Some attributes I assigned to being bipolar.
|Edit note--need to combine with Chapter 1.
(13. Because I'm Bipolar)
I was diagnosed as bipolar about 25 years ago, a life time ago. I was always bipolar, but I didn't know it. Everybody assumes that their perspective on life and living is normal. Even after I was diagnosed, I didn't want to accept that my bio-chemical make up is abnormal. But, by now, I can recognize symptoms of bipolar disorder in the way I think and live my life.
My emotional base-line isn't like other peoples'. I spend a lot of time very low and depressed, or very full of life and manic. I see a psychiatrist and take my medicine daily, so I am fortunate to have a great percentage of my time in the "non-irritated zone."
Some days I wake up, unable to motivate beyond the sofa. Some days I wake up irritated, or agitated, or some other emotionally wrecked state as the result of a dream. Most days, if I don't audit my own behavior, I behave as an unstable woman in the throws of a biochemical menopause
Try it sometime. It takes a real effort to step out of your own circumstances and look at a situation logically. It's not an automatic behavior, but every day I try to learn more about this bio-chemical disorder that sticks to my life.
Although I have found no printed references on the subject, I think I experience time differently--the passage of time. This may be an individual issue, and not related to bipolar disorder at all. If you ask me when something happened in the past, I doubt I could tell you. I forget friend's birthdays, I miss appointments, and writing+ deadlines are murder on me. If I enjoy what I'm writing and editing, I lose all track of time. I forget to pay bills. And it always takes me longer to get someplace than I planned--making me perpetually late.
I try to change my behavior, leave myself notes, but time is always pressing on me. Sometimes it keeps me from sleeping. Other times it presses me to sleep for hours on end. Bipolar disorder is based in the chemistry of the blood of a person, so in a large part bipolars don't have control of their own lives. They are at the mercy of the chemistry of their neurology systems, biochemical neurological activity.
For example, we know what happens when a human, or animal is in the throes of the adrenaling of a fight or flight situation. Your brain focuses on the immediate problem. This person, or animal, is about to have to fight for their life, or run. The brain tells the body, "let loose those adenalin chemicals because we have been called to be ready." Your body is pumped up in this situation because of a chemical message.
There are other situations where the brain and the body's present, or situational setting, will set off hormones. Those hormones may influence, if not override, your behavior. Have you ever been around a high school in spring? With urges of mental love and/or physical sexual behavior, students do have a hard time concentrating on studies. Can these kids "shake off" their feelings? Do they want to? Do they understand what's even happening to them. Hormones rage, pimples appear. There's no going back to the way it was. With little experience, teens too often fall into sexual coupling, and nine months later a baby comes. Was it their "fault" they did what they did because of their hormones? Could they have controlled it if they tried? You may reach your own conclusions about the strength of hormones in our male and female lives.
The psychosis, the outrageous behavior that too many bipolars are known for, happens when the person's body chemistry gets out of whack. Alcohol and street drugs generally aggravate the situation, though the person may feel like they are medicating what hurts. For example, a depressed bipolar may seek out cocaine to raise their spirits. But when the cocaine wears off, the person feels twice as bad--based on certain chemicals that will have been depleted by drug use.
What I share in "my bipolar daydreams" is based largely on my personal experience. In no way is it meant to diagnose or treat any mental disorder. Treatment for mental disorders is best obtained for licensed psychiatrists.