Most people that are diagnosed with Bipolar Disease are also diagnosed with Depression. It’s easy to see why when you learn more about the disease. I was officially diagnosed 4 years ago, but I’ve lived a “normal” life for 40. I like to put quotes around “normal” because, as we say in therapy, there is no normal.
Sometimes I wonder if they say that to make us feel better about ourselves or if it’s really true. Let’s look up “normal” in the dictionary. “Conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.” There are more definitions, but they mainly have to do with math, believe it or not.
Conforming to the standard sure doesn’t sound like me, so I must not be normal. It doesn’t sound like any fun either. As I look back on the years of my life now, I do remember many bouts of crying and praying just to be NORMAL.
I knew I was different on another level. What kind of “normal” person can be out having the time of their life without a care in the world and being on top of that world to feeling like you wish you had never been born?
There are many medications for people with Bipolar Disease. I happen to take Lithium. But, just because a person is medicated doesn’t necessarily mean all of that other stuff disappears. It’s just not as strong. The highs aren’t as high. The lows aren’t as low.
During a manic episode, or the high, a person may feel like they can do anything. They tend to do things they wouldn’t do in an average day. I’m not talking about eating a gallon of ice cream or going 90 mph on the beltway. This is the most likely time to try recreational drugs or experiment with several sex partners. It will all be okay because nothing can stop you. You may spend an entire day cleaning one room or you may say “yes” to getting married because you speak without thinking first.
Then the low ebbs in like a toxic tide. It could be the next day. It could be two weeks. Suddenly you feel terrible about everything you have said or done and you know it was wrong and you hate yourself. You’re fat and ugly and no one will ever want you and now you want a divorce because why would someone marry a woman that was fat and ugly?
Bipolars tend to not have many friends, if any. Who could put up with that rollercoaster life? It is like a rollercoaster rolling out of control. But, the good news is that it can usually be controlled through medication and therapy. You need to have a therapist to talk to because you know there are some things your family just doesn’t want to hear.
There are many famous people who have suffered through Bipolar or Depression. Some famous people who had Bipolar Disorder are Kurt Cobain, Vincent Van Gogh, Jimi Hendrix, Oscar Wilde, T.S. Eliot, Jim Carey, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Mikey Way, and Robert Downey jr.. There are so many more people on this list, but this should paint a picture. The link between Bipolar and creativity/art is really interesting. I am more in to the creative arts, too. Now when you see this small list, can you see what these people go through? We have seen their ups and downs in the newspaper or some were considered crazy.
Depression and Bipolar aren’t contagious. It can run in your family, though. It does in mine. I am very surprised I wasn’t seeing someone way back when I was a teenager. I wish I did. We are people like everyone else. I like to think of it as ultra emotional. The medicine I take does help me to realize when I’m feeling too many emotions and I can usually pull myself out of it now. When I want to die, I can remind myself of all of the reasons I want to live. That’s the difference of not being treated.
If you know someone who lives a lifestyle like this, talk to them. There are so many programs out to help people. They may need your help. They just want to be normal .