Sorry, but this is not a gift
By - ProxiC3
Yeah, I’m “high functioning” and it’s a really good thing I’m great at interviews because I up and quit jobs sometimes in the mania. I’m really worried about the mental decline in my future, like terrified. Definitely wouldn’t mind being aliven’t before then.
It’s the chronic absences that get me. Some days I just can’t.
EVen though I worked in the same field for 33 years, I have never, in all of those years, held a job longer than 5 years (and I think I was 6 or 7 months shy of the 5 years even). I would get angry, upset, manic (and find a "better job") and then leave.
I called out ALL the time and have used every single excuse known to man practically.
Using all your sick/vacay days in the first couple months club!
Work thinks i have gastric issues..nope “I’m too crazy for the bullshit today”...is why I’m out sick.
Net effect is the same. Hide under the covers. Try to sleep. Dont eat. Etc.
I think i need to go into my next job pretending i have a more acceptable ailment than bipolar. Not that that would help too much... I tend to quit when I can't mentally handle anymore
I’m so scared also, I don’t want to be a suicide statistic.
Neither do I. *hugs*
I relate to this so much, the fact that my mental state will deteriorate with time makes me worried about future
I do not know if it is the bipolar, the trauma from childhood, the 15 years as an alcoholic drinker or the seizures....but I cannot think clearly for very long, have very poor memory, spell things dyslexically (that may not be a word, but it works for me) and cannot concentrate. ALL of those brain drugs couldn't have helped my cognitive functions either....
Why are people commenting on inevitable mental decline? What does that mean, where is it written about, and who is guaranteeing this decline? Just curious.
If you have manic episodes, depending on the length, you may continue to have mental decline. Brain fog and the ability to retain information is common in depression that follows the mania. But months of over stimulation from mania over time feels like brain damage. Not sure if it’s scientifically proven but I’ve read medical articles that say it “may” cause damage. BP 1 with reoccurring episodes may relate to this issue more than most. My dad passed from dementia so I’m concerned I may get it too. BP may speed up the process.
My mother has bipolar 1 and I have noticed a definite mental decline as she has aged as well as more prominent symptoms. In one conversation she can be happy one moment, angry the next, and then crying her eyes out. It's heartbreaking, she refuses to believe she has a mental disorder and has never taken medication. I hope and pray everyday that I have not passed the shit genetics for this disorder to my daughter.
From what my psychiatrist has said, bipolar hurts your brain over time, and some of the meds don't exactly help with that.
There's scientific evidence showing that our blood is literally toxic to our brains, which is part of what causes the mental decline.
I’ve never seen this anywhere before, but great info and article. Thank you
Makes you think about the essential role that lithium plays to combat this toxicity. Simultaneously I've been told too much lithium is toxic for the body too. Ah balance, how cruel you are.
Oh no :(
I forget which part of the brain (lol of course I forget) but during mania it expands and once mania is over, it shrinks back down but a tiny bit smaller than before. Tiny bits over time add up.
i relate to this more than i can even explain. every word of it... i feel you, my friend.
The mental decline and the damage that each episode is doing to my brain is one of the big rains I started medication. It's so devastating I can't think about it too much.
The amount of jobs i just straight up raged quit mid shift for no apparent reason is sickining. I can deal with getting shit on by managers or customers till im in a manic state and give zero fucks...My brothers would always tell me to try and just relax whenever i got a new job because they new what would inevitably happen...
I know I cannot hold down a job anymore but disability is pretty much impossible to live on till i can get housing
A little late but I feel this so much. I don't know how I can sustain this in the future, I'm 23 and i have another 60 years of this shit only getting worse? Yea no thanks.
Same, I feel this so hard. Literally going through that part atm.
I lol'd at aliven't
I literally just got fired yesterday. I couldn’t hold down 3 months at my new job. My meds made me sleep-in twice, my memory issues and lack of concentration made me slower at picking up the Job. I worked so hard at this place and put my all into, just to be told it’s still not enough. I saw the writing on the wall from some of the big mistakes I made while learning.
I’ve been here so many times before, and honestly if I have to continue this cycle of still being the most useless fuck at work, I’ve already thought it out.
Just remember that we all deal and cope differently. I was in a super dark place after my suicide attempt, and finding ways to see my (dis)ability as a gift helped me tremendously. It helped me make sense of something so unfair and horrible. I didn't ask to be born with bipolar (or to be born at all, really) and I sure as shit wouldn't wish this experience on anyone, but being able to think about and reflect on my strengths resulting from my bipolar (e.g. creativity, productivity, "enthusiastic to a fault" as one of my performance reviews said....lol) has given me a sense of purpose.
This is reminds me of a line from an Eminem song that I identified with something along the lines of: my brain is broken, but if it wasn't "I wouldn't be able to put words together like this". I completely butchered it, hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about. It's literally all about you're brain being wired differently, but that in itself being a strength. I completely agree with OP though, yet see both could be true
It's called Legacy. Also references using creativity/art as a coping mechanism. Listening with lyrics adds to it
I don't want to bring you down, but don't you think there are thousands of people out there that are creative, productive and enthusiastic to a fault, that don't also have bipolar? It isn't like these positive traits are unique to bipolar.
And yes, I will play my own Devil's advocate, the pain we endure isn't entirely unique to bipolar either. I do realize that.
Good for those people, but I'm just here trying to live with a disorder I didn't choose that has drastically impacted my quality of life and the goals and dreams I have for myself. Just because the punch is made from toilet water doesn't mean you should go piss in it anyways.
True. But if I wasn't bipolar, I might not have the combination of those traits either. I'll never know for sure, so if it helps me make sense of why I am the way I am, I'm gonna go with it.
Also I will never understand the bragging about meds thing. I hate that I have to take meds.
My brother flushed his meds down the toilet during a psychotic episode and then killed himself a few days later. If bragging about meds is what it takes for someone to keep a positive outlook on taking their medication, then brag away! People with Bipolar Disorder have such a love-hate relationship with their meds. Anything that boosts the love side and lessens the hate side is worthwhile, imo.
Agreed. That's why I stick to the "gifted" ideology
I haven't seen it in a boasting happy way. It's more like shared misery that can devolve to a contest of who has it the worst.
I can totally see that. Makes me wonder why we as humans make suffering a competition (not just with bipolar, but with many things).
Lol I just think the med stuff is funny bc it’s just like “this is why I have no gag reflex” 😂
I'm not sold on the idea that any of this positive stuff comes from being bipolar at all, in any of us.
It's the shame. I'm so exhausted by myself and what an arsehole I am.
Honestly posts like OP’s keep me off this sub most of the time. Speak all you want about your personal experience, but OP’s post is on the cusp of saying life isn’t worth living as a person with bipolar. And I feel like that shouldn’t be allowed.
I went through something recently where someone (unknowing about my condition) stated that illnesses/conditions "are not sad, they're just different than what we expected". It took an immense amount of willpower as it was a professional setting for me to not want to clock her in the face saying that there are things that ARE sad. Chronic disease is sad. War is sad. A boy I know who's disease means he grows tumors all over his body is sad.
Sometimes, I think about the effects of toxic positivity as well. I make the best of my condition and my life because it's the only life I have, but it riles me up when people try to pretend it isn't sad or bad or difficult. It is. It's important to me personally for me to acknowledge because it reminds me of how strong as fuck I am for living with it every day. In a way (and I recognize this may be a personal thing), glorifying it not only takes away the nuance and the pain of it all, but also takes away the strength and willpower required to fight it.
