This past Wednesday, I had what would be considered a mental crack. Not a complete breakdown, but I had broken down throughout the day. Waking up on my day off, I had experienced a series of fluxes in my emotions that all lead up to me feeling empty and overflowing with tears. You may be wondering why or even when did I figure out that I was mentally cracking. Through the tears and anguish, I had begun to search out, to figuring out the reasons why. Why was I so damn sad when everything around me has been going well? Why was I feeling so empty that mustering the feeling of being "full" was a difficult task, especially in the things that had been going very well for me?
When I was eight, I felt true sadness for the first time; real, deep sadness. The kind of sadness that can’t be cured with a hug from your mum.
My aunt, who, like me, struggles with mental illness (me, bipolar disorder, her chronic depression). We've begun to exchange letters to track our comings and goings in hopes of at least to keep a steady diary charting our moods, at most to offer one another consolation and guidance to live fuller, more stable lives.
I don’t feel anything. Nothing matters to me. I’m feeling more than I can. Everything matters more than it should. Everything is at stake. Meh, I don’t care much about it. Whatever. Why can’t I stop thinking about everything? I need to calm down. Wow, this is weird. I can barely express anything. I don’t feel like doing anything. I feel so stagnant. Oh GOD why!! Why can’t I stop feeling so terrible? I just want to cry. I don’t know how to stop. Why do people have reactions? I barely have any reactions. Wait, why don’t I react to things? I don’t understand why I overreact so much. Why can’t I control my emotions? Where are my emotions? Why? What is happening to me? What is happening to me…………...…?
Many of us have heard the word "Bipolar," I believe. It comes from Bipolar Disorder, a Personality Disorder (definition: An ingrained behavior in which the person shows signs of such a thing by the adolescent period of their life; this may affect their relationships and role in society). There are three major Bipolar Disorders I would like to focus on for this chapter: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, and Cyclothymic Disorder.
"But I don't know WHY I feel this way. Do you think I could be bipolar or something?"
I’m the first to admit that I’m a real moaning git when I have anything wrong with me. I hate being ill, even in the slightest way. I always feel like I’m a "malfunctioning human" when I’m ill... "defective"... a thought contributed to by people close to me slagging me down because I can’t work and make money.
Before we begin this installment, let's review some of the highlights of the last one:
In my last post, I listed a number of toll-free numbers that we can use in the event we need someone to talk to, and help us through a "cycle" (the word's used to describe either a manic or depressive stage). Then we covered the issue of medications (and, listen, I can't be too emphatic on this: If you've been prescribed med(s) to help you, then take them regularly! Don't skip a dose, or take too many of them! If you have bad side effects, discuss this with your psychiatrist. He or she can find a better one for you).
While it's true that bipolar disorder is incurable, there are things we can do to handle it successfully and live a happier and more stable emotional life. So, before I begin this second article, let's review what we learned from the first one:
Although my psychiatrist diagnosed me as being bipolar back in 2015, I was neither told of nor treated for it until three years later. The explanation for the delay was simple: My files were "lost in the paperwork."
I recently was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder in April.