World Bipolar Day- Questionnaire

In honor of World Bipolar Day, I encourage those of you living with bipolar to answer the following questionnaire to help raise awareness.

You can also nominate some bipolar bloggers to join in!

1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?

2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder? 

3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?

4. How do you manage your symptoms?

5. What is life like for you now?

6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?

7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?

8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?

9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?

I’ll answer the questions:

1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you? Bipolar is a manic-depressive illness, meaning I could be totally happy in 2012, but hello depression in 2013 from fucking January to July. There are people with rapid cycling which means they can wake up feeling that they are going to off themselves, but 4 hours later they are ecstatic. It’s awful, it’s emotionally painful and draining, and……ugh.

2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder? All over the place. My family didn’t know what was wrong with me. But there was something very obviously wrong with me. My grandma actually thought I was possessed.

3. How old were you when you were diagnosed? I was 16 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type I

4. How do you manage your symptoms? Now, I’m taking medication. Before the meds, I would self medicate via alcohol and drugs.

5. What is life like for you now? It’s been getting better, slowly but surely. I’m still adjusting to my medication, Lithium 900 mg, and Seroquel to treat the Schizo- side of my diagnoses.

6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life? Yes, always, forever. I’m convinced it will perpetually affect all relationships and work. I’ve lost friends over my mental health, I’ve lost significant others. It’s very difficult to function with a job sometimes. Fuck, just getting out of bed is an achievement all on its own.

7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder? Shittily. I think we can all agree that there is a fuck ton of stigma associated with any kind of mental illness. Depression, not so much. Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia? Lot’s of stigma. I honestly believe that people equate schizophrenia to homeless people and war vets, unfortunately. Society also likes to accuse us of using our illnesses to justify getting out of trouble, and/or “off the hook.” In reality, this isn’t the case at all. I’ve never met anyone with a true mental illness to ever use it as an excuse. If anything, they work really hard to not make their illness visible. It’s the goddamn malingerers that fuck it up for the rest of us.

8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder? Yes. Not just for being bipolar, but for depression specifically. Some days I just honestly cannot pull myself together. I’ve been called lazy and half-assed more than I’d like to believe. The laziness is not lazy, it’s just that in my sheets, I feel almost dead- a feeling I quite fancy sometimes. Scattered isn’t being scattered, it’s that sometimes the voices get so loud, my concentration goes out the window and there you go!

9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness? Hang in there, toots. It will get better. It will get shitty again, but it’ll get better. You’re not alone. Look at March 30th! You’ve- we’ve- got a whole day to cheer together. We are awesome.

blahpolar , bipolarme ,notsosecretlife , moodymandy Come on, it’ll be fun!

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3 thoughts on “World Bipolar Day- Questionnaire

  1. cavellemartin says:

    Reblogged this on Mental Break and commented:
    1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?

    Bipolar Disorder means glimpses of extreme creativity and happiness. It means extreme lows and hopelessness. It means nothing stays consistent long enough to truly enjoy life. It’s like being thrown crumbs when you’re really hungry.

    2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

    Before I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder (with rapid cycling) My life was quite a ride. So.Much.Drama. I went through a period of about 2 years where alcohol was my best friend. I lost friends ( although I was not hanging around good people)Overall, I was just really lost.

    3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?
    I was 30 when I was diagnosed (March 16th, 2014) When I look back I suspect I had the disorder for much longer.
    4. How do you manage your symptoms?
    As of right now I take medications to help manage my symptoms.
    5. What is life like for you now?
    Life is OK. I’ve managed to settle into a good relationship ( my fiance is my rock) Things are a little more boring in some ways. I don’t dream as much.
    6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?
    Yes,yes and yes. I am not as social as I once was. I prefer to stay at home. I don’t dare to get to close to anyone. I don’t have a lot of close relationships but the ones I do have are very close to my heart. Bipolar Disorder recently forced me to take a month off of work due to medication changes leading to suicidal thoughts. I’m not quite as creative as I used to be.
    7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?

    I think society treats mental illness with fear. This fear leads to stigma. The stigma leads to lynch mobs. Bipolar Disorder. Most people who have it I guarantee has been called “crazy” at some point in time. We owe it to ourselves to properly educate ourselves to help us eliminate this fear.
    8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?
    I have been lucky so far. Most people who know about my disorder have been very supportive. However, people who don’t know I have the disorder can say some pretty ignorant things. Just the mention of Bipolar Disorder and suddenly people have this look on their face like they were asked to eat a worm or something.
    9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?
    My advice is to use your voice. You may be suffering from mental illness but you also have a great opportunity to help others. Educate others and grow as a person.

    Like

  2. gabe126 says:

    1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?
    Bipolar means hell on earth to me. The disparaging lows and the extreme highs that come out of nowhere and disappear out of nowhere. It means medication for the rest of my life and doctor’s appointments and never being “stable”.

    2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
    I was diagnosed with depression at 15 before that I experienced emotional abuse from my father and never felt I was good enough at anything. I was super smart, had a lot of friends, went to college and graduated magna cum laude.

    3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?
    I was properly diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder at 26.

    4. How do you manage your symptoms?
    I take a handful of medication in the morning and a handful at night. I have a PRN for emergencies. I see my therapist weekly and my psychiatrist 1-2 times a month. I suck at watching for triggers especially for my depression. I can handle my anxiety, and can sometimes pick up on my mania.

    5. What is life like for you now?
    I haven’t worked in almost 4 years, I’ve been hospitalized 7 times in a psych ward, I went to rehab in 2012 for alcoholism and will have 3 years sober come July 26. I receive disability and food stamps. I go to the gym three times a week and I spend the rest of my time isolating in my apartment. I no longer have any friends. I am planning on going back to graduate school this summer I feel stable enough I only have 15 credits left.

    6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?
    I lost all my friends between my alcoholism and my bipolar disorder. The people I thought were my “friends” were either “bar buddies”, and then the rest of them abandoned me the first time I was hospitalized, when I needed them most. Very few people have stuck by my side. I stopped caring about everything I used to enjoy. I haven’t worked in almost 4 years and feel like I’ll never be able to hold down a job in my field because I work in a high stress environment.

    7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?
    Bipolar disorder/mental illness receives a lot of stigma and we are looked down upon because our illnesses are not visible, so therefore we must be overreacting or faking it. It’s not depression, it’s “laziness”. As my parents have repeatedly told me, “If I just smile a little bit more, I’d be happier”.

    8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?
    Honestly not really, and I am very open about my mental illness. I do not hesitate to tell people that I am bipolar, or that I receive disability because of my mental illness. People have actually told me they admire me for being so open about it.

    9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?
    I don’t always believe it myself, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, somewhere. You just have to find the tunnel first.

    Liked by 1 person

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