I am not going to get into the long running debate in the DSM and psychiatric world about whether multiple personality disorder (AKA Dissociated Identity Disorder) exists. There is evidence to prove that it does, but there’s also a ton of people who fake it for their own agenda.
What this post is truly about is the never changing shifts of bipolar disorder and how it affects our personalities, behaviors, thoughts, functionality.
Last week I was suffering from my usual 7-10 days of PMS from Hell, aka, menstrual dysphoria, and my mind just went to this whacko place like it did when I was preggo and unmedicated. I was consumed by depression and a sense of being overwhelmed and hobbled. I saw people as threats, allowed their idiosyncrasies (even if rude and without empathy) to grate on my nerves to the point I saw them as villains out to emotionally eviscerate me. (Isn’t estrogen fun??? Men should have some more of it then they’d stop making jokes about pms and periods!)
This week, shark week arrived and while the cramps and back pain were agonizing…My mind cleared and while depressive sluggishness tugs me down still…I am seeing things more clearly, with less terror and paranoia. I am functioning, albeit it only because I have no choice, but also…I am not feeling that all consuming resentment for having to functional even minimally. (Though today’s forced trip to Wal-Mart was deeply resented and with cause, cos, um, people are maniacs and the place always leaves me overheated and anxious.)
It amazes me how every month I become an entirely different person for 7-10 days. Throw in bipolar and anxiety disorder on top of it…I’m never entirely sure who I am. Thus why I was so comfortable with the former therapists classifying me as “personality disorder otherwise not specified.” I am fucked up, for sure, but I never saw myself as having flaws of that nature without good explanations of how I came to be/see that way.
Suddenly, 20 years into my treatment, “borderline personality disorder” starts getting tossed out. And I do have a problem with that because…I don’t have a problem with rejection, it is pretty much all I have ever known. I am not afraid to be alone. I don’t buy into the monogamy thing cos the second you do, even Prince Charming can’t keep it in his pants yet expects total loyalty from you. I am not a relationship person. I do brief jaunts trying to be in relationships because sure, I get bored, but mostly…Parents and society have programmed me to believe I MUST attempt relationships even if it always makes me miserable and is not what I want.
So if that makes me borderline…so be it. I can only think of two instances where I clearly showed borderline traits and that was at the end of the two relationships in my life where I was so rudely kicked to the curb because my depression was too rough on them. Sure, I cried, I begged them to give me another chance, I wanted to FOLLOW through on one thing in my life rather than give up because it’s too hard. Histrionic? Perhaps. The common denominator, after the histrionics, was ALWAYS, every single time, coming out of the haze and realizing…I am happier on my own. No joke.
My personality seems to ebb and flow with hormones and the endless bipolar up and down cycle, not to mention when the panxiety turns me into a suspicious cornered album thinking people are a threat even when there is no proof of that.
When you are depressed…everything is shit. You don’t care how you look or if you haven’t bathed and smell bad…You don’t care if the sink is full of dirty dishes or your carpet has enough gunk on it to qualify as a health hazard. None of it can touch you in the black abyss of depression when survival is your only goal and it seems more like a curse because death would be easier.
At the same time…hit a manic episode and THE WORLD TRULY IS FULL OF RAINBOW FARTING UNICORNS AND YOU ARE TEN FEET TALL AND BULLETPROOF! Nothing touches you, you are just blissed out and energy flows out of every pore, making you seem like some kind of genius dynamo. You forget your own moral code, you do things that in a clear state of mind you’d find wrong but during mania…ha ha ha, throw caution to the wind, oh, wait, what is caution? Who cares, it’s harshing my mellow, run up the credit card debts! Oh, that guy whose name I don’t even know is looking kinda hot after a few drinks, I should totally do him!
Mania does not know consequence or morality or guilt.
And then…there are the so rare and brief periods of lucidity, when the meds all work and all the stars align and you feel…some semblance of normal and all your faculties work properly. You look back on your slothful depressive periods with disgust. You look back on your manic episodes with a deep sense of shame, embarrassment, and “what the fuck was I thinking???”
So if our lives constantly revolve around this disorder and all its mental distortions…How can our personalities truly be gauged as disordered? Because what makes me feel hurt on Monday might bounce off of me by Friday and leave me puzzled as to why I got my panties in a bunch.
It truly is like having multiple personalities, only you are aware of them and none of them are there to protect you from emotional trauma. They are there to wreak havoc and cause emotional trauma in some form.
I don’t have any illusions about how some of my thinking is indeed distorted due to past traumas and programming. Kinda like my parents staying married 28 years even though they hated each other and fought constantly. Love/hate is imbedded deeply inside me. That’s not bipolar, that is a flaw.
But if distorted thoughts convince me someone is a threat one month…Then the fog lifts a week or two later, leaving me confused as to why I felt the way I did…
It’s just bad code. Genetics as a computer program. Software aka brain wiring corrupt. Operating system Windows M(igraine) E (edition). Constantly crashing, unstable.
People have no problem grasping electronic knowledge, as in one bad part can take the entire item down…Or diabetes where too low or too high blood sugar can alter a person’s behavior. Those things aren’t blamed or labeled disordered.
Why is it so hard for people to grasp that the brain is just as complex as a car and if one short in the circuitry is bad…The entire machine fails to operate to its full potential?
I can’t fix the bipolar and its cycles.
I try to fix what I can with my personality faults. Though my quirks I rather like even if the Douchebag Status Module says it’s a disorder.
It makes you wonder…Is YOUR shrink flawless? Or maybe they have a drinking problem or cheat on their spouse or they use drugs or maybe they’re narcissistic and have a diagnosis of their own? Can we really trust them to judge us when they too are merely human thus fallible?
I have long said…The ONLY way to not have a personality disorder and be a clean slate is to be a newborn.
Anyone who lives a few years will go through things that leave a mark, help form a disorder or distorted thinking or bias.
So I am not gonna focus on my quirks or disorders of personality. My intentions are pure, my dedication to bettering myself is genuine.
If I seem like a different person and it cycles endlessly…
Maybe bipolar disorder really is a thing and it’s high time the ostriches of society take their heads out of the sand and recognize it.