Ashley Norman via Crowdrise
July 24, 2011
BENEFITING: American Red Cross Bay Area
HOURS PLEDGED: 300
**To donate directly to my college fund simply go to: http://www.gofundme.com/BiPolarRecovery-Tuition
My name is Ashley Norman. I am a recovering, in-treatment Bi-Polar 1 patient.The reason for this disclosure will be explained shorty. Recently I have made the decision to go back to school and pursue my degree in radiologic technology. I have chosen this field because in March of 2006 my father Michael Don Kramer passed away from a stroke. Through radiologic imaging technology (MRI) they were able to see what had happened and why. Without this technology my family may have never found the ability to go on. I would like to enter this field in hopes of inventing new technologies so that the warning signs of fatal strokes can be detected sooner.
Shortly after my father passed away I had my first manic episode and was an undiagnosed Bi-Polar 1 sufferer. As time progressed, my mania got increasingly worse and at one point I went through with a suicide attempt. This last manic episode finally resulted in my getting of the treatment I needed. I am proud to say that I have been stable and fuctional for 2 years now. Unfortunately, the entire time I was untreated and experiencing mania I caused unrepairable conseques for myself. The most detrimental long-lasting ones have been financial in nature.
In order to understand what I mean, one must understand Bi-Polar 1 ( and the fact that there are 2 classifications). Bi-Polar Disorder is characterized by cyclic episodes of mania and depression, exessive spending without regards to consequences, delusions, disconnection from reality, anxiety and insomnia. One of the worst parts of the disorder is that your 'stop' I don't have the means to do this' button is gone to due chemical imbalances in the brain. People in manic episodes may spend money far beyond their means, have sex with people they wouldn't otherwise, or pursue grandiose, unrealistic plans. In severe manic episodes, a person loses touch with reality. They may become delusional and behave bizarrely.
I have suffered from all the aformentioned symptoms and now after being stable for 2+ years, I am still unable to recovery financially from my untreated mania. I am currently in school with a 3.75 GPA ( I can provide school/medical/death records if needed). I am facing a current crisis in the ability to fund the rest of my educational expeses. I have no transportation to get to school and in addition, due to my psychiatrists requests, I cannot work. There are no government programs in place to help those of us who are stable yet suffer from past manic consequences. The burden instead gets placed on our families who can't repair the kind of damage a sever manic episode can wrought.
I am simply asking for your assistance by way of a donation whether it is only 1 cent or $1000 dollars. I want you to know I greatly appreciate any amount spared. I need to graduate within the next year before my health insurance coverage runs out under my parents plan. Without my medication, I fear I will go back into the chaos that was once my life and I never want to go back there. My goals are to graduate with my degree in radiologic technology, and hopefully help others like me one day realize they can get through this as well.
Thank-you for your time to read my story. I appreciate every one of you even if you can't donate for simply taking the time to read and understand this disorder that is truly and completly misunderstood by society.