Monday, April 9, 2018

The Cheese Grates It: Fun With Bipolar Disorder

I have rapid cycling type 2 bipolar disorder, which was misdiagnosed as all kinds of other things until I was 38 years old. There are three phases: hypomania, depression, and euthymia. However, it isn’t like these come in a given order. Sometimes I can be euthymic for a while, and then something will happen that will trigger either hypomania or depression. Hypomania is usually followed by a big crash. For added fun, I can sometimes enjoy a mixed state where I’m irritable and weirdly giddy and depressed alternating quickly or blending together because my brain is weird that way.

When I was first diagnosed, I finally understood that there was a pattern. Previously, I would start coming out of a depression and say to myself “I’m never going to go back there again! This is the last time!” Then I would end up becoming depressed again, because bipolar disorder, and I would hate myself even worse for not being able to just “stop that stinkin’ thinkin’!”

I wish I had understood this much earlier in my life. Instead I got such great advice as “just stop thinking/being like that” or “just stop looking for attention.”

My self esteem still isn’t great, but at least I’ve learned to respect myself a little even if I don’t necessarily like myself. It only took half a century. No thanks to the so called “health care system” in the United States, or the stigma on people who live with mental illness.

~The Cheese Hath Grated It~

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