IS BIPOLAR DISORDER A GIFT?

I came across a blog post by a psychiatric Registered Nurse who shared their belief that people with Bipolar Disorder are not sick. The real sickness is the treatment and medication people with Bipolar Disorder receive.

The writer’s belief is also that many with Bipolar Disorder realize that “normal life” is too phony, boring and constrained. Leaving them with the realization that there is much more to this mundane existence. A manic episode is triggered by the collapse of the mask we wear or hide behind and while manic the soul is allowed to be free for the first time.

The author states that there is no science involved in diagnosing Bipolar Disorder, no scans or medical tests, no scientific process.

They quote Socrates “Our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, provided the madness is given us by divine gift.”

And Plato “Insanity a divine gift and the source of the chief blessings granted to men”

Everyone is entitled to their point of view. I know many that think of Bipolar in terms of wearing a “mask”. I sometimes think that way myself. You are constantly trying to be “normal”.

RESEARCH

Scripps Research Institute has shown for the first time that ensembles of genes within the striatum (part of the brain that coordinates motor and action planning, motivation and reward perception) could be very involved in Bipolar Disorder.

More than two thirds of people with Bipolar Disorder have at least 1 close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression. (National Institute of Mental Health)

They also found genes linked to the immune system and the body’s inflammatory response system which could help in future development of diagnostics.

MY VIEW

Do I think Bipolar Disorder is a gift? Only if I put it in the same category as Herpes, the gift that keeps on giving.

Before I was diagnosed I drank to feel like a person instead of a thing that was in constant emotional pain. When I wasn’t in pain I was making life miserable for everyone around me. I spent money like there was a never ending supply, I would just do things without thinking, I feel like I had to do something but I didn’t know what, like an itch I couldn’t scratch. The manic times I could handle. The depression I couldn’t. I knew something was wrong with me. I had been around enough mentally ill people in my life to know the signs. I didn’t want it to be true. So at 16/17 I started drinking instead. Next thing I knew 20 years had gone by. The lost opportunities stacked up, so high I couldn’t handle it.

All of the suicide attempts, all of the alcohol, all of the physical and emotional abuse had taken everything out me. I finally gave in and went to a Doctor. I had been to other Doctors. I was court ordered several times to see Psychiatrists. Not one of them diagnosed me with a mental health problem. All they saw was an Alcoholic.

By the time I was diagnosed it was kind of too late. Too much damage had been done. Years of the wrong medications mixed with alcohol, having Celiac Disease and not knowing it for years, and Conversion Disorder, all made things difficult. My immune system is almost nonexistent.

I am 43 and can’t have children now, I have one kidney and Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease, I also have various problems with my white blood cell count, malnutrition, malabsorption, Rickets lol, and 1,000 other problems. Do you know what this means? My medications do not work the way they should. Does it make a difference? YES IT DOES.

If you are someone who doesn’t believe in medication then maybe you never found the right combination. I had for about a year and everything was okay. I wasn’t doing backflips but I was leaving the house, taking pictures, making jewelry, and doing some things. When my immune system started to get worse and I was in kidney failure but didn’t know it, there was a huge difference.

There isn’t much relief now. I can’t take off a mask because there isn’t anything underneath. My manic episodes are filled with agitation and angry outbursts. All I keep thinking is “I want to go home” but I’m already home. Then I spend hours searching for plane tickets and hotels to disappear to. Then I talk myself out of it because I’m afraid. The constant cycling of thoughts and memories are relentless.

This is no gift, this is torture.dt_150406_brain_bipolar_disorder_800x600

 

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About darie73

I have lived with Bipolar Disorder since my early teens. I have lived with Social Anxiety Disorder for even longer. I self-medicated with alcohol for over 20 years, that's how long it took to get a diagnosis. I'm open and honest about my mental health so hopefully one day the system will change. View all posts by darie73

10 responses to “IS BIPOLAR DISORDER A GIFT?

  • tonyroberts

    Wow! You’ve been through so much. I pray you find healing from here on.

    Like

    • darie73

      Thank you for your comment forgive me for not taking it further. We have different views and I’m okay with that I just can’t promote them. I try to be honest but not disrespectful. Good luck to you.

      Like

  • Echo

    Omg I do the I wanna go home thing too…but only when my heart hurts so I’m feeling ya babe.