You articulated something I’ve been trying to figure out to say for so long!
Toxic positivity PISSES ME OFF.
I’m allowed to feel down on myself, for a certain amount of time, bc this is shit. Let me stew a tad. I’ll get over it but trying to spin it in a positive way is invalidating and just wrong. There is light too, for sure. But mostly it’s pain. And that’s okay. Not fair, but okay.
Once had a fight with an friend because they said mental illness can be part of creating genius art and is important or justified or whatever. Slammed that right down. Tell me about all the great works people accomplish when they're too depressed to function. I'll fucking wait.
Thank you for this!
I can't speak for people who seem to want it, because I grew up terrified that I'd have it (both parents are Bipolar) and got it anyways. But folks are just trying to cope and reconcile with a disorder they didn't ask for.
On one hand we can choose to have a negative relationship with our Bipolar Disorder, viewing it as entirely bad, a detriment to our lives. I know when I think that way it makes me want to succumb and give up. Why put effort into mitigating the symptoms and their impact on myself and those around me? Why put effort into strictly managing medication when shitty side effects seem inevitable? Why face decades of life living this way, when I could just give up?
On the other hand, I can try to build as positive and healthy of a relationship as possible with my Bipolar Disorder. I can be open and honest about it with others so that I'm open and honest about it with myself. So that others know when I need help even when I don't recognize it. So others know I need grace, even when I don't think I'm deserving of it. I can keep a positive outlook on my medications (even brag about it if I choose, although I don't) so that when my hypomanic brain tells me I don't need them, I can remind myself that's not true.
And when I keep a positive outlook on my Bipolar Disorder, I can also maintain the outlook that I am capable and deserving of a life I want and choose for myself. I can have a real career. I can have a loving and caring partner. I can be a father someday. And in turn, those aspirations provide fuel for the immense amount of energy, effort, and emotion that I pour into maintaining agency over life despite this disorder that wants me to be miserable or dead.
I don't need a reminder of all the bad parts of Bipolar Disorder. I've fucking experience that every single day of my life. I've watched my parents fight growing up. I've watched my father lose his sense of self to weird, manic obsessions. I've visited my mother in the hospital after she attempted suicide, I've visited her in a psychiatric hospital after she got arrested. I've stood on my brother's porch and stared at the spot where he shot himself believing that God would let no harm come to him. I've rebuilt my life twice, and I'm only a decade into adulthood.
I don't need to remind myself of how awful and cruel Bipolar Disorder is, but I absolutely, every day need to remind myself that I'm still deserving of a life worth living. Sometimes that means telling myself there's some positive aspects to it. Not a single person, including myself, is worse off because I choose that perspective.
I think it's best to just let people think about their bipolarity however they want to think about it.
I wouldn’t say it’s a gift but I do try to be great cup it’s not ALS.
I’m proud of my pills because it shows the effort I put into managing my disorder and not allowing it to manage me.
I went through 20 years of hell and self-destruction to get here, and damn I’m proud of myself, I will not be a victim of this shit.
I’m grateful to be living in a time where this disorder is understood, researched, and the lowest point in history of stigma.
I’m grateful for living in an age where there’s effective therapy, medicine, and even Reddit (which changed - maybe saved - my life).
This disorder is manageable. Yes it’s EXTREMELY hard, but there are illnesses that cannot be managed at all, and yes, we’re lucky enough to have a gift.
If you manage your hypomania right, and in some cases (this is much much harder, I’ll admit) your mania as well, we have a spark of genius & creativity that is responsible for an un-proportional percentage of the worlds greatest artistic achievements.
It takes years, maybe decades, to get a hold of this wild beast, but when you get control - even for a little while - you should be extremely proud of yourself because 99% of “normal” people can’t get a hold if their feelings and issues like people on this sub have.
As for people who “want to be bipolar”, the only ones I’ve met are teens, and in 9 out of 10 cases, they want it b/c their brain or their life is so fucked up -
and usually they just don’t know what’s wrong with them yet, most of them get diagnosed later, and you know what? I wish for them that it’s bp2/3 because there are so many things that are worse (like borderline).
To sum up:
1. Fuck other people. Don’t judge, focus on yourself. You have enough things to worry about other than getting offended.
2. Be proud of who you are, what you have and how you’re handling it.
3. Be grateful*
in my country it’s holocaust Remembrance Day. One of the things I remember on this day is Victor Frankl.
He was an Austrian Jewish psychiatrist who was imprisoned by the Nazis in 1944.
He survived the camps, and later write a book in which he described the difference between the Jewish prisoners who survived and those who broke.
He said the ones who were able to carry on, were the ones being able to find things to be grateful for. In a concentration camp, man.
If people were able to be grateful in literal hell, I can be grateful every day.
It’s a muscle, you train it, it gets stronger.
If my ancestors were able to make a decision not be a victim in the holocaust, I can do it with my disorder.
I agree completely. No matter how difficult it is to live with bipolar, there are much worse fates out there. And God only knows how hard we work to keep our lives (somewhat) stable.
Thanks for sharing the story of Victor Frankl.
While I am not disagreeing with you at all (and I have read of Victor Frankl), I am not very grateful at ALL...but I am ONE HELL of a fighter. The day my fight is gone; I am gone.
I should say the same about my mother, my grown children and probably ancestors in my family I have never heard of.....
yep, I may bitch bitch bitch about EVERYTHING all the time (yep, I am the LIFE of the party!!!), but I am a fighter to the end.
My HUSBAND is the optimist and he "breaks" a lot easier than I because bad moments in his life go against his view of it......I expect the worst (and get it a lot of the time -yes invite it some would say) but I don't "break" very often.
ALL this being stated, I could not IMAGINE living in a concentration camp that was built specifically to kill me.
It's not manageable for everyone. Some people have a more severe form of the disease than others, just like with any disease. Severe, chronic depression is a thing. No treatment works. People don't have to be grateful. It's not self-indulgence to say you've been dealt a shit hand of cards. It happens.
Dude I have a friend with ALS, who got married and had a kid, while a machine helps him breath. 109% clear mind, zero body.
If he can be grateful, you can.
Do you have to? No. It’s for you, not for anyone else.
People with this disease kill themselves because their form of illness is unbearably painful. Suicide is commonplace. Bipolar manifests in all kinds of ways, and chronic severe depression doesn't appear to be something you've experienced. Maybe try not to judge. If you were beaten all day every day, would you be grateful? I bet you think you would be!
I am sure he is grateful for many things in his life.... But not his illness.
I have quite a strong gratitude practice, but I am not grateful for Bipolar.
It honestly hurts when it seems so glorified in some media, while in other media it doesn’t show any realistic aspect and just paints bipolar people as only crazy people with no humanity or normality. I wish there was accurate representation and awareness of what it actually is and what it can do, without making people suffering from this disorder seem like completely insane nutcases like a lot of things do
I'm watching Spin Out on Netflix and so far has been an Ok representation, but don't know how the series will develop. And it's already cancelled.
When I was diagnosed I was terrified.
My father died by suicide who suffered from bipolar. My brother and I both struggle with it. I was really depressed about the thought I may never have a chance at a “normal” life, whatever that means...
My personality has always been to try to find a silver lining, a purpose to keep trying.
After I read An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield it gave me hope I can achieve my dreams despite my odds. Her book Touched By Fire shows the extreme success and tragic life stories of individuals such as poets, artists and visionaries.
There is no doubt about the fact only others with this disorder understand just how fucking hard it is to fight this invisible and misunderstood battle with ourselves. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
For me, finding peace with it helped my disturbingly scary depression. Highs and “advantages” to our divergent nature is equal to or greater than an intense depressive episode that always follows.
