I lie to myself about bipolar. I lie to myself about everything being fine. I lie to myself about the next day being a clean slate and possibly a beautiful one. I lie to myself about the possibility of falling in love. I lie to myself that the bipolar isn’t that bad. I just lie and lie and lie and lie.
While some disagree, it’s important that people understand that antipsychotics need to be used for non-psychotic depression treatment, when appropriate.
At any one time, 14 million people suffer from depression but only 60-70% of these people respond to antidepressant treatment. Of those who do not respond, 10-30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms including “difficulties in social and occupational function, decline of physical health, suicidal thoughts, and increased health care utilization.” Treating these people presents a huge issue for healthcare practitioners and one of the options they consider is the use of a medication class known as antipsychotics.
Recently, a group called the Therapeutics Initiative wrote a letter entitled Antipsychotics should not be used for non-psychotic depression. Their conclusions are as the title suggests: this body found little evidence to support the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of non-psychotic major depressive disorder.
And while I respect the work of this body and while they have considered some evidence (in the case of quetiapine [Seroquel], an antipsychotic), there is more to consider on the issue.
Recently, I wrote a Facebook post and someone said it indicated that I hate my life. This is not something I said, but hating a life with bipolar disorder is a pretty easy thing to do. But I have to be clear on something: I don’t just have one life – none of us do. So saying “I hate my life,” is a blanket statement that just isn’t true. It’s a judgment, and it’s not fair.
The issue with bipolar disorder isn’t that we have feelings, it’s that our feelings are too big. Emotions are normal, even big emotions at certain times are normal but people with bipolar have feelings that are too big far too much of the time.
I am not a parent, let alone a parent of someone with mental illness, nevertheless, but it is still clear to me that parents of the mentally ill get blamed for their child’s mental illness. I honestly don’t know if my mother has ever experienced this, but I know of other parents who have. One woman I know comes to mind. Her daughter has schizophrenia and requires a lot of help to successfully maintain her wellness and live on her own. Her mother provides everything she can to make this happen – and it’s a lot. And yet, this mother has been blamed for her daughter’s schizophrenia. But parents aren’t to blame for their child’s mental illness.
I can’t control my brain. I can’t control my emotions. I can’t control my tears. I can’t control my irritation. I can’t control my need for excess sleep. I feel like I can’t control anything. And not being able to control my brain or my emotions makes me feel entirely inadequate as a human being.
One of the annoying things about having a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder is that doctors blame all physical pain on bipolar disorder. It feels like if you have a hangnail it must be because of bipolar. It feels like the pain from a broken leg must be from bipolar disorder. Doctors just seem to leap to the conclusion that bipolar is always to blame even when other physical ailments are or may be present.
I have a great fear – I fear becoming a burden to others because of bipolar disorder. I fear that I will become too much work. I fear that I will become too much bother. I fear that I will just become just plain “too much.” I know how burdensome bipolar disorder is to me and I don’t want to place that burden on others.
Many of us have the insight to know when we are manic, hypomanic or depressed or in another bipolar mood state but, unfortunately, even though I might know I’m hypomanic, depressed or mixed, I can’t necessarily help it. I wish I could. I wish that knowing what my bipolar disorder was doing would somehow alter it, but it typically doesn’t. I just can’t help it when I’m hypomanic, depressed or in a mixed mood – even when it’s clear to me.
If you’re on my mailing list you head last week that a GoodReads giveaway was started. Right now I’m giving away three paperback copies of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.
Today Bipolar Burble welcomes Dayton Uttinger, the best friend of a person with bipolar disorder.
My best friend with mental illness is one who don’t seek treatment. She is either constantly bored, always beginning new projects, or depression overtakes her, sealing her in a straightjacket of self-doubt and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, she relies on me to be able to let her know when bipolar disorder is seriously affecting her. I take care not to dismiss her feelings, and sometimes there’s no avoiding a rush of directionless emotion, but it’s worked well enough. It’s been over ten years of this, and there’s been definite ups and downs. Eventually, she started to worry that she was being demanding. But there are things that I, as her best friend, want her to know about her and her mental illness.
I’ve been forced to realize that writing my book about bipolar and depression has almost killed me. This is hot hyperbole, this is really what has happened. Of course, most people aren’t about to sit down and write/publish a book tomorrow but the point is that a massive effort and stressor has gotten to me. Almost killing me was not what I thought writing a book would do.