Surviving College as a Transgendered Bipolar Student

Story By: Caleb Owens-Garrett, Reporter

What body parts do you have? Are you a boy or a girl? I have dealt with plenty of these insulting questions before and it is very difficult to explain to people that it is really none of their business.

I am a freshman, transgender teen who suffers from manic depressive disorder also known as Bipolar disorder. Living with Bipolar disorder as well as being a transgender individual in a more conservative town has made things harder to cope with.

Society has built a stigma around being transgender as well as having a mental health disorder. It is seen as those two being cohesive and there are negative stigmas to the point that society believes that it is vice versa, with one causing the other.

Being another person trapped in the wrong body can turn your world upside down. Some people can feel complete with knowing they are a man or woman, but a lot of transgender individuals feel the need to undergo surgeries to get to their comfort zone.

Being bipolar and trying to make deadlines for school can have a serious affect on your ability to function properly. Personally, I have dealt with a lot in my first semester so far, with making sure that I don’t melt down to being able to keep myself above water to complete my work.

Identifying my triggers ahead of time before I “blow up” is a very helpful tool I use to make sure that I can stay afloat to make sure things get handled. Although I have my run ins with my triggers, I have learned what to do and how to cope with it.

Being in college with these issues has an emotional toll on you. It can begin to feel like being bipolar as well as being transgender are the only things people see in you or even feel like it is controlling you. My life has become much more than being those extras, I have turned those facts about me and turned it into helping others and supporting them when they feel that way.

Allowing people to know that you know what they are going through can change lives. It is always good to have a support system while on campus, so you can feel at ease when triggering thoughts may come to you. People are never alone and there is always someone there to talk to!