An insight, sort of, well, more of a ramble!
Back in 2009 I was diagnosed with depression; I was prescribed an anti-depressant and advised to undergo a few counselling sessions. I went through a six week course of counselling and it seemed to help. Unfortunately the help was short lived, so were the benefits of the medication. My general frame of mind deteriorated and I began to seriously consider taking my own life. After eighteen months and no real improvement in my mental state I returned to the GP and asked if there were any other options that could help. He suggested a much more involved counselling therapy and a change in meds, after 8 months there was very little improvement in my mental disposition. I was continually visiting the GP and the new counsellor with little or no apparent benefit. This lack of improvement only seemed to make the situation worse. Eventually the counsellor suggested that I take another test, the results of this test indicated that I have moderate to severe bipolar disorder. This led to a significant change in medication, six months later there wasn’t much improvement so the diagnosis was now severe bipolar, oh joy! Another change in meds and I now have the occasional time when I’m not feeling pointless.
Living with bipolar disorder is difficult at best, there are times, albeit rare, when I’m bouncing off the walls and driving people crazy with my hypermanic state, and then there are times when it’s the exact opposite. During these times I feel as though all the motivation has been ripped out of me, I get no enjoyment from anything and I lose all motivation. I become a real pain to live with and my work is also affected. During those moments of hypomnia the worst thing to say are “cheer up”, “things can’t be that bad!” and “oh sort yourself out!” telling a person who is experiencing a hypomanic state is a bit like telling an amputee to grow a new leg. Unfortunately Bipolar doesn’t have any external symptoms; it’s all in the brain. So when people tell you to cheer up they have no clue as to how damning that simple phrase can be. It’s not a plaster that makes it better after a gentle kiss on the sore bit; it’s a full blown slap to the face, with a shovel. It’s not that I don’t want to, I simply can’t. Hypomania has such a detrimental, no pun intended, effect on my day to day life. I withdraw from the social things I enjoy, I want to shut myself off from the world and yes, I seriously consider taking my life. At the other end of the scale, hypermanic, most of my friends can’t deal with the constant barrage of stupid jokes, crazy comments and banter that is often perceived as offensive or insulting. In all honesty I don’t mean to upset my friends; I simply lose sight of all boundaries.
During my most recent drop into hypomania I’ve virtually removed myself from almost all social activities and circles. I now have to face the people concerned and try to explain the activity, those moments are very embarrassing as I usually feel quite ashamed over the rash decisions I’ve made. I’m not sure if they really understand what’s happening in my head, I don’t really understand it myself, so how can I expect other people to get it?
In a few days I will, no doubt, rise up into a better frame of mind and will return to the things I enjoy.