What is Bipolar Disorder???
I see all the time on social media and I have even heard in conversation how people generally categorize Bipolar Disorder with mood swings and having an attitude. In actuality its a bit more complex than just that. Medically Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder and not just some sort of behavior issue. According to NIMH there are four different types of bipolar disorders; Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, and Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders. They all generally are associated with mood, energy, activity, and depression.
When I am experiencing any symptoms of the illness I call them “episodes”. Considering that they come out of nowhere “episode” is a pretty good characterization. The symptoms that I have experienced that diagnosed me with, now Bipolar Mix, are:
- It’s hard for me to sleep at night. Which is what I am currently experiencing
- Extremely hyperactive. Which is what I am currently experiencing
- Racing thoughts
- Unable to focus
- Irritability and easily agitated
- Extreme depression. I typically can’t even get out of bed
- Feeling of worthlessness and hopeless
- Super sexual. I mean my drive is on TEN. Which is what I am currently experiencing
- Suicidal thoughts
- Overeating. Which is what I am currently experiencing
- Can’t get out of bed and sleep for hours and hours. Sometimes days
- Like when I am on an extreme high and you interrupt it, all hell breaks loose. My mood goes from Zero to 100
- Self esteem is absolutely terrible. I really feel worthless
I had an appointment with my therapist this past Saturday and in conversation she asked me how long have I been in a manic state. She literally picked up on it just from things I was telling her about my week and how I was feeling. I told her it’s been a couple of weeks now if not longer. My husband asked me the other night why was I so wired and hyper and I told him so nonchalantly that I was manic. I mean I have gotten to a place of acceptance but at the same time I truthfully want to be able to control my behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. They can be so all over the place at times that it’s scary.
I used to say how I wish I was normal. I feel as though having this disorder has delayed me in life so much. I am without a doubt a go-getter. There is virtually nothing I can’t do, but I lose interest in things and people so fast. You can’t imagine what it’s like having to work around people everyday while experiencing symptoms. It’s hard. Emotionally I am all over of the place. I don’t watch scary or sad movies because they trigger me something terrible. I have to make sure I am in a constant state of happiness or else I fall into depression. Which is why I admit that I actually enjoy my manic episodes. But when I am feeling anything outside of peace and happiness my life is in a state of turmoil. So yes, bipolar disorder is so much more than mood swings and having an attitude; it’s debilitating to say the least.