Seasoned journalist and on-air host Danteé Ramos was 29-years-old, when her doctor diagnosed her with bipolar disorder. She began realizing behaviors that weren’t normal and found herself grappling with symptoms that initially masqueraded as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

“I just swore it was my hormones,” she told 21Ninety. “My episodes tend to start around my hormonal cycles.”

It was the prolonged periods of depression that ultimately prompted her to seek help. According to a 2018 study, Black individuals with bipolar disorder are prone to receiving inaccurate diagnoses compared to their white counterparts. This makes the conversations around the condition harder, due to many undiagnosed Black people living with it.

As the world observes Bipolar Awareness Day, it’s crucial to shine a spotlight on the often overlooked experiences of Black women living with this complex condition. Accessing healthcare proved to be a daunting task for Ramos, who had to navigate a system that prioritizes financial means over genuine care made her feel overlooked. “I have firsthand experienced how you can start to feel like you’re just a number in the system,” she said.

She was able to lean on her mother for support during times of need. Ramos emphasizes the importance of advocacy and accessibility in mental healthcare. It is because of her advocacy that she was able to return to normalcy. Ramos credits her typical day-to-day life to the help of medication and self-compassion. Although she says that there are still some not-so-great days, she faces them with compassion.

“Medication [is] what I give my biggest thanks to when living with bipolar,” she said to 21Ninety. “I really just give myself grace.”

Balancing her demanding career in journalism and media with the challenges of bipolar disorder requires careful navigation and self-awareness. The industry requires heavy socialization, but with her bipolar disorder, she occasionally does not have it in her.

“Quite often I’m told ‘You don’t seem like you like to party,” and the thing is I do!” Ramos said. “I have to balance my time exerting energy out with events, parties, carpets, junkets and managing content creation by not attending things at times.”

Prioritizing self-care and knowing when to take breaks is key for her to feel more like herself again. Ramos prioritizes her rest and sleep because without it, she is not her best self. She recognizes the importance of setting boundaries and honoring one’s limitations.

With her story, Ramos wants to inspire everyone to seek help, advocate for themselves and prioritize mental wellness.

“Go get checked,” she said. “It’s hard to live with, … but with the right medication, it can become manageable.”