Gabe Howard’s Story: Reflecting on the Mental Health Crises That Marked His Early Years and His Path to Helping Others

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image001Gabe Howard has bipolar disorder, but it took 24 years for him to be diagnosed as such. Despite many signs, including depression, mania, and anger, Gabe’s family believed his issues stemmed from a behavioral problem. As such, he spent his early years feeling alone and unloved, growing sicker and more isolated as the years passed.

“I suffered greatly — and no one noticed.” It took a suicide attempt for Gabe to finally be diagnosed. A woman he was casually dating took him to the ER, after which he was committed to a psychiatric hospital and his disorder was finally recognized and treated.

Despite Gabe’s tragic story, he considers himself one of the lucky ones. “My family did many things wrong, but they tried. Their errors weren’t the result of neglect, but of ignorance. I had health insurance and resources.”

Gabe now seeks to help others so that “luck” need not be the key to getting diagnosed. He seeks to use his own experiences through blog, podcast, and WebMD articles, to shed light on bipolar disorder so others need not suffer as he did. Watch the video below to hear Gabe tell more about his story.

 

Gabe shared his story with us for the 2017 PV Impact Awards, coming this December 7th. Keep checking back with us for more stories to come, including the mother who turned her heartache from losing a child into passion for working with medical teams, and the young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age and now seeks to educate others. #PVImpact17

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