My brother and I call it a blessing and a curse.
Sending you love, and thank you for sharing this.
>Highs and “advantages” to our divergent nature is equal to or greater than an intense depressive episode that always follows.
This may be your experience but it is not universal. It has certainly not been my experience.
You’re 1000% correct, everyone’s mania is different and everyone’s depression is different. I’m thankful for this group to feel comfortable sharing our similarities and differences. Thank you for this 🙏🏼
I mostly agree. This is not something that I’m proud of nor do I advertise outside of this throwaway corner of the internet - like
many I go out of my way to keep this from mostly everybody as I don’t want people ascribing all of my actions to a mental illness.
But I won’t deny there haven’t been silver linings, especially in my working life. There are times when my ability to stay actively focused on something for long hours on very little sleep gave me opportunities that allowed me to better my situation. Academically speaking, sometimes caustic self perfectionism and overtly harsh inner dialogue helped me to stay obsessively motivated to excel in school. Perhaps a professional situation where my impulsive nature helped me take a risk that others should have but didn’t.
The rest of this illness is fucking dreadful and I am not without an endless list of shit I did that keeps me up at night but I think it’d be intellectually dishonest to not recognize some of the occasional brilliance that you’re capable of when you don’t ascribe yourself purely to data points and statistics. As I see it you can either wallow in self pity all the time or just sometimes when your brain is trying to kill you. As you also seem numbers focused: studies show that our life span on average could potentially be 20 years shorter than the average person. I’d rather live what’s left of my life without self-imposed limitations structured around things I can’t change but instead try to be better.
Failing that - I don’t know that I’ve ever really encountered the person you’re describing that posts their pill stashes on social media or glamorizes mental health issues outside of a few select communities on the internet - all of which you can avoid by not actively seeking them out. Quit worrying about everybody else’s perception of this disorder and focus on getting and keeping your shit together.
Thank you for this post. Bipolar disorder is not a form of “neurodiversity” to be celebrated. It is actual hell on earth and it causes nothing but destruction in one form or another. We are not special because we can feel things more heavily than other people. It is a disability. Best we can do is take our meds and brush ourselves off and try to live our normal lives. Congrats on doing your best. Sometimes that’s all we can do.
Here come my down votes.......
but let me preface this, like I ALWAYS do, that this is MY experience and I am not advocating ANYTHING, just sharing......
but the medications have done me more harm than good, it seems. Same with my mother, daughter and my brother died trying to get help (and he mixed his medication for bipolar with his alcoholism - not the fault of the medications....but had he stayed OFF of them like he had his whole life, he might (MIGHT) still be here. Instead, he was dead by age 38)
I take medications for bipolar, seizures, GERD, to replace the hormones my uterus used to give me before it was surgically removed) and LOTS of Advil and other NSAIDS for my "chronic pain" (now called fibromyalgia)
Medicating is a tough thing for me as I have had reactions to a whole lot of them.....and now have "co-morbidities" that make finding the right medication even more difficult than it was in my youth. HBP, (I refuse to use the word obese), pre-diabetes, migraines, liver disease, etc.....
I do not consider it getting better when my weight shoots up 50lbs when I am already 30lbs overweight, my blood sugar shoots up to 300 and I poop yellow because my liver is inflamed and unhappy. I have lost 40% of my hair on some medications and have almost driven my car into oncoming traffic (gabapentin caused suicidal ideation for me)....and the headaches......wow. I will NEVER take a medication that can cause seizures....I already have those.
TOUGH condition to have. I have seen it wreck MY life, destroy my mother's and do the ultimate wrecking ball job on my now dead brother. My granddaughter is the product of incest and so the "gift" of bipolar just keeps on giving and giving
I try to be as happy and joyful of bipolar disorder because I know I’m stuck with it.
But I would live without it if I could.
I actually love this. My most common delusions are that I am an alien or that I am a god. Seriously the most run of the mill delusions possible, especially when I start getting paranoid that some government entity is trying to track me down. I like to think I am an out of the box thinker, but my brain while manic proves me wrong.
I’m so sorry you have to go through this, my heart hurts for you. I’m bipolar II so I don’t have total delusions. I hope you find stability in the future.
and there is the problem inherent in ALL sub-specialties of medicine: the people who hate their jobs and actually believe their negative thoughts about the patients they see.....
Sure, we all may be boring as shit......but to say that out loud is pretty unprofessional and demeans the person he/she is treating.
I worked in ophthalmology for over 33 years and though a patient with a cataract is boring as fuck (to use the words of the psychiatrist you saw), I would NEVER EVER state this to anyone other than a co-worker.
Sure, I may have boring delusions.....but if my psychiatrist or therapist thinks I am incapable of "coming up with anything beyond the same derivative bullshit over and over".....that attitude will eventually reveal itself to me and they would NO longer be my bored "specialist"
And once you have seen as many psychiatrists and "mental health professionals" as I have....they all blend into the same boring, blank face who doesn't give a shit.
I have never felt "superior" during a mania.......special maybe, but not superior.
Again, since I have been attacked in here...this is MY opinion and MY experiences.
This is funny. It does seem to me that psychiatrists are kind of a mean lot. I wonder what that categories are. God, bugs, and spies are very popular. I was breaking codes. Bet that's a commonplace one too.
Man I just woke up and it took me reading it twice to realize it was saying bipolar and not bisexual. Once I realized that this post was much, much less confusing...
Bisexuality... Now that might actually be a gift haha!
Yeah exactly, lucky bastards get more options than the rest of us.
On topic though it’s crazy to think people believe bipolar is a gift, but it doesn’t surprise me much either. It’s people like that who draw such a negative stigma towards people who struggle with mental health, and it’s kinda agitating. They bring in negative attention toward it and putting that on people just tryna get by, only making things harder.
Some people suck, man
Sometimes I feel I live in some type of bipolar parallel reality.
We seriously need to stop caring about attention seeking people. Someone like that as more issues with themselves than the one I have with my brain.
Attention seeking should be a diagnosis criteria by itself
Feigning mental illness for attention is in fact a mental illness. Munchhausen's I think.
My god this is so well stated it brought tears to my eyes. This is a fucking nightmare disorder and a reason it has one of the highest suicide rates of any mental disorder. I’m manic right now and have a good time when out doing things and just living life, but every night at home I’m a mess and I’m so scared. I’m so scared that it’s going to drive me to kill myself before growing old. I’ve had suicidal episodes and they’re so scary I just want to be normal. Even though I’m handling this manic episode pretty well, I’m so afraid of myself.
This fucking sucks. But I’m so grateful I have a loving and understanding family, one of the only reasons I haven’t tried killing myself yet.
Edit; and the drug abuse part is so accurate. I never thought I’d experiment with drugs, but the past few years I’ve made bad decisions. I don’t have any active addictions at the moment. But I feel it’s inevitable that I may have one down the road.
I feel you, bro.
Well yeah, but it's not like glorifying bipolar disorder can make impressionable young people choose to be bipolar, or vilifying it can somehow scare people away. Bipolar isn't a choice or a lifestyle, you have it or you don't, and given I'm stuck with it I feel like I might as well try and reach some level of acceptance. Hating it isn't going to make it go away.
Considering there is considerable overdiagnosis (and underdiagnosis for sure), if there are people seeking a diagnosis, they will likely be able to find a Doctor who will give them one.
I hate being bipolar.
