A mad, mad world. I’m getting pretty excited for Halloween this year; it’s one of my all-time favourite days, not the treats, just the costumes and general outlandish atmosphere. This year I feel as though I’m the very clichéd figure of madness, masquerading in a costume that isn’t really a costume anymore. The maniac that is mental illness occupies a wholly unenviable ontological status. The iconic figure that has been chained in the asylum cell. The heightened sense of excitement during Halloween fuels my reckless and excessive drinking which is generally followed by unequalled feats of dancing and generalized eccentric behavior, but then again I always think it was a good time, so no harm no foul. My psychologist keeps on asking why I do certain things or how they make me feel; truthfully I have no idea, in the end I just keep giving extrapolated and rambled responses, offering honest yet elusive answers.
BTW: both pictures are me from last year, was sah excited.
A woman’s mental health journal: “I’m god or I use to be”
Her husband made a marginal note: “Did you quit or were you fired?”
Beautiful, crushingly so, you’re going to be the rest of my life. You are a forest, not a temple, you can’t be destroyed and desecrated, and you will always grow back over and over no matter how badly you’re devastated. If I was given the option to be a ‘little’ manic for the rest of my life, I would sign my name on the dotted line and say “HELLS YES!”. Being that ‘little’ bit manic simplifies the world, people smile back at me; I can easily become that easy-going sociable deity that my anxiety holds back from. My anxiety shifts its perception, people are no longer the scary or judgmental third parties of my life, they’re just people. Crazily enough my jokes to strangers even seem funnier (I’ve been having a giggle about my doctor being called Fernando for the past week). It makes me put my opinion forward, I always have an opinion in my classes at university, but hypomania makes me more forthcoming, people come to me for help with their work. The ability to be social is my ideation of heaven, without it I feel like I’m living a type of sub-life.
My go-to phrase during hypomania is “shit happens, life goes on”, I live by that phrase a lot, during hypomania the realisation that nothing in this world is permanent, not even our worries is endlessly realized. The notion that I should be just manic enough, on the low end of the spectrum. On one side of the spectrum you think that you’re Jesus, the other end promoting creativity and productivity. A common misconception surrounds the belief that the less medicine someone is on the less defective they are. Crazy doesn’t truly exist is any whole form, being diagnosed with bipolar doesn’t mean you’re crazy, maybe it merely means that you’re more sensitive to things that people can’t see or feel, or maybe it’s never truly crazy, just a little bit mad, how much depends on where you fall on the spectrum, how much depends on how lucky you are.
The self is a story, a product of our telling and not some essence.
Bipolar Disorder keeps getting pigeon-holed as more depressive, that we are always suicidal or unhappy. I’m in a great mood, except for the insomnia, it’s a bad time. People need to be aware that they need to use ‘people first’ language whenever referring to any disorder or disability, this is a must. It becomes increasingly hard to see the overwhelming darkness and turmoil that had for months each year ruled my life, I’ve happily put it in a box and forgotten what it looks like. It’s a beautiful spring day, summer is coming, its hot, the sun is out, I see no room for negativity. ‘Winter is coming’ is extremely problematic, people with a bipolar disorder are usually highly susceptible to seasonal change. Psychologists recommended better diet and exercise to avoid winter depression, I did both, I gained weight and lost friends.
Winter is dark and dreary, needing more sleep, having less energy, low motivation/depressed and little control over our appetites. When the weather starts to get brighter, my symptoms of depression will simply change or disappear completely. All the weight I put on during depression disappears in a matter of months; I exercise excessively, high motivation and extreme goal setting ideations. The weight loss is definitely a confidence boost (I had gained 7kg); I can go up to any guy/girl, I will be socially active nearly every night of the week and have mountains of energy to conquer all the things I let slide whilst depressed. Yet the only time I even thought about seeking the help of a psychologist was for my chronic anxiety. During different mood cycles my level of anxiety would become unmanageable, to the point of avoiding almost all social contact. Making the first step to see my psychologist for my anxiety really just opened the door for all the other stuff to come rushing out, I’m still trying to work out if it’s a good or bad thing. Hopefully my next ‘winter’ won’t be so bad.
At 22, I’ve become extremely new to BP2, the mirtazapine that had been prescribed to help with my anxiety led to feelings of dissociation/hysteria and sent me into a hypomanic state which I’m still trying to understand. There are a lot of doctors who seem completely indifferent when handing out prescriptions for antidepressants. When did psychopharmacology become handouts? This type of medicated self-indulgence is trial and error, with a lot of the medication eliciting negative side effects. The understanding of psychopharmacology is so limited that people with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience more adverse side effects than the actual disorder.