I’m having what I call one of my “Batshit crazy” days. I am in pain thanks to a particularly vicious shark week. The hormones are making me swing between anger, exhaustion, and the middle. The anxiety is high and causing major paranoia and “crawly” skin sensations. I am too tired to move around and everything aches. Now my apathetic mood is spiraling down into “why the fuck do I even bother” territory.
The good thing, if you can call anything about mental illness good, is that rapid cycling bipolar means you’re rarely in the same mood for very long so if you can just ride it out, you’ll spring back up. (Of course, that is also the bitch of it, you feel good and think, well, why can’t I feel this way all the time…)
I’ve been reading a lot about bipolar. The newer stuff has more information on rapid cycling (cyclothyic bipolar) which is a breath of fresh air. Doctors who have and still ignore rapid cycles are the bane of a cyclothymic’s existence. They are so hung up on their little DSM, aka Bible of Mental Illness, they don’t pay any attention to the patient half the time. The book doesn’t mention rapid cycles, therefore it must not exist.
I LIVE it, so it does exist. And from the comments I have received as of late on this blog, cyclothyic bipolar is finding its way out of the mental health closet. More of us are getting properly diagnosed (even if we have to research it and mention it ourselves). We are no longer ignored husks, dismissed as histrionic, moody, and mercurial in personality. I don’t think my shrink puts much stock in my rapid cycles, but she seems to see borderline personality disorder everywhere so I don’t think any amount of communication is going to help there. Once a doctor has latched onto their diagnosis de jour, they’re unlikely to relent. I’ve lived that as well, several times. A stubborn doctor more set in their books and personal beliefs is the biggest threat to one’s mental health.
The fact so many have spoken out to me through this blog (And I really hope even more speak up because it sure as hell helps me to not feel so alone in this) about their battles with bipolar, especially those who rapid cycle, tells me the tides are changing. Cyclothymia, long considered mild and benign, is finally making its way into the spotlight. It’s about damned time.
As my seasonal affect depression sets in, and I do the shuffle of cyclothymia where one day I am able to function and the next I am shut down..It does me good to vent in this blog. To hear “It’s not just you.” To hear others are experiencing something similar, validating what I go through when so many have brainwashed me into self doubt and self bullying. It’s not laziness. It’s not unwillingness to work on character flaws.
Mental illness is real.
No one would ever tell a diabetic to skip the insulin, it’s all in your head.
So why is mental illness still so bastardized?
It’s time we start speaking up, stop hiding in the shadows like we did something to deserve this, and, if we can’t educate society, at least we can form a network of support for each other.
I really should be doing this with pom poms.
Oh, well, cheesy as it might come off…Every word is truth. It’s how I feel. I am sick of feeling ashamed, of being invalidated, of being bullied. I didn’t ask for this and I won’t be forced into the position of denying it so ignorant people can have bliss.
Of course, I’ve got my McBitch on today thanks to hormones, so who knows. Tomorrow I may be in paranoid timid mousy “just let me fade into the background” mode.
I still feel the same way on those days. I’m just not solid enough to get out the pom poms and shout it from mountain tops.