What Bipolar Disorder Is

Bipolar Disorder to me is very simple. It is an emotional disorder. Every single day of our life we experience events that trigger some kind of emotion. Everybody experiences these emotions an act accordingly, if something is funny, you laugh, if something is sad, you cry, if something is painful, you hurt…etc. Someone who suffers from Bipolar Disorder does not have the ability or the “filter” to control their emotions… a simple giggle to you may trigger a roaring, fall on the floor, hysterical laughter from someone who suffers from bipolar, the loss of a beloved pet may bring tears to your eyes, to the sufferer, despair. You can hug someone in friendship, and we hug for love. We are emotional extreme, there is NO gray area, no middle ground, no safe area… It’s all or it’s nothing. People can look at our bizarre behavior, and not understand it, sometimes they label us as quirky, odd or crazy.   Add to the mixture the Manic and Depression episodes and we lose whatever was left of our self-esteem, reputation and our ability to trust our own mind. To add insult to injury, we are shunned by our family, friends and co-workers, denied proper medical help, laughed at, humiliated and quite often left alone to fight these demons.

Yes Bipolar Disorder is very simple… it’s the journey that’s difficult.


13 thoughts on “What Bipolar Disorder Is

  1. I wish you, your family & friends a wonderfully joyous and healthy, safe, fun Happy New Year….See you right back here next year….Namaste.

  2. I wouldn’t know bipolar disorder if it bit me in the ass and even then I’d probably like it. So I appreciate the description of what it is like for you. I heard recently that one in six Americans has a “diagnosable mental illness.” I’m not convinced “illness” is the right word. Perhaps “condition” would be better. In any case, with numbers that high, it’s not an aberration. It’s the norm. It’s something that all of us live with in one way or another. So I think the point is that because of that fact it is more vital than ever that we should care and look out for each other. Provide all the support we can. Unfortunately, since we are humans, we seem to crave the exact opposite.

    My counselor recently diagnosed me with PTSD. I said, “Bullshit. I’ve never been in combat.” But she stuck to her guns, saying that some of my life experiences make it true. Wow. I’m the one in six. Maybe I’ll get that made into a sign. I try to remember that I’m a good person worthy of the good stuff – just like anyone else. I’m worthy of love. I’m worthy of being happy.

    And so are you!!!

    Happy New Year!

  3. I’ve got some idea what you’re going through. A family friend is bipolar. I don’t know how she got through medical school and started a practice, but she did. A brilliant woman. Unfortunately, the disorder wrecked her very promising career.

    One day at a time, Bats. (((hugs)))

  4. Yeah, my uncle has a touch of paranoid schizophrenia attached, too, and he was diagnosed some time back in the 70s. I pretty much grew up with him being a little, excuse the expression, “whackadoodle”. Please know I actually mean that phrase with all the affection in the world, and none of the stigma, although I had to educate myself a lot so that there would be no stigma. I’m glad you shared this post for that reason: it educates and therefore illuminates.

    I’ve learned with my uncle when he is in a certain place in his head, and we just ride it out. He lives far from me, so there is no day-to-day with this, but I know when I start to get the “Repent! Jesus is coming!” emails, he is in another episode. 😀 I’m at the point where I have learned to appreciate him no matter what. I do have to keep good boundaries, but I think that his struggles make him unique and make him who he is, and I appreciate that.

    I kind of view this disease or condition like any other — sure, there is emotional fallout that can hurt relationships and so on, but I have learned that with an extra measure of grace and forgiveness and a lot of understanding, living with Bipolar Disorder is do-able. (I have another friend who struggles greatly with this, too…)

    I am a highly sensitive person — HSP — and a lot of the swings with that are similar. Fortunately for me, I never had any of the mania, really, but oh man, chronic depression has beat my ass, so I get the downer portion of it, for sure. It is a big black void of nothing that swallows one up whole, and keeping out of it can be a real challenge. It requires a lot of vigilance. I have not had to take meds, though, in a long time because I choose to handle it with diet and therapy and spirituality. It’s been working. Mostly.

    While it is true that a person is often alone or lonely when there is this kind of condition, at the same time, look at the Internet! Look how many of us write and share and empathize who are here! We are legion on the Internet, lol! No loneliness here with conditions like these!

    I know you have the tools to help yourself have the best possible life you can. You’ve had some hard knocks this past year, and it is to be expected with your level of human sensitivity that you would be affected and tossed about with what’s happened. But I also think your coming back here to write is a very, very good sign. Keep expressing! Keep opening up and sharing.

    We are here, reading, waiting to hear what you have to say, whenever you are ready.


  5. Thanks for such a clear and poignant description of what it means to be Bipolar. May 2013 see you bring these wonderful emotions into balance and perspective, my friend!

  6. Thanks for this, The Hobbler used to write posts about bi-polar disorder as well. She has moved on to try to finish her book, but I miss the contact & friendship we shared. For you, I wish the best & hope you have found a balance of medication to help you.

  7. I can only ditto what other commenters have already written, and offer my own hugs and thanks for your willingness to share this experience with us. Your writing has helped me understand the loved ones in my family who are living with mental disorders.

    I am very, very happy to see you posting regularly again.

  8. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange
    for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested.

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