"It is almost hard to believe you can go through something so serious and not even know it is happening"

Heidi's words after experiencing undiagnosed bipolar disorder for 13 years. In college, 20 years ago, Heidi had her first major depressive episode. It caused her to isolate herself, withdraw from others and generated feelings of hopelessness. Although the difficulty with these illnesses is that they can disappear for some time, like it has gone into hibernation but still exists in your body. Heidi went through these years not knowing fully aware of her condition and once there was recognition the stigma of having mental a illness prevented her from getting treatment. This is what led Heidi's brain to be suicidal, the untreated bipolar disorder caused suicidal thoughts leading to an attempt. Something that should never have to happen to anyone. Being in the hospital finally gave Heidi a diagnosis and medications, which truly saved her life. Now years have passed since the attempt, Heidi has found purpose in her pain in using her story to help others recognize the signs and symptoms of brain illness. She is a certified SafeTalk trainer for suicide prevention. She is also trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid and an American Foundation of Suicide Prevention series speaker.