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”.
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.
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.