Angry, frustrated, irritated and anxious – did I ever mention that bipolar mania, hypomania and depression are not the only mood/emotional states of my bipolar disorder? While most of these aren’t, technically, symptoms of bipolar disorder, they are common expressions of, or occur with, bipolar disorder. So, sometimes, instead of being “simply” depressed or hypomanic, I also feel dramatically anxious, frustrated, angry or irritated.
Recently I’ve gone through a really nasty bipolar mixed episode and one night I was reminded that distraction is a major bipolar coping skill that I use. I do it without even thinking about it much of the time. My brain just purposefully shifts from agonizing emotional thoughts to unemotional ones. Activities at that time are similar. Distraction as a bipolar coping skill is incredibly useful.
I dissociate when the pain of bipolar disorder becomes too severe. It happened to be just last night, in fact. I was wailing out into the night about the pain and suffering and willing it all to end (Losing a Battle with My Bipolar Brain), knowing that it wouldn’t, so I just dissociated. I separated from the world. My brain and mind walked away from each other. The pain of bipolar disorder forced me to dissociate for my own good.
I love good things theoretically, but with depression, I can’t enjoy the good things. Most people don’t get this. Most people can’t conceptualize of this. But even when good (recently great) life events occur, I just don’t feel pleasure (Depression Is Not Sadness). I can’t enjoy the good things when I’m depressed.
I have always said bipolar medications cannot make you less intelligent. Now, I’m not saying they can’t impact how you think or your speed of thought and so on, what I’ve always said is that bipolar medications can’t actually harm your intelligence quotient (IQ). All that being said, a new medication I’m on, sure makes me feel stupid. The question is, what to do when bipolar medications make you seem less intelligent?
The suicide of a bipolar online was the news I was greeted with first thing this morning. It was an awful wakeup call. Not a wakeup call in that I was sleeping (although I had been) but a wakeup call in that we all need to be on the lookout of the signs of a possible suicide in ourselves and others. And sometimes I think we forget about this killer. Maybe because we need to in order to survive. But today I want to talk about what happens with the death of a bipolar online.
Functionality is important in anyone’s life but I would argue functionality should not be the sole measure of quality of life in bipolar disorder. Quality of life is so much more than just whether one can make it through the day or how many pages a writer can produce. Quality of life in bipolar, and in everyone’s life, is complicated. Functionality matters in quality of life in bipolar but it’s not the only thing (Bipolar Disorder and Decreasing Functionality).
I have lost so much control because of bipolar disorder. This is really awful because I’m actually a control freak in some ways. And, possibly, losing control because of bipolar disorder has actually making me more so as I work tremendously hard, and rather pointlessly, to regain the control that I have lost. This type of control has its plusses and minuses but there’s no doubt that I have less control now than I had before the bipolar disorder came a-knocking.
The idea that bipolar medication side effects suck is not a new idea. I am not the first person to mention this nugget. This is something every person with bipolar disorder who is on medication knows. In fact, when it comes to every medication, side effects suck. The reason why bipolar medications stand out for me is, of course, I take them, but not only that, they are medications that most of us have to take for the rest of our lives. When bipolar medication side effects suck, they suck for a very, very long time, so why take bipolar medications?
It seems like there are 1000 things I can’t do because of bipolar disorder, but what I’ve learned is that I need to focus on what I can do with bipolar disorder, not what I can’t. Because there are things we all can do. We often take those things for granted – but they are still there. We all have a “can” list and a “can’t” list. We, with bipolar, need to focus on our “can” lists.