I Have Bipolar Disorder.

This is something that I find not easy to talk or write about. Society in general tends to see mental illness as different to other physical illnesses. We all know of the remarks; kids grow up with them; looney, mad, crazy.
An illness of the brain is seen as different to an illness of the body.

Bipolar Disorder used to be known as Manic Depression. The sufferer has periods of extreme 'highs'; their energy levels both physical and emotional are sometimes almost out of control; they feel exhuberant and invincible. Often they talk faster than their brain can keep up with.
They also have periods of extreme lows; are tearful, very depressed, and are often suicidal. What I have described are the extremes; there are of course different levels.

As a child I went through these stages, but it wasn`t until my teens that I knew; felt that something wasn`t right. Going through puberty and all the different feelings this brings a girl (and I`m sure a boy) exaserbated the problem. And of course family noticed. I struggled at school; some weeks excelling in everything and others withdrawing. But nothing was done. I managed, until in my late teens, with the encouragement of my mother I sought professional help. It was then I was diagnosed as having Bipolar Disorder. And I can tell you, the relief I felt, as well as the shock, was; well; I`m not sure how to explain it. On one hand I was told I had a mental illness,(*what!*) on the other I felt relief that finally I knew why I had spent years feeling I was going mad!

How does it affect my daily life? I cope well most of the time. I keep my medication to a minimum; knowledge is a powerfull thing.
When my mood is high I am very creative, as in I love to write; my imagination runs wild, I bubble over with enthuisiasm. I am physically very energetic. At these times I know I have to be careful, as I tend to be a little extreme in the things I do; throwing caution to the wind, which as a nudist can have some quite hilarious results!
When my mood is low, well, I withdraw into myself. My mind gets a little befuddled, I cry easily, and I take on all the cares of the world. I can`t understand the wrongs that different segments of society do to each other. This is the deep depression; Winston Churchill`s Black Dog. I have always loved books and reading, and I lose myself in the world of others. Poetry, literature has been my saviour. I am lucky, I have a few close friends who know and understand. And I have Di. But when times are very low, it is hell. But I prefer to be like this; to know and love myself as I am rather than to be on lots of medication and be a zombie. I know I will come out the other side.

It has been very helpful for me to write this. Very few people know I have this illness. It is not something people feel comfortable talking about; both the sufferer and people who learn that someone has the illness.. Is it fear of the unknown? *Oh, be careful what you say to her; she may take it the wrong way; she has a mental illness*. Or in worse case scenarios; *she`s mad!*

Being on EP has also been very helpful, in as much as I have been able to express my true self in a way I am unable to do in my everyday life. I may not be on EP much longer, but I want all to know that the friendships I have made here have been both helpful and most enjoyable. Even when I`m gone, the memories of my friends here will stay with me forever.

Love to all,

Gwyneth. xxx
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6 Responses Sep 23, 2013

I know it a few years late, but non-the-less, welcome to the bipolar crazy club! We have a blast here. Daily meetings of "what will today bring" (that is if we slept the night before). And monthly sessions devoted to burying our heads in pillows. No money up front and dues, well, you're already paying them. :)

I can completely agree with you on this topic.
I also have a mental illness and now take multiple medications for it.
People really don't understand that it is out of your control.
I could tell just by reading some of your stories that your very good at describing things and can take this single topic and make it 3 or 4 paragraphs long when most people just say " I have bi-polar disorder and it I hate it".

I have that same problem, except my disorder is anxiety to severe anxiety. I think I might write about it now because im already typing too much lol.
anyways love the stories and too bad you might be leaving EP
I just joined and hope to have the same experience as you!

It sucks to explain and hell to live through my solitude and nudity helped me get through before Meds Still nude as much as can be

You are far from being alone, my dear, even though it may feel like it sometimes. I have ridden that same horse for many years and often been told, "It's all in your head." (No sh*t?) LOL. Like you, I don't understand why people are so afraid to recognize a disease of the brain when they have no trouble recognizing heart disease, kidney disease, or toenail fungus. But please know there are many of us who stand with you and love you and understand. Keep on keeping on and may peace be with you today.

I have done little to bring you any comfort yet, but I hope that others on here can continue to raise your spirit and that you continue on the path that you are walking to a better tomorrow; it does not have to be a great tomorrow just a little better each day until you know nothing else but happiness.


Well I can not speak for all, but like I said we well try our best to make your days better :)

Gwyneth, well done for having the courage to put this in words. I am glad it has helped you in some small way: it will certainly be of help to those who know little of this illness or who fear it. Self-knowledge is the most important human quality of all and you have it in abundance. You are a much loved companion to Di and you are a wonderful friend to me and others here on EP. You helped me enormously when we first got to know one another, just by listening and responding honestly to my questions. I love you for who you are . . . my funny, imaginative, sparkling, enthusiastic and deeply affectionate friend. Thank you! xxx