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A Polarizing View of Bipolar

(from one Bipolar to Another)

By Dorn SimonPublished 7 years ago 8 min read
A Standard DSM-V Descriptor

At 49, after many a Dark Night of The Soul or a Howling at the Moon had brought me to study Psychology, delve deeply into Spirituality, analyze myself thoroughly, learn my anomalies, my personal triggers, the behaviour patterns, and pretty much feel I had a solid grasp of what Bipolar meant to me, how it played out or rather manifested within my core biochemical being...along came my new partner!

If I had seen his profile on a dating site, as attractive as he was, listing a myriad of similar interests, I, sadly - (I know, here come the stone's thrown at my hypocritical ass!) - would have scrolled right on by when reading he, too, was Bipolar.

I had been in relationships with all and sundry, of which this article is not about so we shall skip past simply say, a Bipolar never, had I partaken with–heck, dealing with myself was hard enough to handle at the best of times.

Luckily for me, (or for us both?) I was in the most settled, accepting phase my life had ever come to, and he was suggested as a friend on Facebook, with the insight to also send an introductory request via messenger, in which he gave me the respect to accept his request...

During our many intellectual conversations, which cross over many threads involving psychology, the occult, spirituality, metaphysical versus living in the now on this physical realm called Earth, and obviously, our similarities and differences in our struggles with Bipolar-Manic Depression, an eye-opening theme became apparent.

I had a particular reliance on seeing it as something I was, it being a part of me, simultaneous to being afflicted by it, only just warming to the idea that "I am not my illness", but still seeing it as an illness all the same...labeling it; he, however, saw things in a wider sense of the term completely; Polar – Full-stop.

Meaning, like polar opposites, extremities, one end of the scale to the other, switching betwixt one and the opposite, [much like the signs, or symptomatology of Borderline Personality Disorder which at times is misdiagnosed as Bipolar, or more oft 'with' a Bipolar diagnosis].

Now I know some will say, "Well, it is a Mood Disorder, thus likely to swing from one extreme to another," but that is still looking at it from one angle only–MOOD–whereas he sees the scale in absolutely each and every possible way, regarding all aspects of self, of life, of living as well as the world and the cosmos–not merely psychology or psychiatry with a splash of biochemical added.

This at first left a niggle within, as he had become so well-adjusted, waffled the odd time on similar footing, hitting the same stance; eventually I even became somewhat defensive and irked by it, as it was as if he didn't see Bipolar as an illness, an imbalance, an affliction, or something recurring at all. At least this was how I was perceiving these threads of what I picked up, or out, of those conversations.

You see, us both being Polar and both being Bi is another layer to this quandary, adding more depth to the meaning of diversity within this diagnosis, or chemical routing of the brain; according to Daniel G. Amen, MD, each and every single person diagnosed with Bipolar, whether category I or II, has a unique (to each individual) brain pattern and biochemical make-up; unlike how it was previously thought of, all Bipolar patients have a lacking of serotonin, dopamine, or too much of them, such descriptors indicating thus:

"Experts believe bipolar disorder is partly caused by an underlying problem with specific brain circuits and the functioning of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Three brain chemicals -- noradrenaline (norepinephrine), serotonin, and dopamine -- are involved in both brain and bodily functions."

So, with this in mind, aside my own experiences, study, degree and personal research, it blew me wide open to hear such a contrary point of view on the subject, particularly from someone who had suffered so badly with the symptomatology of Bipolar I for so long, even if he had managed to miraculously find equilibrium.

However, as my mind often does, it regurgitated and fed on this over and over in an OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) fashion, until one day it began to sink in, to make some awakening sense – being of a spiritual nature and studying in that field, it lit up the shadows of my mind to see the light in a way, to look at Bipolar from this new perspective, to see Polar as just that–Polar; Bipolar, Bisexual, Bi, and Polar...

It opened up a bandwidth in my consciousness like never before.

Let's draw a simple line...


...on one end of this line is one state of being, of feeling, of thinking, and of behaving; on the opposite end is an entirely different state, reflecting almost the opposite/original end but from a skewed view; enter in the Light and the Shadow, and this is what Bipolar can be.

It can also be a blot painting, those that create Butterflies in colours when the paper is folded in two and re-opened.

Polar opposites, this all sounds so obvious, I know, like "Hey, that's what you have been going through your whole life and you didn't see it?"

