I’ve been asked by a friend whose daughter has Bipolar Condition to share my experiences.
I can’t do better than refer you to this 3-part BBC series by Stephen Fry. It’s long but the best explanation I’ve ever seen
I don’t know why we aren’t called “Manic Depressives” any more. Perhaps it was too scary. We are now Bipolars or Bippies because that sounds more as if it is in cuddly round balloon-like letters.
I’ve just had an “episode”. We used to call them nervous breakdowns but we don’t do that either – it feels as if some Medical Dictionary Authority has decided to take the sting out of one of the most frightening mental health conditions around. I’m cyclothemic, like Stephen Fry, which means that my mood swings can change within the course of the day. I’m also Bipolar 1 which is worst kind. So quite literally I can go from the crest of a wave to genuinely wanting to kill myself in 24 hours.
Fortunately these really bad episodes don’t happen very often these days now that I am on medication. When they do …I’m not a threat to anyone but myself. My demon has decided that the world would be a better place without me and he isn’t going to let me go…but he means no harm to anyone else. He refuses to let me think of my family and friends.
Don’t be scared of us. Be scared FOR us if you like. 35% of us will succeed and die by our own hands but we don’t mean you any harm.
If you know someone who is talking about suicide as if it is a rational way – get them to a doctor. Go with them if you have to because, you see, we don’t think there is anything wrong – it’s quite normal for us.
I’m not turning on comments for this post. I’m sure you’ll understand why.