I’m unsure why mental illness became this hush hush secret that people are so afraid to talk about. The National Institute of Mental Health says that “bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.” Whoa, that is a crap ton of bipolar people in this country.
So if there are so many people suffering from this mental illness, why are we so scared to talk about it? Why does society make it a “taboo” thing to discuss?
Because living with a mental illness fucking sucks; that’s why. It’s hard. It’s scary. Every day is a struggle.
People who have bipolar I disorder experience full mania, which are periods of elevated moods with erratic behavior. Most of the times, manic symptoms (full mania) lead to serious consequences such as legal problems and self sabotaging behavior. In bipolar II disorder, the “manic” mood swings never actually reach full-blown mania. Hypomania in bipolar II is a milder form of mood elevation.
For me, I do have my times of hypomania, which happen on average maybe twice a year. In my manic state I usually do really stupid shit. Like, Really. Fucking. Stupid. Shit. I’m talking cheating, stealing, having absolutely no regard for consequences to my actions, damaging personal relationships. When I am hypomanic I feel like my mind goes a mile a minute, I am indestructible. I want what I want at that moment and I really don’t care what happens as long as I get that “high” feeling that I’m looking for. I become a whole different person-uninhibited, careless, fearless. It all feels soooo good in the moment but is seriously terrifying when I finally snap out of it.
I don’t experience the hypomanic side of bipolar disorder nearly as much as I experience the depressive side though. Most of my days I am moody and easily irritated. I have a short fuse and a hard time staying motivated. As you can imagine, that doesn’t make for an easy job of parenting. I am pretty sure I yell on a daily basis. I know for sure I cry on a daily basis. I try really hard to be a kind parent but I am always struggling with feeling like I am completely screwing up my kids, which then makes me feel even more depressed. It’s like a never ending cycle, but I can’t give up now so I just live with it.