Understanding What It’s Like to Live With Bipolar Disorder
People with bipolar disorder experience episodes of mania and severe depression; however, it is important to note that no two individuals have the same experience. Generally, your feelings flow like the sea, where, in one instance, they are tranquil and present; other times, they crescendo like waves crashing into each other.
In one moment, you are admiring life filled with overwhelming joy; in the next, you are battling severe depression. Living with bipolar disorder is a long and ponderous journey. It can be difficult to understand its nature for someone who has no knowledge about the illness.
In this blog, let’s try to understand how individuals live with bipolar disorder.
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a perplexing condition for the one affected and those around them. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that triggers unusual shifts in an individual’s energy, activity levels, and overall concentration. These shifts influence how they carry out everyday tasks.
The bipolar experience can be divided into two phases:
To the outsider, bipolar disorder can be seen in many forms. Where most individuals experience mood swings, for people who have bipolar disorder, the lows are emotionally taxing while the highs are manic.
Healthline magazine sat down with a 30-year-old man from California, talking about his experience with bipolar disorder. He stated his experience with mania as:
“The best part of mania is that I’m so optimistic about everything. You could crash a car through my house, and I’d reply, “What a great time to build something new!”
During these episodes, you’ll find individuals optimistic and full of energy. They’d be the life of the party and participate in erratic behavior. Mania also finds the person incredibly talkative, to the point where the other individual may struggle to join in the conversation. While their behavior may seem confusing, it is a fantastic experience for the individual.
Mania also evokes creativity in people, bringing out their inner artists; that being said, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Individuals may also find themselves getting reckless, getting into verbal altercations, and escalating them to fights.
With bipolar disorder, “depression” is the hardest to deal with. You may find your friends confused, highlighting the contrast in your feelings, which only adds to the anxiety and the pressure of performing. You may feel irritated for no plausible reason and lose the motivation to do anything at all. This may continue until the very next manic episode.
If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder, education and awareness is key. Author Steven W. Wilson presents his life story of going through the pangs of bipolar disorder in one of the most inspirational books on mental illness. Steven suffered through sexual assault, suicidal ideations, and anger issues; find a companion in Steven and witness him walk across the tightrope of life as a testimony to knowing one day, you can, too, find yourself winning and surpassing any obstacle.
Teetering on a Tightrope: My Bipolar Journey —now available on Amazon.