People of Central – Charli Valencia

Story by Danielle Patrick

Photo by Madison Ingalls

Being aware of your own mental health and seeking help is very important. Central Michigan University senior Charli Valencia explains what it’s like to have Bipolar II Disorder.

Bipolar II Disorder is when someone has depressive episodes, followed by hypomanic periods.

“It’s like riding a roller coaster that never ends. You’re always strapped into the seat and you’re always on the ride,” Valencia said. “You could go up and you’re feeling amazing. When you go downhill, things are hard, dark and sad.”

Valencia became diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder during her senior year of college.

Writing is a passion of Valencia’s because it’s helped her during her dark moments. Besides writing, professors have helped her too.

“Dr. Ari Berk worked with me a lot throughout the semester, and Dr. Gretchen Papazian was another person I felt I could confide in,” Valencia said.

Although Valencia struggles with Bipolar II Disorder, she has the mindset that life will get better. “It’s a really hard part of your life because it’s not something that will go away. It will get better with management, but realize that life is more than just you struggling,” Valencia said.

Valencia doesn’t want people to look at her and think, ‘oh, she has Bipolar II Disorder.’

“I want people to know that being bipolar isn’t just me. I’m a nerd, I love books, I love writing, I love learning, I have a podcast, my dog is a big part of my life and I’m the queen of Criminal Minds facts,” Valencia said.

Valencia is finishing her bachelors in english literature and her certificate in creative fiction writing. She is expected to graduate December 2020.