I hate that I was a gifted student with scholarships and undiagnosed bipolar and went manic and crashed and lost the scholarships. I hate that it happened both times I tried to go to collage.
I hate getting nominated for employee of the month and then getting fired for poor attendance and poor performance. I hate calling out at work five times a month in a good month. I hate getting fired for poor attendance. I hate doing a great job for a set period of time and then going into brain fog or mania and not being able to concentrate or forgetting how to do basic tasks.
I hate the terror of going in to work the day after I called out. I hate the panic and gut churning and crying and banging my head on the wall.
I hate not being able to shower for months at a time because I. Just. Can't.
I hate the way I have to choose if I'm going to clean the house or go to work, because I can do one or the other, but I can't do both. I hate having to juggle my energy to cover bare survival - got to get to work, so no laundry or dishes or dusting because I don't have the energy to do that and go to work. Can't go to a movie or meet up with friends because then I don't have the energy to go to work.
I'm "bipolar enough" to be f*cked but not "bipolar enough" to qualify for any type of assistance.
My world has collapsed to a tiny apartment, a cashier's job that I can't keep up with, lost friends, blown opportunities, dwindling abilities. At least I have a dog I adore. I don't have the energy to do stuff I like, like crafts. And if I do something fun, it takes all of my energy and I can't get to work the next day.
I hate not being able to get in bed, turn out the light, and fall asleep. Every night is a brain marathon where the body is exhausted but the brain is revved, or the body is revved and the brain is a fog, or both are revved and I'm not going down for three days. I hate getting a decent night's sleep maybe once a week.
I hate losing friends because they just can't deal anymore. I hate making plans with friends and getting excited and the day comes and my brain melts into a fog and I stumble around and am two hours late. Or my brain explodes and I have to cancel.
I hate having dreams and goals and working on them and building something and then crashing and watching it all burn. Then having to start all over again, knowing I'm gonna build and crash, build and crash.
And the suicide thoughts - they go away when I'm doing okay, when I've made it in to work for the whole week, or had lunch with a friend, or gotten enough sleep. Then I miss a day at work, don't sleep, cancel plans, whatever - and up pops The Suicide Plan. I have literally said "F*ck, I can't kill myself, I have to walk the dog."
I am tired of the depression getting so heavy that the world is flat and gray, things I love become a chore and the people I love are just pictures on the wall.
I hate being so depressed that cutting myself doesn't physically hurt.
It took years to find a medical cocktail that sort of works for my bipolar and IBS. I'm afraid to tweak it because if I crash, I'll lose my job and apartment. I won't be able to take care of my dog. I hate that the meds I have to have for my bipolar are also the meds causing my weight problems. I hate being afraid to tweak my meds hoping to get better stability.
I hate being afraid, out of control, revved, insane, euphoric, bleak, exhilarated, panicked, blank, empty, stuffed. I hate curling under the covers. I hate banging on my door cause I can't make myself leave. I hate the gut churn of panic. I hate the hangover after mania. I hate the shrieking spin of mania. I hate not knowing if I'm depressed or just lazy. I hate not knowing if I'm excited or heading into mania.
I hate what this disorder does to my life.
I agree, though with schizoaffective. Mood swings were pure pain near the end. Hallucinations are disturbing and frightening, delusions were something else. Yet people find these disorders intriguing and some have even told me to accept it and go off meds. Fuck no that’s never happening. I prefer the beauty of the outer world over the lies that my brain tells me.
I had cancer - full shebang - and cancer is a piece of piss compared to this. (IMO obv)
Damn, that’s pretty heavy. I’ll admit it can be frustrating knowing that your brain is potentially destroying itself, amongst being thrown in a hospital because of mania, not to mention the feeling of not being able to be as productive as you wish to be. Me personally, I lost track of how many pills I take. Is it a gift? I honestly don’t think so. We all have our cross to bear, so I gladly take mine up and bear it. It’s honestly all we can do. Am I creative? Admittedly so, but I never say it’s because of my bipolar. I just say it’s because of my family. I come from a musical family background (I’m a musician). The more we feed into bipolar fairytales, the more power we give it. The people that you’re referring to need to address both the good and the bad of this illness. Unfortunately, the people you’re referring to don’t, which saddens me. Just don’t pay attention to the morons that put this illness on a pedestal. They clearly haven’t spent time in the psych ward or had their very perception of reality turned upside down. I’ve been there and back again. Seriously. I hope everything works out for you. Judging from the tone of your post, you seem a little stressed. I hope you and your son or daughter the best. God bless.
Going to very unpopular here I can see, but please don't just downvote, actually read and ask if you have any questions.
I fully agree that bipolar is shite and anyone wanting to be biploar is a complete idiot.
But as someone that suffered with this for 50+ years, I really cannot understand why people are being told that they CANNOT enjoy the rare times where they are hypomanic and able to get things done and do have creative times.
Hell if it wasn't for the periods of hypomania I wouldn't have a clean house at times, I wouldn't have any clean clothes, I wouldn't be able to rebuild / repaint and create custom motorbikes, I wouldn't be able to have the moments of being able to enjoy playing games and creating new bits of furniture, or making my life more comfortable.
Why should I get dismissed and told I must ONLY look at the bad issues of my illnesses, why am I being told I'm not allowed to find any pleasure in my life and must be miserable all of my life.
Yes bipolar sucks, but like any illness I'm going to do my best to enjoy the occasional upside to it when I'm able to.
Refusing to believe there's no upsides to bipolar is simply setting yourself up for a completely miserable life.
Plus dismissing everyone that **does** get creative moments from this and can make productive use of the hypomania is simply wrong and refusing to accept that everyone is different.
How is this any different to someone that's lost their legs and stays indoors and never even tries to go out because they have no legs and the person that accepts they have no legs and yet still tried to get out and about and find some pleasure in life.
This to me just reads as everyone with bipolar must be miserable all the time and cannot enjoy any single moment of life.
Thanks for this reply and the unpopular opinion. I think there's some major emotional dumping going on in this thread, and I appreciate the alternative view.
Thank you very much, it's much appreciated.
Look, a cancer patient might celebrate their good days. Someone with MS will embrace the periods of time where they can walk and move their arms. But I highly doubt there are many people with cancer or MS that would *choose* to be ill. You don't see people with MS or Cancer romanticizing their conditions.
Honestly, if your hypomania was so wonderful that it made up for all of the suicidal depression, or destructive mania, you are one of the lucky ones. Stat range, but 11-17% of us die by suicide. Van Gogh was amazing, but he shot himself and lingered in horrific pain for 2 days before actually dying. Kurt Cobain's body rotted for 3 days after his suicide before anyone found him. So no, I don't think celebrating creativity only found in hypomania or mania is important. I think it is more important that we acknowledge how dangerous and deadly this disorder is.
Please understand that I'm not saying the occasional good bits make up for or outweigh the bad and never will.
Where in any of my post did I ever claim that I would choose to have this. I've made it clear that I hate having it and given the choice I wouldn't have it
What I am saying, and you don't seem to understand, is that yes it's a crap illness, but it's something I have to live with and nothing is going to change that, so what's wrong with allowing people to get some pleasure out of the moments when their life isn't feeling suicidal and allowing them to make the most of the moments of creativity and hypomania
> Stat range, but 11-17% of us die by suicide. Van Gogh was amazing, but he shot himself and lingered in horrific pain for 2 days before actually dying. Kurt Cobain's body rotted for 3 days after his suicide before anyone found him.
