The Dark Side of Bipolar Disorder

I have been living with bipolar disorder for about 4 years now. It was initially misdiagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Since Bipolar 2 disorder is characterised mainly by severe depressive episodes and hypomaina (which can be hard to detect and diagnose – since most, if not all people exhibit hypo-mania as extreme happiness). Whereas, Bipolar disorder 1 is characterised by severe depression and mainly mania. Bipolar 1 is easier to diagnose than Bipolar 2.

There is a lot of stigma around mental health issues, especially bipolar mood disorder. Most people seem to confuse Bipolar Mood disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Although, these two mental health conditions have overlapping symptoms. They are most definitely not the same.

As someone with Bipolar Mood disorder two, I seem to enjoy being hypo-manic. Although it isn’t as severe as mania. I definitely am very productive when I am hypo-manic. There is a dark side to being hypo-manic or manic, because of the lack of sleep and the racing thoughts. Oh, and the impulsive and dangerous behaviour(s). One can act out or do things they wouldn’t normally do. Such as driving recklessly, gambling, being hyper-sexual, drinking excessively and/or abusing drugs.

These behaviours can put someone’s life at risk. This may sound like it isn’t dangerous; for people without Bipolar – from the outside looking in. But some people have contacted STIs and other diseases because of mania/hypomania. Other’s have lost their lives or have been involved in car accidents that have changed their lives for the worst.

The dark side of the depressive episodes is being unable to keep up with the commitments one has made when one is manic or hypo-manic. Taking showers, self-care and running errands could be difficult. Getting out of bed is the hardest thing that one has to do. Suicidal thoughts, self-harm and self-sabotage are things that most of us experience when we are depressed. This can cause some strain on our friendships, love-ships and family-ships. It can be draining for our loved ones and this can make it difficult for them to keep up.

Losing friends because of our cycling between depression and hypo-mania or mania. Is something that Polar worriers experience. Some of us don’t only lose friends but get separated from family members that don’t understand our behaviours or our moods. Being misunderstood and ridiculed is normal for most of us.

Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.

Love, Francesca.

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