When I have that discussion of Bipolar Disorder with anyone, I’m always left feeling like I did not properly explain it. Like I either brushed it off to be not a big deal or made it seem like it’s a shock I’m not locked up somewhere in a padded room. But isn’t that just the rub with Bipolar?
Is there really an explanation for it? One that can completely and totally explain it to where a non sick person can understand and grasp the amount of pain and struggle we go through on sometimes a daily basis?
As I’m writing this I’m sitting here obsessing over getting another dog…a very cute dog. But I already have a dog that I know doesn’t get enough time. I’m saying they can be playmates, which they can. It would be good for them both. Burn some energy. But as I’m trying to convince my husband of his, he’s knocking holes in my reasoning. We can’t afford a dog. But we can. The van needs new tires, but I can push that off until next pay day. We need to save for our vacation getaway, but I’ll be getting a check from school soon, so we will have money then. I’m torturing myself. I know my husband is probably right. But that physically hurts to say. And there’s no way I can convince myself to accept that.
A simple want. A simple conversation. And I’m reeling in pain. My mind is spinning out of control. I’m obsessing. I can’t stop closing out of this browser to go look at the browser with the puppies picture in it. It’s torture. It’s maddening. And this is the easy stuff.
So how do I describe the hard stuff to people? Like the mania and the depression?
When I attempt to explain the mania, the euphoria is what first comes to mind and my god, if there was a heaven, that is it. Seeing the world in such a beautiful, clear way. Having energy and feeling limitless. The self confidence is something to die for. Sounds good right? Yeah until you crash. Which every train does. The crash is hard and you realize all the dumb decisions you’ve made. You know, like quitting your job to be a stay at home mom or picking up your entire life and just moving to a new state because you want a change of scenery. When you emerge from that wonderful, amazing place, you realize that you might’ve felt great, but in the process you probably spent a lot of money you didn’t have or hurt a lot of people you love…
Then there’s the deuphoria. The grumpy old man, as I like to call it. You’re just in pain. You’re irritated and frustrated. You get mad at everyone. This is not pleasant. It’s more negative. Very negative. This is usually a form of mania no one wants to experience.
Those of you who have experienced these may be understanding this completely, but to those who haven’t they may just wonder what’s so wrong with being happy? And everyone gets a little grumpy, BUT it’s more extreme than that.
And the depression….getting out of bed is almost impossible. The thoughts of how worthless you are, are nagging. Sure, tons of people have depression. But depression in Bipolar is different. Different in a sense that it’s harder to manage. You can’t just take an antidepressant or you’ll go flying off the handle into a manic episode. It’s so hard and painful and all you want to do is die.
But, everyone has bad days right?
That’s just the beginning though, how do you go on to tell people that there’s more? Like OCD, rapid cycling, unipolar, symptoms of ADD, Dual Diagnosis’.
It almost feels as if the list is never ending.
I want everyone who reads this to do one think, think of a sweet simple way to describe what Bipolar is. We all know it’s a genetic chemical imbalance in the brain, so be creative. How can we get the point across and make people understand?
What description would you use?