This is all true, but why are you saying that they are meant to live their entire lives in miserable depression and they are not allowed to enjoy the brief moments of pleasure that they can get. So Curt shouldn't have made the most of his playing and Van Gogh shouldn't have enjoyed his painting. they should have sat in a small room, done nothing and remained unhappy all of their lives.
Their life wasn't going to be any longer whether they made the most of the creative bits or not, so why should they or anyone not be allowed to enjoy the brief moments of sunshine in a world of rain and dark clouds
> You don't see people with MS or Cancer romanticizing their conditions.
Mainly because their illness don't have any good side effects, the enhanced creativity and the times of being active and getting things done.
Also it happens there are some people (all be it very few) that have been thankful for MS or Cancer because it made them realise that there's more to life than making profits and screwing people over and they were able to reconnect with their family and enjoy the last remainder of their days with people they loved and were loved back.
I don't romanticize this in the slightest, what I am saying is let people enjoy the brief moments of pleasure they do get, without trying to run them down and claim they are wrong for finding some pleasure in amongst the darkness.
It's not a black / white case of bipolar is good / bad, it's a case of yes it's crap, yes I'm stuck with this for life, but I will make the most of the few brief moments that I get when I'm able to
Just to add there's a massive range of bipolar, from the worst case of bipolar 1 to the mild case of bipolar 2, there's no size fits all for bipolar, Rapid cycling bipolar for yet another one, you cannot lump everything in one label and dismiss the people that suffer in a different way from you.
Everyone is different and bipolar specifically has different names for the type so trying to only accept one view to cover every single person that has bipolar is being incredibly unfair and incorrect.
Wow Just wow
You have captured one of the worst issues with this illness. As my Dr said, there is nothing good about the illness.
Thank you for sharing.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Also, props to you for completing a masters degree! I'm currently on struggle street with my masters so bloody good work for finishing it!
EDIT: In regards to the bragging about medications etc, BPD is also common in people diagnosed with BP which may explain certain behaviours if people have dual diagnoses.
I think that lots of people with EUPD/BPD want a bipolar diagnosis to explain their mood swings. My cousin was one of these people. The push to raise awareness didn’t actually explain bipolar properly and lots of people did latch on to “mood swings”. I feel for EUPD patients as they must be in so much pain, yet they are so stigmatised.
I think TV shows also need to be very careful about their portrayal of mental illness. As well as books! People will take what they see and read as gospel then assume that everyone experiences things like that.
I am forever grateful that I have bipolar II, not I, as I don’t know how I’d cope with I. I can’t imagine how tough the meds and side effects are. Whilst I’m grateful that I have an explanation of my recurrent depression, I wish I didn’t have it.
It's a way of coping at least it is for me. I don't see why it's bad for someone to try to find any positive in an illness that causes so much pain and that will never go away. If I just resign myself to just focusing on the suffering, well that's all I am gonna get. But I get where you are coming from. this illness has ruined everything I've ever done.
i hate that i have to fight suicidal thoughts every single day, even when I'm having a good time and nothing is wrong, i constantly think about dying and ending it all. i could be having the best time of my life and still in the back of my head, I'll be considering it. it's exhausting.
Wait...people want this or glorify it? Wtf! This ‘gift’ is not that at all...if anything it’s a curse. You put it beautifully in this post.
I can hardly work and only work 14 hours because that’s all I can handle so I live with my family. I struggle with addiction because of my impulsiveness during my manic phases. My moods are so uncontrollable that it’s embarrassing to the point I’ve isolated myself then wonder why I don’t have friends. Sleep is so important that I’ve given myself a time I need to be in bed by do a lot of times if I do go out I have to set a time limit. Let’s not even talk about relationships because every single one of them was greatly impacted by my bipolar that I always end up feeling like an abuser even though I was the one being abused by them using my bipolar against me.
This ‘gift’ controls my life. If they want it so bad, and if I could, I’d give it to them.
While it's definitely not a gift, things get extremely doom and gloom in the worlds we live in, so I can't fault anyone for clinging to whatever perceived silver linings there might be that come from having bipolar disorder. If given the choice, I don't think any one of us would truly choose to have this disorder, but since we will never be given that choice, I don't see anything wrong celebrating what we have been given if doing so helps with recovery and doesn't harm others. While it isn't a blessing, it doesn't always have to feel like a curse.
There is nothing good about bipolar, but can we find silver linings despite the darkness? Yes. And in our struggle, does it produce unique perspectives that have independent value? Yes, definitely. Bipolar is not a gift, but those of us who endure it can dig out opportunities and ways of thinking that are unavailable to neurotypical people. Adversity builds resilience and insight, it propels and motivates you (except when it doesn't).
The question becomes, are any of the good things we take joy in still real if we had all been born without bipolar? Could I still do my art with the same insight and determination? Could someone else look at a longstanding problem and come up with an innovative solution because of the challenges they have overcome? While bipolar is not a gift and does not directly give us opportunities, our fight to survive despite bipolar does I think lead us to interesting places and thinking that we might not enjoy were it not for our struggle.
With all that, the gift we are imbued with is our refusal to quit and the good that grows out of that. Bipolar always equals bad, but living as a bipolar person doesn't mean we can't extract good from a shitty situation.
I agree. What's more, the connection between bipolar and creativity hasn't been thoroughly studied and imo it's largely confirmation bias. People want to find a silver lining. Sure, a handful of us end up as successful creatives but that number pales in comparison to the proportion of us that are homeless, unable to work, or otherwise completely debilitated by this illness.
I disagree. It is a form of neurodiversity.
I (30M) studied neuroscience for my undergrad and I have bipolar I so I worked in a few different research labs that focused on neuroanatomy. I wanted to understand how my brain was different from a "normal" person's brain.
If you take a look at a neurotypical person's neurons in their cerebral cortex, they are connected via axons to thousands of other adjacent neurons. If you take a look at a Bipolar brain's neurons in their cerebral cortex, there are half as many connections to adjacent neurons but each axonal connection they do have has double the diameter. In other words, the neurotypical brain has twice as many roads but they are single lane while the bipolar brain has half the roads but each road is a superhighway.
This is advantageous depending on the area of the brain. It is a disadvantage in areas like the pineal gland and reticular formation which deals with circadian rhythms and wakefulness but it is an advantage in the associative fibres connecting the prefrontal cortex to the limbic system which deals with memory recall and learning. These are just two examples but my point is that there is good and bad with this disorder. If we focus too much on the bad, we are dragged into a negative headspace which will be reinforced at twice the speed of a normal person. Positive mental attitude/gratitude in a must for people who have this disorder.
Keep in mind that it is estimated that 20-30% of the top 2% of IQ (MENSA) are most likely to either have a mood disorder or OCD. Vincent Van Gogh, Brian Wilson, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, and Winston Churchill were all "tortured" like us but look at how they shaped the world!
I know it can be a struggle, I've had terrible manic episodes and bouts of depression. It is something I've slowly learned to accept but the reality is that there are positives to this disorder and I think it is healthier mentally to focus on them as much as we can.
If only 33% of us can work, that is indicative of a lack of proper supports, not a characteristic of our disorder. If we each had an excellent psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, nutritionist, personal trainer, and weekly support groups; I think we can all agree that the 33% would increase but alas many of us do not get the help we need to thrive. There are estimates that proper treatment is 80% effective.
Just some food for thought. Again, I don't want to minimize what you're feeling nor your hardships.
When I stated that Bipolar was not an example of neurodiversity, I was using the cultural definition where people determine whether something is disordered or neurodiverse.
