Trying everything I could; hypnosis, meditation, re-birthing, couch therapy, etc. etc. Things would temporarily get better and then get way worse. Self-medication with alcohol helped but as you would guess, just another dead end.

I got married, had 3 sons, made a successful business career, all in direct opposition of what you heard in paragraphs above.

Oh, and during all this time, there were 4 serious suicide attempts. The last one came in 2014. I am here today by luck alone.

In early 2015 I did, of all things, an online quiz about mental illness. The results? A 90% chance that I had Bipolar Disorder. I called my doctor, made an appointment and a week later had an official diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder. 4 medication changes later, things are better. But things are still a challenge and I continue to manage them lot of self-reflection and the love of people who care about me.