In this episode, CAN+DID hosts Rikki Harris and Will Voss talk with Bill Fondren, who has Bipolar 2 Disorder, along with symptoms of anxiety, ADD, and OCD. Fondren is 52 years old, was diagnosed with BP2 at age 33, and believes that it first started affecting him when he was 18. But at age 18, Fondren says he couldn't articulate what he was experiencing. So, he just toughed it out. Fondren says he felt awful much of the time, but never became addicted to alcohol or drugs. He drank occasionally, but self-medicating was not an issue.
Fondren was formally diagnosed in 2002 at a psych hospital/treatment center called The Meadows in Wickenburg, AZ. His experience at The Meadows changed the trajectory of his life. Fondren says he finally had a semi-firm grip on what was going on. Things haven't been perfect since his diagnosis, as he has continued to learn more about how his diagnosis affects him. But Fondren is able to tread water because he says he has a strong self-awareness, and his wife is quick to point things out to him.
Fondren and his wife Mimi have lived in Nashville since late 1995. He has worked in radio off and on as a DJ, traffic reporter, and interview host. Currently, Fondren is doing voice-over work and writing a memoir on his mental health experiences. Today, he gets CAN+DID.