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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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A Bipolar Serious About School

Q. I am 17 years old and am preparing to go to college to get a degree in Marketing and Business. However, earlier in high school, I wasn't serious about school and I have seriously crippled the chance I could have had for any kind of Academic or Leadership Scholarship.

Since I have taken school seriously, I have moved away from friends that hindered me, as well as my family in Idaho so that I can start on my journey to graduation. Since I have been moved to Utah, I have improved from a 2.1 GPA (a trimester), to a 3.7 (in a semester)! I have been diagnosed as bipolar with hearing and seeing things (I don't think it was a very clear diagnosis) and I heard that I might be able to get money through a charity or grant program to help me pay for college.

I am currently taking medication and seeing a therapist, but I still have my bad days. I was wondering if you have any information on these programs for bipolar people?

A. I am not aware of a specific program that provides educational grants to individuals with bipolar disorder. However, I have heard of similar programs, and would advise you to contact the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA) at www.ndmda.org or 1-800-826-3632 for more information.

You may also want to try the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), which provides excellent advocacy services for their members (1-800-950-NAMI). And, of course, when you do go off to college, it would be extremely important for you to continue with your treatment. Good luck!

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February 2002

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