Most patients who have bipolar disorder have a coexisting anxiety disorder.2 – See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/anxious-bipolar-patient#sthash.FOWGYKUQ.dpuf
This means that Bippy the Black dog doesn’t come on his own to play, he tows along a whole pack of other dogs of varying colours who all want to play mind games with me. You all know about Subby the substance abuse one who digs you in the ribs and says “Have a pint, smoke a joint, you’ll feel better mate.” Been familiar with him but wrestled a muzzle on him now.
More dangerous, in that it acts like a real family pet until you don’t even notice him being there, is Angsty. He isn’t vicious he just gnaws away at your self-esteem until you are on the railroad track of negative thinking. With his help you begin to believe that you are a waste of space, useless at everything and every slight word hits home. He peels off your skin until you are as sensitive as a raw wound.
Other people remark that I am very compassionate and helpful. Yes, that’s because I am anxious. I want to help. I want to help to the extent that I swamp people in caring!!
Why am I like this? Well we could go into the old nature/nurture debate but I’m sure that my mother didn’t help with her habit of working on me (rather in the manner of a Gestapo officer) to ensure I was a caring compassionate person. This treatment was easy and made her feel powerful. A good example was The Aberfan Disaster. This happened in October 1966 when I would have been just 10 years old. Mother sat me down, as she always did and banged on about it, making me empathize until I was in floods of tears. You might understand why I grew up believing that everything that went wrong, from an earthquake in Pakistan to a light-bulb breaking was MY FAULT.
I’m going to hang on to Angsty but make him sleep in the kennel outside so I don’t ever risk getting big-headed about anything that goes right. I’m looking into therapy for anxiety but it is an ingrained habit of long standing. Please don’t leave comments saying how nice I am because that will only make me feel guilty for seeking sympathy. Feel free to say what a total cow my mother was. She is no longer around and I don’t care. xxxx