There is a large movement to look at ADHD or high functioning Autism as neurodiversities versus disorders. The belief is that there is nothing wrong with those people, they just have a brain that works differently. Doctors shouldn't try to change them or medicate them. So I 100% agree with you that there is something (many things probably) at the neurological level that makes a Bipolar brain different from a neurotypical brain. That said, I firmly believe those differences have resulted in **disordered** functioning.
On your other point...
Vincent Van Gogh - Suicide
Kurt Cobain - suicide
Jimi Hendrix - Choked on his own vomit
Ernest Hemingway - Suicide
Frank Sinatra - Multiple Suicide Attempts
5/7 of the people you mentioned. These are not people I would look at as role models. There are so many examples of people out there with high intelligence or that have high levels of creativity that are happy, healthy, full functioning people. The idea that a person has to have this curse of an illness in order to pay for their positive traits is disturbing.
Vincent Van Gogh (Culture Shifting Artist)
Kurt Cobain (Culture Shifting Musician)
Jimi Hendrix (Culture Shifting Musician)
Ernest Hemingway (Nobel Prize Winner, Culture Shifting Author)
Frank Sinatra (he's Frank effing Sinatra lol)
What I find disturbing is that you took a well-meaning postive sentiment about the potential of people with neurodiverse functioning and turned it into a morbid statistic that reduced them to their suicides. Keep in mind that each person mentioned likely did not have the meds, supports, therapy that they needed to overcome suicidal thoughts & depression; so who knows how their stories would have ended if they had the help that we now know that they would have always needed.
It is gaslighting to say that "**a person has to have this curse of an illness in order to pay for their positive traits"** was the idea I was attempting to express, that is your perception. Don't put words in my mouth. My point was that incidences of BP and OCD correlate with higher intelligence; which suggests that what you perceive as disordered functioning may have some benefits (which was the entire pathos and logos of my first post) that you've overlooked. I personally find it inspiring that these people accomplished so much despite the Dx, and it's a shame that you don't.
Scientifically (not culturally), ADHD and BP share 93% of the same symptoms according to the DSM-V. It's a shame that I can't somehow be culturally defined as neurodiverse over a 7% discrepancy but I digress. Also, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Autistic brains have even thicker cerebral cortex axonal connections than those with BP between the visual cortex, limbic system, cingulate gyrus, and the prefrontal cortex. Disregarding vague "large movement" opinion, symptoms concerning ADHD have already been proven to be alleviated with CNS stimulants. Asperger's & Kanner's Autism are improved with behavioural therapy as well as meds which mitigate the secondary issues like depression that can result from lack of social skills/social isolation.
I understand that you firmly believe what you said, but you also seem to firmly believe that BP is a curse. That is your perception and I think it would be wise to challenge that perception and be as optimistic as you can be about a lifelong illness you can't change. Maintaining that BP is a curse will likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy, just as maintaining that BP can have positives will likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Brian Wilson has struggled through life with his illness also. He was a recluse, tried to drive his car off a cliff, became obese, addictions and overdoses.
Winston Churchill's diagnosis is retrospective, and not agreed on by all. I don't know if there's any reason to think that Jimi Hendrix had bipolar disorder, outside of a song called "Manic Depression."
You are missing Virginia Woolf, who definitely had bipolar disorder. She killed herself when she could tell an episode was developing. The letter she left her husband makes me cry.
Having read this whole thread I’m not surprised so many blatant misconceptions abound in this comment. People who advocate for neurodivergent language do not advocate against medication, at all. To humanize the other poster’s point, my husband has ADHD and I have bipolar. Our symptoms are pretty much the same. The main difference is the medications that worked for us. But if you believe that bipolar is incurable (which it is), you believe your brain is functionally different from that of a typical person.
Beautifully put the end resonates especially with me . Most of me ,this last year at least , had given up on my more refined traits. Sometimes I assume it’s those same honed observations that lead my brain to crack. Feeling what I now feel ,suffering how sometimes do ,it’s been my way to relax maybe and try to keep those circuit thoughts at bay. Your interpretation of bipolar is something inspiring and though I agree that the popularization of mental illness is misplaced, I appreciate the fire your minds lit in mind.
Also to me I’m a strong believer in the diagnosis not defining you. And the symptoms being the true key to personal understanding. Some rifts are too large to mend and our rifts at the very least almost always seem best managed with the help of another preferably probably a professional. Understanding triggers , risk factors! , daily routines and diets greatly increase your chances of owning your life again it’s not a catch all and it’s always a battle but you only get 1 life and it’s Not your illness’s
Bipolar is 110% not something to be excited about or consider a gift. It’s caused me sooooo many thousands in debt and I’ve lost a lot of jobs because of it. Makes it impossible to find stability anywhere in life. Seems like people romanticize it, which is super weird. Kanye is quoted on saying “I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome” and “it’s not a disability, it’s a super power” and tbh I think he is part of the problem.
Kanye was probably 110% manic when he said that
And there’s no escape out. If you try unmedicated your lovely little hypomanic turns mixed and you experience the worst debilitating panic and psychosis of your life!
I watched Stephen Fry's documentary "The Hidden Life of a Manic Depressive. Much of it was great, but it really bothered me that over and over he said that everyone he asked if they had the option, would not get rid of their bipolar. Maybe it's because he asked friends in the entertainment industry who believe it gave them creativity and added to their success. But for me, I would 100% choose not to have bipolar if I could, even though I'm consisted "high functioning."
Thank you for this.
The amount of ppl that learn I have bipolar and respond with an ecstatic “omg MWE TOO” confuses me. This is not fun.
You explain everything so well. I love how you go into medication and yes, it truly is what we deal with! Thank you! 🖤
Yeah. I’m high-functioning bipolar II and it still fucks up my life daily. I’m typing this through brain fog whilst trying to grit through a lecture. If I could get rid of this, I would in a fucking heartbeat
I'm considered "high functioning" because I can keep down a job, but sometimes I just really want to succumb and become "low functioning".
For sure. I also feel not bipolar enough sometimes. It fucking blows
here here bud, totally understand that too.
I have an appointment next week with my psychiatrist for another evaluation on the possibility of being bipolar, because my therapist suspects it but can't diagnose me. I literally cried when she told me that she suspects that I am bipolar. I have been taking antidepressants for a while now and they have done nothing to help me, except maybe a few months where I felt super numb and then that feeling subsided and I am back to be being on edge all the time and cycling through major depressive modes to suddenly being super motivated and impulsive thinking I have been faking all my issues this entire time, only to hit the bottom again.
I say all this because this post really hit me hard. It's something I have been saying in regards to mental health issues in general. Many people online have turned it into almost a weird fad or personality quirk. It's one thing to try to be positive and it's another to romanticize mental illnesses. I have literally been fighting against myself my entire life and I am exhausted. I barely function. I can barely get out of bed every day, barely make it in the shower to wash up, I barely get into my office chair every day for work. I am barely living. And I mask it all for my family, social friends, coworkers, they all think I am fine. But I have never been fine a single day in my life.
Why would anyone want this?
Bi-Polar is a gift to society as a whole but not for us. Look at how Elon Musk has changed our world for the better while sacrificing his own internal peace. His mind is always racing and it never turns off for him, he’s come out and said this in interviews before. For him it’s a disorder, but for society and the environment he’s a catalyst for change and our future advancements. Basically Bi-Polar is a gift to the entire human race.
I can't see that. Last I checked, it was the sixth leading cause of disability in the world. A racing mind doesn't equal a productive or a genius mind.
It’s his mind that comes up with all of his business ideas though.....
But the vast majority of us aren't.
