I'm Not Negative About Bipolar, I'm Realistic

July 15, 2019 Natasha Tracy

Some people say I'm negative about bipolar disorder. Some people say that calling my bipolar disorder a chronic illness and anticipating the awful effects of bipolar disorder to come is negative. I disagree. I feel that I'm realistic about my own bipolar disorder. Being negative about bipolar disorder is different. 

Being Negative About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder does prime you to think negatively -- about bipolar disorder and everything else. I get this. Especially when you're depressed, everything looks black and bleak and like a cauldron of awfulness. I get this. And this type of mindset certainly breeds unrealistic negativity. For example, when you're depressed, it feels like you will always be depressed and that you will never find a moment free of depression for the rest of your life. This is negativity about bipolar disorder at work. Yes, depression really feels that way but research and experience suggest that there will be moments when you are not depressed again.

This is not me.

Not Being Negative About Bipolar Disorder -- Unrealistically, Anyway

While I have had prolonged depression, and, in fact, tend to have depressive symptoms present every single day, saying that is not the same thing. Saying that I'm likely to be actively sick with bipolar disorder for the rest of my life is not the same thing. Saying that is understanding what my experience of bipolar disorder is like. It's realistic. It's negative about bipolar, but it's not unrealistically negative. It's negative because my experience of bipolar disorder is negative. Your experience of bipolar disorder may vary -- I certainly hope it varies -- but that doesn't make what I say about me negative, it just makes me different.

And let's be clear, I'm not alone in my massively negative experience of bipolar disorder. There's a reason why my writing speaks to some people. There's a reason why my book sells. It's because many people with bipolar disorder feel it is a reasonable and honest voice and it reflects what they, too, go through.

Bipolar Disorder Is a Negative Thing

Because, look, bipolar disorder is a mental illness -- heavy on the illness. Now, like most illnesses, there are many ways a person can experience it. It can be something that is well-controlled on a single bipolar medication. This is rare, but it happens. It is something that can be reasonably controlled on multiple medications. This is more common. It's also the case that it can be somewhat controlled on many medications -- that one is me. My bipolar disorder is controlled in some ways and not others. Moreover, the control I have over the bipolar changes with time and new medications must be sought at that time. Believe me, it's a horrible experience.

I say that with all due realism and I say that with all due respect to others who experience it differently. It's okay if your bipolar disorder is not like mine. In fact, it would be entirely normal.

So no, I'm not unrealistically negative about bipolar disorder. Bipolar is simply a negative thing for me and my thoughts reflect that.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2019, July 15). I'm Not Negative About Bipolar, I'm Realistic, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

January, 21 2020 at 4:11 pm

Brain is hell. Mind is heaven. I seek to lay my head somewhere in between. I love you

July, 18 2019 at 9:10 pm

It has been 7 years of failed treatment for my bipolar depression. I am wondering at what point you decide to accept that that is life for you.

July, 19 2019 at 8:51 am

Hi Susan,
That is such a hard question. I feel like you never accept crippling illness. I feel like there are always more choices. I feel like there are always new medications coming out and there are always new combinations to try. I know seven years feels like forever -- that's very reasonable -- but you still have so much life left. Don't give up on getting better. Find a new doctor. Find a new treatment. Find a new combination. There is always the chance of getting better. Always.
- Natasha Tracy

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