If you have been given a diagnosis of bipolar or schizophrenia and you do not wish to take the medical road, you are not alone. There are many who take that path. However, that does not mean you should not create a plan for yourself.
What is seen as bipolar is basically distress and suffering due to life circumstances which made people have extreme reactions- including lack of sleep, incoherent talk, connecting too many dots while talking, sometimes ‘hallucinate’, eating less, have solutions for problems of others and not getting a grip on their own situation. There are scores of ‘symptoms’ which are classified as such by psychiatry, but I am not borrowing from their language excessively.
The reason I am writing to you is that I would like to share with you that among the people who refuse to take medication, there is a greater chance of recovery and return to the life of an average non-psychiatrized individual than someone who takes medication. A good part of people who accomplish recovery do so via getting off medication. so in case you decide early on itself that you do not want to take medication, it will actually save you from the side effects that all psychotropic drugs produce.
What you can do instead
I would recommend that you build an array of resources and support systems around you, including wherever possible your family (only if they are not the chief reasons for your distress), few friends, some exercise regimen, some art based work if you enjoy it, a career or goal that brings money through the door now or in future. So something that you really want to do, and be happy. Moving away from sources of suffering is the key to dealing with any mental suffering. You must learn to deal with whatever suffering is coming to you as a part of being alive.
As long as you are satisfied with your work and domestic life, you will not have any distress or suffering. Your ‘symptoms’ will not appear again.
Along the way you can always connect with a therapist and talk out your problems and suffering, which you may not have shared with anyone so far- childhood issues or family issues or anything you like.
Build your strength, increase your threshold for handling uncertainty and pain, come into your center and try dealing with situations with greater equanimity, and not flying off the handle, being reliable for others, and inviting that into your own life…and the keys to recovery. Take it from someone who has been there, done that.