How Do You Explain Bipolar Disorder

I’ve been thinking a lot about the job that I quit.  The job I loved for over 5 years. I’m still sad about it.  I walked away.  Panic, paranoia…I quit.  I’m thinking about it more lately, maybe I’m ruminating I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we reduced that fat pill.  That’s what she’s probably going to say.  We will increase the new pill!  Why aren’t a psyche doctor for God sake? Know it all.

Sometimes I just walk around my house and think that this is it.  This is who I am. I don’t have a “thing” or job.  I don’t do any of the  old crafts that I once did.  I used to quilt and knit, crochet and lots of other things that kept me busy.  Unbeknownst to me I did these things in a manic way.  I see it now. Once I have become more stable I have no desire to do any of these things that once kept me entertained. I kind of felt they defined me. It was my thing.

Now I have no desire or patience to do anything like that. I’ve been coloring.  I got a book with pretty floral designs and I have done a bunch of pages. It is relaxing and good for my anxiety. I don’t feel like I want to read a pattern or learn some new stitch.  It feels like an overwhelming task to me so I don’t.

This is my new normal I guess.  I’m supposed to be even, no depressive dips nor any manic highs. I can feel flat and numb sometimes too, though. I’m trying to be present and see joy in the little things.  I get that. And I’m glad I’m not at the breaking point again feeling so MANIC IMPULSIVE PARANOID ANXIOUS DEPRESSED…

The happy medium, here I am. Emotionless at times.

And here I am back thinking about that job.  I was….OR AM a nurse, though I’m no longer able to work. I loved my job and thought I’d be there forever. But I was CONSTANTLY anxious.  My ADD meds probably made things worse.  I felt like I needed to be on them because of my scattered brain, my forgetfulness. I don’t think I was inefficient. I could do my job and I was good at a lot of it, especially I was anxious or had a migraine or was in the bathroom puking or the IBS.

I haven’t really talked much to my parents much about the impact this has had on my life….bipolar disorder.  I think they think I’m just moody.  When I first told my mom I was applying for disability for bipolar disorder she kind of laughed and said “sweetie, they don’t give you disability for bipolar”.  Hah. HAAAH.  Yes the do mom.  They certainly do.  It trumped my long term chronic migraines, my IBS, my anxiety.

I’ve tried to explain it to her at times.  She says she gets it.  She was over last week and I pulled out my computer to read her some info. When I started to talk about manic symptoms I listed them and she said she got it.  Yeah, ok I understand. When I was first diagnosed I needed therapy.  (Yes…for some people go for it. It’s just not for me). Basically she was saying it was all in my head and therapy would straighten me out. She gets that there is a depression aspect as she also has suffered from depression. And she gets I need meds, too.  But there is a lot involved in my diagnosis that I just don’t think she gets.

A while back I was at their house and my dad looked at me and said “You really can’t work?” like he was confused and just didn’t get it.  I tried to explain to him that my brain doesn’t work right. I was constantly f’ing up at work, I can’t do math, I would put patients in the wrong rooms, I gave a wrong shot(it was out of order…and not really a huge thing but still a mistake and could have been serious)

When I was a little girl I remember him trying to help me with my multiplication facts.  He’d get so mad.  Now….he was my new stepfather sRo I’ve always given him a pass. I know how he is. And math is his thing.  But I couldn’t do the facts, probably because I was too nervous or ADD or whatever it was. No patience whatsoever.  I guess maybe it was a learning disability.  I went on and eventually was able to muddle through nursing school.  So I’m not stupid.  I have to have gotten through solely by mania.  Staying up til 2 or 3 oclock studying or doing a paper with school the next day at 7. It had to be.

How do you guys explain what bipolar is? My mum is bringing me to the psyche doc next week because I don’t currently have a car at my disposal. I was contemplating letting her come to my med check so she could kind of get an idea of things with the questions and assessment my psyche lady will do.


7 thoughts on “How Do You Explain Bipolar Disorder

  1. I can totally relate. My mom was like this, too, when I first got sick. She always found other “reasons” to explain why I was acting “weird.” She said it was my stressful job, being a woman in finance, being an immigrant, my boyfriend at the time etc etc… Her wake up call came when I was first hospitalized and the p doc there invited her for a three way chat to explain how real mental illnesses are. It took another hospitalization for it to sink in. I’m not recommending that you go as far as get hospitalized, but pointing out tangible things help- for example, I have rapid cycling bipolar so my energy level fluctuates frequently, and my face actually turns sallow when this does happen. I also get cysts in my eyes when I haven’t slept because of depression, mania or mixed episodes. You already mentioned IBS and migraines and other symptoms. I think it helps if they can visually see you suffer through what is caused by bipolar. If they’re resistant though, they might not see your suffering as something due to bipolar. I feel you, it’s tough to get through people and it will take time… my mom eventually got it but a lot of my other family members and friends never did… I hope your family becomes more supportive and understanding soon. Lots of hugs💕


  2. if you trust her to do and say the right things, I’d bring her to the psych doc. I know how it is though, my mom doesnt get my did and ptsd diagnosis either. she thinks I’m making half of it up. xxx


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