Elon Musk hasn't said he has bipolar disorder.
quote from the NY Times in a google search snippet; There's no question that *Elon Musk* is one of the great entrepreneurs of this era. He may even ... Asked if he might be *bipolar*, he replied, “Yeah.
Just google Elon Musk Bi-Polar and there's a lot of search results about it.
Here's the quote:
Asked if he might be bipolar, he replied, “Yeah.” Then he added, “Maybe not medically tho. Dunno. Bad feelings correlate to bad events, so maybe real problem is getting carried away in what I sign up for,” which he later described as a “ticket to hell.”
Attributing any kind of creative or otherwise intellectual endowment to mental illness is dangerous, not only because of attention seeking folks getting meds they don't need, but because of the romanticizing aspect of it that glosses over all of the horrible, awful shit that this disorder actually is. I consider myself somewhat creative, but that's \*me\*. I have taken the effort to cultivate that on my own volition. I don't give my neuroatypicality any serious credit for any of it.
The correlation is there, there have been studies. But it is largely meaningless and for every 'creative genius' among us there are many, many more like me who are just average in most regards because the whole concept is bullshit. Some people are more creative than others, it's just that.
I got do you want waffles or cereal okay which one do you want anyIn the words of the album cover for Ye:
I hate being bipolar, it's fucking awesome.
I think that sums it up nicely. It really sucks when it sucks but there are a few rare moments where people seem to be able to benefit from it. I don't hate them for that.
Unfortunately when I get manic it is usually related to my trauma or flashbacks and includes psychosis.
I feel this. I get really frustrated when people talk about neurodiversity in regards to mood and personality disorders. A brain that is constantly attacking itself and making normal life unmanageable is not objectively a good and healthy brain.
In regards to the creativity thing, I have no way of knowing if I would be a writer if I wasn't bipolar. Probably. I think I'd be a better one if I could focus and structure my life and if my brain wasn't impaired by years of both my disorder and the meds I have to take for it that fried my focus, memory, and word recall.
I think your argument is predicated on an incorrect definition of “neurodiversity.”
The only way I've heard people use it is to say that brain differences are normal and not deficits or disordered. Which makes no sense in regards to mood disorders, which I have heard people use this definition to argue are also not disorders so much as normal variations. Which I disagree with. There are likely definition of it I'm not familiar with.
You're absolutely right. It's also genetic. Why do you have a child?
I had my child prior to my bipolar taking a turn for the worst. I was still having frequent periods of euthymia. Plus I was pretty impulsive, and it was a pretty impulsive decision.
Damn, I mean 9 months is a pretty long manic episode..... Everyone is different. Some people are toxic. What is considered toxic is a matter of opinion. Don't associate w them. It's a big world.
There is a genetic component. One bipolar parent doesn't even cause a 50% chance of a child having it, from the last study I read. The kind of environment you grow up in matters a lot.
So what is it then?
What is the evolutionary benefit of bipolar?
My thinking is that if bipolar is really so detrimental, why hasn’t it burned itself out of the population?
It persists. Across time, across language, across cultures. Why is that?
I don’t understand it at all but at this point I’m thinking it *must* confer some sort of evolutionary advantage that we just don’t understand yet.
I’m only speculating here but, if nothing else, I’m guessing individuals who suffered from bipolar disorder sought out newer environments/more privacy/ more solitude in order to escape societal friction, leading to human beings being one of the most widespread species on the planet.
I suspect neurodiversity is one of the key reasons for human beings being so widespread. (At a really basic level this might suggest that a possible treatment for bipolar disorder is to physically move away from the place they grew up? I don’t know)
Why must there be an evolutionary reason or advantage? Many disorders are widespread like cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and Huntington's.
I would have been the witch that lives in a hidey hole a day away from the village. Just chilling butt naked in my garden with my cats, tripping balls, out of my goddamn mind, coming up with nonsensical riddles that the villagers believe have some kind of prophetic meaning.
I love this!!
Traits persist when they don't hinder reproduction. Not every trait is evolutionarily optimal.
*Hypersexuality joins the chat.*
I imagine that at whatever point in human history this disorder first appeared, it was much easier to exist and function in daily life with it. Less stimulation, less complex stressors, a society that was not as rigidly structured (like 9-5 work days without end) and harder to fall out of. I think it's likely that modernity is in part to blame for the difficulties we face getting through life with Bipolar Disorder.
I'm not sure what you mean in your edit. Are you saying you think asperger's and autism shouldn't be grouped together as they are in DSM 5? Wasn't the only difference before just whether there was language delay or not? Just curious as I'm also diagnosed both ASD and BP I (+ ADHD and PTSD).
Thank you. I’m glad you wrote this. I’m one of the ones who can hold a job and kept my family. But I also self medicated myself into alcoholism.
I would trade the clean kitchen during mania for a normalised brain. This chemical imbalance hurts. It hurts when I’m hypomanic and it hurts when I’m depressed. There is not a thing romantic about it.
The drugs suck. I have a hell of a time losing weight. I ended up with tenors so had to cut down on meds so went off the rails a bit.
And it does suck not knowing if what I am feeling is legit excitement or the beginning of an episode.
I do not have a whole lot to add to the conversation except that I am actually SHOCKED there are young 'uns out there that WANT this living hell. I do not have to regale everyone with the tales of my mental decline and the wreckage this "disorder" had caused me and my loves ones.
I am in my 50's and can say from experience (at least in MY life) that there is a definite mental decline with age. My mother, (aged 72 in a few days) who is also bipolar (I was told she was schitzophrenic in the 80's when I was a teenager and she was locked in the Texas State Mental hospital in Big Springs - but everyone else in the family has bipolar disorder), probably has mild dementia and lucky for her, has NO memory of the horrible abuse she inflicted on my now dead brother and me. Even when the dementia sets in for me, I will never forget my childhood.....
Anyhow, I am actually SHOCKED there are people who think being a walking wrecking ball is cool
I’m also in my fifties and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what my life would have been like if I wasn’t bipolar. Nothing about it is good.
Yes I completely agree, this illness made me say things I didn't mean to my loved ones, almost killed me several times and I'm becoming less and less functioning. At this point I just want to survive and find someone who will love me, no big dreams if any at all, it made me do terrible things and the idea that I'll have it for the rest of my life just sucks and I'm only 17.
Side note: is the word retrieval thing the meds or the disorder? Because it's getting worse for me, too.
Op is probably on lithium
Ah yes. It did that to me, too.
I agree it's not a gift. It's ruined my life. I'm not creative even when highly manic, I'm constipated half the time from meds to counteract side effects from other meds, if it weren't for medicaid I couldn't afford the treatment that keeps me from being deeply suicidally depressed ( and I will be off medicaid soon), I can't work, and on and on. This disorder is a curse, not a blessing.
Thank you. I needed this today. Sending love.
100 percent agree. What meds are you on?
For bipolar? Lithium, Latuda and Clozapine.
I started researching onset dementia and bipolar together. The aftermath of this latest manic episode is awful. The brain fog, lack of concentration or ambiti on, and memory loss is effecting my career in teaching. The stress and constant changes in elementary education led to the manic episode to begin with. I am worried that I may not find another job because of lack of focus during the interview process. The future feels very scary and uncertain. One day at a time.
I am on leave right now from my job as a teacher. Focus/concentration were huge problems...I have ADHD so they always were, but after my most recent mixed manic episode, my brain hasn't returned to what I consider "normal" for me.