But you see to me, it was all chemical, biochemical, psychiatric and psychological; never before had I looked at it for what it simply is, and even claims to be – Polar – just that, broad spectrum, wider scope, peripheral in its existence, not labeled and categorized into a set of diagnostics, not even brain scanned to acquire the knowledge within–each Bipolar has a unique brain pattern or chemistry within it – but that it merely means we have the ability to be broader minded, live more freely, see more widely, have broader tastes, thoughts, and skills.

I can journey from one end of that line to the other and still be me–however much that changes me during that traversed journey–instead of saying I have lost my footing, my mind, or had a blip, or chemical imbalance – I merely journeyed to the other side.

Both sides are equally me, equally worthy and hold unique abilities and skills, so instead of denying one for the other, why not utilize them both, or rather all; there need not only be two, either, that is a long line some days!

Keeping healthy, eating naturally well, exercising, therapy and, if medicated, remaining on said medication at a doctor's guidance, all aids to well-being within this dynamic; but to limit the self by labeling, holding back what has been gifted to you – broad spectrum minds that so few get to experience–and being artistic, intellectual, multi-taskers, multi-interests and living in vast ranges of scope is a blessing, not an affliction.

The imbalances come when part of that spectrum is being denied, when we are being conformed or niched into a psychiatrist's DSM-V diagnostic, being told there is an abnormality, that it is wrong, unhealthy – it is only unhealthy if we suffer, or others suffers from it.

In the year I have known him, my partner has yet to show but the slightest trait of what once was, and he has brought about growth in me that I thought would never or could never exist – all adding to the equilibrium and healing of my past view of what Bipolar was.

I remain on my medication, an SSRI, Lustral, [also known as Zoloft in the US] as I still get plagued by that dark side being more prone to the depressive nature and having a baggage load of history I am still wading through, (which at times, even today can feel like an insect crawling through treacle, as it impinges on the here and now) – not to mention it aids with warding off anxiety and OCD symptoms; by all accounts the latter is probably more limiting than any other for me.

Polarize:Cambridge Dictionary - to cause something, especially something that contains different people or opinions, to divide into two completely opposing groups”.

How restrictive, yes?

Now add that to a person’s perceptions, emotions, outlook, mood, ego, behaviour patterns, it any wonder it is hard for the Bipolar mind to comprehend at times the ‘Normalization’ that society requires.

The fact is that Polar viewed as a sphere, of which it is more accurately encompassed, moving on an axis, would explain it best - allowing the depth, the width, the spin, the circumference, the universality, the intricacy, the diversity - as opposed a linear.

I believe that is the start of how my partner views it, or at least how I am learning to re-focus my perceptions of it, and this includes seeing it as a whole, within many wholes, rather than 'holes' within the whole - fragmented, or swinging from a conformed set of lines.

Being Polar, not just Bipolar, opens up the reality that we are Polar in nature, in every other way within ourselves also.

This incorporates a vastness to explore, as well as an unending well to drink from - a busy mind can get lots done when this Polar acceptance is learned, as opposed it being so busy that the chaos leads to inertia or insanity.

So, feed it - feed it well, with food, exercise, people, work, play, creativity - make things by hand, write, paint, find a job that builds on your expansive nature–an idea’s man–play your video games, watch Netflix, do three things at once if you can, it is all part of that Polar region that so few get to experience.

Now, I am not stating that the dark/light, high/low does not exist, that Manic Depression is no longer once we see Bipolar as an overall Polarity, but I can say this - that it lessens over time, it gets lost in the chaff as one progresses in the living as a Polar instead of existing as a Bipolar, or a Person afflicted with Bipolar.

I aim only to share my immense change of perception, brought to me by another Bipolar, whom I feel has no idea how much growth he has allowed and aided me to find.

Definition of Polar:

  • of or relating to a geographic pole or the region around it
  • coming from or having the characteristics of such a region
  • of or relating to one or more poles (as of a magnet)
  • serving as a guide - a polar principle - a polar theory
  • diametrically opposite - polar positions on the issue
  • exhibiting polarity; especially having a dipole or characterized by molecules having dipoles - a polar solvent
  • resembling a pole or axis around which all else revolves - pivotal - polar events
  • of, relating to, or expressed in polar coordinates - polar equations - of or relating to a polar coordinate system

©2017. Dorn Simon


About the Creator

Dorn Simon

Dorn began writing at 7 years old, poetry & short stories.

Author/Poet/Column: Gollum of the Psyche (Self-help genre), 'Hymn a Day to Hekate - Έκάτη (Devotional), The Misdeed, The Melting Pot Anthology 1-4, DornDryad's Blog, Aiteach.

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