Reclaiming Life after Mental Illness Diagnosis
September 24, 2015•9 min
From winning Olympic medals to prostituting in Las Vegas, Suzy Favor Hamilton opens up about her battle with bipolar disorder.Bipolar disorder is a serious mental disease that can cause polar shifts in your mood and inhibit the ability to carry out normal tasks.Bipolar disorder symptoms include two emotional states, manic highs and depressive lows.During the manic phase, you're more likely to feel restless, excessive happiness, high energy, high sex drive, and engage in other risky behavior.During the depressive phase, you may experience a change in your appetite, loss of energy, inability to concentrate, loss of sleep, and thoughts of death or suicide.Former Olympic athlete, Suzy Favor Hamilton, was living a double life. But, due to her mental illness, she couldn't comprehend how unusual her life seemed.After competing in the Olympics, she flew to Las Vegas where she was working as a prostitute. In her book, Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, she says, "Everything around me seemed to pulse and throb, like the blood in my veins. My body was still glowing with pleasure. I wanted more. This is way better than winning a race, I thought. This is better than competing in the Olympics."Suzy's life was on a downward spiral and she couldn't seem to find her way out, nor the proper treatment she needed.Why is bipolar disorder often misunderstood and mistreated?Listen in as Hamilton shares an emotional part of her past and discusses her journey through bipolar disorder.