I am one of lucky ones who are high-functioning, but I hate this too. It's a disorder, it's not fun or cool, and I constantly worry about the day I "lose it" for good. Weekly therapy is not fun and is extremely tiring. Med changes are horrible. I worry about how I am affecting my wife and son. Even though I've been treated for over a decade, I still struggle to reconcile my logical mind that understands I need all of this medication, self-care, and therapy, and my emotional mind that still doesn't accept that my brain doesn't work right and i need all of this stuff. I found out about a year and a half ago when I tried to go off a couple of my meds and it was hell for me and everyone around me.
The only truly good thing about it is being able to help other people with it.
Exactly. It's a curse as far as I'm concerned. I have had nothing but negative consequences in mania and depression sucks bad. Thank God I am on the right meds or I would be absolutely bananas. I would never be able to maintain relationships, let alone employment. It's awful.
Thank you for this. I don't hate myself (anymore) but holy shit I hate my dumbass brain. I'm always worried it's going to become more dumbass over time too. It's scary wondering just how much fight you have in you considering the long-term odds.
This. I will be honest, the older I get the harder it is to hide. If my job wasn't so flexible I don't know if I would be able to hold down a job. I have co-morbid adhd and bipolar and it is no walk in the park. I just commented not to long ago about having to take so many medications. For me, it is surreal that when I was a kid swallowing a single pill was impossible and now at 25 I can slam a whole handful back no problem. This is not a gift. It is not a fad. It is a lifelong reality.
Also, have you ever listened to true crime before? It is scary how many people accidentally kill themselves during a psychotic break because apparently they had undiagnosed/unmedicated bipolar.
Thank you. People need to hear this.
I feel this so hard 10000% agree
I am 52 and I am terrified of dementia. I don't know what the future holds for me and I have cut my benzodiazepine usage as far as I can without breaking into panic attacks. What medicine can an elderly bipolar patient take? They all have these dire warnings.
We die earlier from heart diseases, suicide, accidents... When we survive, we have a lot more chances to get dementia than the general population. We lose years not only to this but to the illness itself.
I appreciate the good aspects, but this is a very complex mental disorder and it shouldn't be a trend out there.
Well put. OP really encapsulated the frustrating and tiring nature of this disorder. People will never know or understand if they haven't been through it themselves. I tried to explain the fact im working full time, training BJJ, gym and social life is a miracle to my friend. It doesn't compute to others. The fact is, it doesn't have to and everybody has their own unique challenges you may never know about.
Be yourself and be kind.
Definitely agree with you. I was diagnosed with mixed bipolar disorder and it makes me very upset that people on social media says they are bipolar. They don't know the struggles of being up, down, hot and cold.
Thank you for everything you just said! I was diagnosed about 14 years ago when I was being completely self destructive as a teenager and hypersexual to the extreme and using drugs and other risky behaviors. I even wound up pregnant a couple years later with my first child. Had my dad not been bipolar as well, I probably wouldn't have been diagnosed for awhile and just labeled a bad egg or some shit.
There's so much more I want to say in agreement with you, but I'm manic right now and I might go on forever. Is there anyway possible I could share what you wrote on another platform? I'd like to post it to my personal facebook timeline if you'd allow it? I just feel like there are people out there who need to see it and understand what bipolar really is. If you don't want me to, I totally get it. I just felt like you wrote it so perfectly to describe the true side of our lives.
Another thing that pisses me off is thinking they're bipolar cause they feel happy one minute than sad/angry the next? That's not how it works at all lol.
This was such a good post.
Honestly I was actually relieved to know my diagnosis because it helped change my medication plan (was diagnosed with MDD for 12 years and 3 years ago with Bipolar II). I was so close to just calling it quits and the closer I got to 30 the worse my depression got and I felt like it'd only get worse and the pain was becoming too much so I didn't think I could go on if was just going to get worse as I aged. My doctor switched my meds a bit based on my diagnosis and the dark times went from utter despair to sort of just emptiness, but it's an improvement. I never noticed the hypomania before I was diagnosed because honestly I never realized it was a thing (didn't know about Bipolar II), thought I was just what I was like when not depressed. Knowing has also helped me recognize patterns that I honestly never noticed before so I can tell when hypomania or a mixed state is about to happen (the depression doesn't give me much of a heads up when it's coming though).
One thing I noticed is that some of my family is in denial about my diagnosis. I told my husband and he thought it was interesting (interesting in that he has MDD and we also thought we both had it, but he thought it made sense). However, my mom and mother in law were just like "that can't be right" even though they've seen me at my absolute worst, so to speak.
Sorry not super relevant and kind of stream of consciousness, but just where my mind went after reading, discussing the diagnosis.
Don't know if anyone has ever been envious of me though! Maybe curious, like I get some questions sometimes from some people I've shared with that accepted it, but they are never intrusive at least.
I never brag about my meds but sometimes I joke that I'm my own pharmacy when I have a business trip or something where someone sees me as I take all my pills, makes both of us feel less awkward (but I don't say what they are for and most people are nice enough to not ask).
Yeah, I took zoloft for almost a decade and bulldozed my whole life because of undiagnosed bipolar disorder. It's not cool. It tarnished my reputations, it ruined my relationships, it ruined me financially, it ruined me. I'm medicated correctly now, but it's still an everyday struggle. Nothing glamorous about this disorder and I do mean NOTHING.
I feel this
It's not a gift, we've been given a shitty hand in life and have to fight so much harder to have a reasonably 'normal' life.
I relate to your post. A few of my friends identify as solely bipolar and use it to almost excuse their behaviour/way of life.
For me, I would rather describe myself as a doting mother, a previously hard-working employee, anything I can to fit into what would be considered by others to be "normal" and desirable.
I feel like "bipolar" has become the new TikTok Tourettes Syndrome. Everybody wants the clout but nobody understands what it really is, making it much harder to be accepted into society because the understanding of the actual condition is so inaccurate.
Maybe it's a form of denial, bipolar has absolutely destroyed me from the inside out, I have bipolar one with mixed presentation. It helps me to focus on the bright side of it when I can. My dad was bipolar and he was terrifying, I dealt with his bipolar and now mine but I've been able to experience so much more than the people around me, I feel more deeply, I'm able to understand other people's emotions very well, I'm highly intelligent, creative and self aware. There is just as much bad, maybe even more but I'd rather not hate my brain for my entire life, even though it will probably be a short one. And none of that is to invalidate or try to argue with your opinion, I completely understand your view and it was very nicely written, I'm just sharing mine :)
For me I take it as a blessing.I would not like to be without the mild mania.Probably because mine isn’t destructive really,maybe a few times.My best paintings are done when I’m somewhat manic.I like the passion and intensity of my personality.I would never desire to be ordinary.It is all worth it to me.If Van Gogh had been put on serequol et al that would have been such an enormous loss, glad he wasn’t born in this era.I definitely romanticise it heavily and will always it’s origins and ancient history is steeped in sacred and spiritual traditions,manic people were considered to be full of divine possession.I have no interest in the dreary,clinical point of view of the new medical model.
But Van Gogh committed suicide, I don't see why he is lucky, he could have lived his life without pain, yet you say you are glad he lived in that era. That's kinda infuriating. Also in today's society we are not viewed as being full of "divine possession". We are actually viewed as crazy or attention seekers. Finally there's nothing to romanticize about it, it destroys relationships, it makes you say and do things you don't mean and even result in violence, at least in my case.
And he was medicated. I saw it in a comedy special by a woman who was an art history major. Can't remember her name.
He was given foxglove that’s all I know.
There we go.
Van Gogh's last words: The sadness will last forever.