Dear non-bipolar people:
1. Joking about bipolar disorder is not ok. You wouldn’t find it funny if someone joked about something you battle with daily.
2. Just because you have mood swings doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder. Stop minimizing a serious issue…bipolar is WAY MORE than a damn mood swing.
3. STOP claiming bipolar disorder like it is a free pass to “pop off” or “act a fool” and not control your emotions. People with bipolar disorder strive daily to control their feelings/emotions/attitudes/reactions and maintain peace in the midst of this chaotic (and rather annoying) world. It is NOT a pass to act up and treat others unkindly.
4. Bipolar disorder doesn’t equal INSANE. Most with BD are highly intelligent, extremely creative, talented af, and functional members of society.
5. There are different forms of bipolar disorder. Some have severe forms that include psychosis (hallucinations, hearing voices, bipolar with schizophrenia, etc.), others (like myself) have less severe forms that include only the mania/depressive episodes and/or rapid cycling, etc.
6. People with less severe forms of bipolar disorder STILL HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER. Our self-care is just as important as someone with severe forms who require ongoing medication…
7. If you have never sat foot in a psychiatrist’s office, STOP CLAIMING YOU ARE BIPOLAR. Many things can mimic bipolar disorder, and there is specific criteria one has to meet to be diagnosed. It took me over a year of seeing psychiatrist/psychologist to get an official diagnosis. People are out here diagnosing themselves with problems they don’t even have- if you really knew what it is to live with bipolar, TRUST ME, you wouldn’t be so eager to claim it.
8. Most with bipolar disorder have done a lot of studying on the topic (if they’re committed to self-care, not all are at that point). We do not need your ten minutes of knowledge trying to tell us how it works and/or what WE need to do to treat it.
9. JUST BECAUSE YOUR THIRD COUSIN TWICE REMOVED WHOM YOU NEVER SEE HAS BIPOLAR DISORDER DOESN’T MAKE YOU AN EXPERT ON THE DISORDER. DOCTORS AREN’T EVEN SURE HOW IT WORKS….HELL I LIVE WITH IT AND LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT IT ALMOST WEEKLY.
10. Discussing someone’s mental health with other peole without their consent is PLAIN RUDE AND DOWNRIGHT INVASIVE. Disclosure is a personal thing, not everyone wishes to disclose.
11. I am not bipolar because I have “sinned”, and BD (or any mental/emotional disorder) is NOT a “demon” given to “torment me” because of “sin in my life”….that kind of ideology is foolish dangerous. STOP IT. In reality, Bipolar has genetic ties, and is often the result of some form of trauma during childhood (i.e. rape, abuse, neglect, etc.).
12. I cannot “pray” my disorder away. My relationship with God has helped me ease the burden of living with the disorder (and it helps me not to use it as an excuse to act out), but it is not a “cure”.
Bipolar disorder is real. It is unexplainable at times. The best way I can (attempt to) explain it is like having more than one person living inside of you- who don’t all get along- who all want control of your body (guess that’s why it is often associated with borderline personality disorder).
It’s like being at war with yourself to NOT destroy yourself. It is living with an enemy who hates you so much they want to destroy everything you are/can be/do….while simultaneously living with someone who loves everything about you and encourages you to greatness…it is love and hate….joy and pain…chaos and peace…ALWAYS coexisting…while a part of you stands on the sidelines waiting to see who wins.
It is suffering silently because people don’t get it. Suffering (at times) because YOU don’t get it.
Some days, it is sensational, mania is a high drugs can’t compete with. Other times it is hell, the depression is unmatched…
It is loving people and hating them at the same. damn. time…it is seeing your destruction (at your own hands) and working overtime to try and prevent it.
Still, even with all I’ve said, I’ve failed to fully explain what it is like to live with the beast that is Bipolar.
It is one thing to live with a mental/emotional disorder and not realize what’s going on, but when you are aware that a part of you is attempting to work against you…to destroy you…and you have to use all your will to prevent it…that’s a hell I wish on none. Plus, it’s exhausting as hell. So PLEASE understand, we don’t need the added burden of your ignorance and/or ignorant comments making it worse.