Finding Answers

Does bipolar have to include depressive episodes? I had a manic episode two months ago. The mania was an experience so raw and revealing it cannot be described. The days leading up to my hospitalization felt incredible – I was so happy, my mood so elevated. I was elated.

I’ve never felt depression. Perhaps my time in the hospital would be described as depressed. I cried and screamed every day. I could not escape the nightmare of being in the psych ward and being forced to take drugs. It was a horror I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. But, that was situational. I think any human being would be upset given that circumstance. So, was that depression or just anger, sadness and fear?

The Doctors say that when someone experiences an episode like mine, it is “usually” followed by depression. While I have been struggling with many emotions, I don’t believe it would be labeled as depression.

So, am I truly bipolar or is something else at play? If I never have a depressive episode or experience, can I be labeled bipolar? Was my mania something else?

How can I objectively tell you what caused my episode or what is “wrong” with me? I am clearly biased. If I knew what caused it, wouldn’t I have avoided it all together…or at least stopped it sooner? If I knew I was acting crazy, wouldn’t I have just stopped?

Doctors still ask me what I think caused my episode. Am I supposed to know? I don’t think any one thing caused it, but clearly something pushed me over the edge. I don’t know if I’ll ever know what caused it, but I think I need to be comfortable with not knowing.

How do you find comfort in ambiguity? Can I move on from such a huge event, even with all of the unanswered questions? Can I avoid another episode without knowing what caused it to happen? I don’t know.

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