    As for the gift thing I get the gut reaction to rage bc I doubt judgmental ppl could last 5mins in our heads to be honest…
    But…I do try to see a win in everything. And I think I maybe there’s more to this article than was actually written because I bet we all do have a “something”…but maybe everybody does. Was hoping you’d say she observed her patients over years and found they had certain skills or something idk lol guess life isn’t a Stephen king novel…
    I don’t like labels but I do have to fight for the “normal” and I’m never quite sure what it is…I can sympathize with all of that actually and for what it’s worth I feel a lot less crazy knowing it’s not just me. Don’t talk about that stuff in my family it’s not a thing…anyway maybe it can be both xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • darie73

      In previous posts I’ve talked about how I see the world differently and it’s a good thing. I do have things about me that are unique, it allows me to see shapes, colors, art, and beauty in places where most wouldn’t. I have more street smarts than most people I know. I just didn’t like the grouping of all Bipolar people into the “gifted” category. There are weeks where I can’t get out of bed. It has been scientifically proven that Bipolar people are usually above average in intelligence. If you look at some of histories greatest musicians you will see they were Bipolar or had “mental health issues”. Up to 70% of entertainers today are thought to have some type of mental health problem. So there is a link. Just not enough of one for me to be thankful about it. I also have a problem with anyone who advocates against medication when for some it’s the only reason they are still here. I’m too cranky to be saying anything right now. lol

      Liked by 2 people

    • Echo

      Actually that explained it perfectly imo thx! I agree…I actually believe ppl should try not to make groups of other ppl at all. It doesn’t work clearly we’re all going to experience things differently and that’s ok. I’ve only recently been diagnosed but I guess I kinda knew all along. I too have those awful wks in bed (gotten it down to a few days now) and yeah during those times I’d be like “fk you lady and your “observations” stop trying to label me dammit!” lol so I get that too. I have an old post about my mother where I knock meds, but really I agree with you that they’re very necessary for some of us (just wish they’d take the poison out ffs) so I don’t judge I just had a horrible mother lol. Don’t let em get ya down kid xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • darie73

      It’s frustrating that in all of the years Bipolar, manic depression, or major depression has been researched no one could come up with anything better than running electricity through my brain like I’m not even human. And why should a person have to try 40 different meds with all of the side effects before finding something that “kind of” works? I will never understand and I’m too sensitive about everything to be taken seriously.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Echo

      Aw I totally understand that. Been there got the tshirt lol. And then I gave up, crying on the floor “if the world would just let me BE ME I’d be fine!” …I mean right?! There may be something to the theory that we aren’t a condition just ppl who work and function differently. After all who the fk defined normal anyway? Who died and made society god? lol see…I get pissed about it too. To the rest of the world I say the next time you have a bad day remember the ppl you judged for being different and THINK about it plsnthx lol. Xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rob

    All I can say is if there was one person I wish i could do something for its you. Breaks my heart to think of everything you fight through everyday. All I can say is I’m here and I thinkbof you

    Liked by 1 person

  • ToadieOdie

    I find that the people who say that it’s a gift have either never lived with it or have somehow miraculously harnessed it to forge a life for themselves. The latter are the assholes that shame the rest of us. “Look how well I’m doing and I have it. You should be able to do the same.” Fuck those people.

    The genetic research being done on Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Autism is profound right now. Just last year in the spring they found about 19 genes that cross over between the three disorders. It really pissed off many of the parents in the Autism community but when I speak with the Autistic adults I find that they felt like I did with the whole “that explains a lot” sort of attitude.

    How many of us with Bipolar also have sensory issues when supposedly it’s only an Autism thing? How many with Autism have circadian rhythm issues (messed up sleep cycle) when supposedly that’s only a Bipolar thing? How many of us in both groups also struggle with psychosis which comes from Schizophrenia? People with Schizophrenia are getting the spill over too. We’re finding what we once thought was hallucinations are actually sensory processing issues. Sensory Processing Disorder can’t be medicated away but can be helped with therapy. Imagine that. People do better with the right treatment and care plan.

    I tend to piss off many parents when I bring up this research and try to explain how genetics works. I have no apologies. I look at this information and research not just for my children but for myself as well. It’s for the benefit and well-being of my family as a whole. If they don’t want to consider it that’s fine.

    Liked by 3 people

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