I’m all over the freaking place at the moment. This is me trying to work stuff out again. People say things out of true kindness, because they want to help. They want us to feel better, they really do.
The answer to, “you can still lead a full and productive life,” is that I wasn’t doing that anyway and the prognosis ain’t good.
The answer to, “but everyone has mood swings,” is that the measure of a psychiatric diagnosis is suffering. The answer to, “but everyone ages and develops memory issues,” is that bipolar causes brain damage and speeds up dementia.
The answer to, “it’s probably the meds that are messing you up anyway,” is that you’d have to know exactly what life was like before them to make that judgment.
The answer to, “basically we’re all alone,” is that your body would be found a whole lot faster than mine.
The answer to, “it gets better,” is a hollow laugh.
By that logic, we could tell someone with gangrene that everyone rots eventually.
This isn’t pessimism, it’s realistic. Bipolar is a chronic and progressive disease. It’s understandable that people think it’s just some kind of wobbly mind thing or something, it’s understandable that people question the neurobiological cause theory – they’re natural assumptions. Knowledge is power and me, I feel better knowing what I’m dealing with; I can’t deal with it otherwise. Here’s some solid stuff to read if you want or need to educate yourself. Here’s a thing I wrote about how to help.
Side effects of medication.
Physical effects of bipolar disorder.
Cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder.
It’s hard for anyone (even us sometimes) to believe that time and meds and positive thinking won’t fix it. It’s hard for people who haven’t lived it, to know the depths and the claws of serious depression and the harm in manic episodes. It’s hard for all of us to hear that stable episodes probably won’t last. Sometimes people know somebody with mild bipolar, or unipolar and they don’t understand the serious stuff. Here are some misconceptions (and some good news) about bipolar disorder.
The thing is, bipolar is a cluster of symptoms and no two cases are the same. It is possible to get stable, it’s possible to have a damn good life. There’s no guarantee, but it’s possible. There’s no recovery, there’s no cure. It’s known as the cancer of psychiatric disorders and remission is possible. Support from loved ones is a major plus in the journey towards remission; educated support is even better. We really do need support; it can be hell and the suicide stats are off the chart.
Fuck, it’s all segued into a damn lecture. I live alone, I have a lot of love, but fuckall practical support. I’m grieving it. Pfffft. Reboot.
I’m having sudden and serious issues with words – finding them, using them and reading them. It’s a big deal for me. My memory has become ridiculous; I’m not just forgetting the usual things, I’m even forgetting people. I’m waiting to schedule a ct scan to check it out. It’ll be okay either way, I’m not frightened, only lonely.
It is what it is.