I just realized that this right here is about to be crowned the 100th post. Not sure if that’s a cause of celebration or lamentation over the fact that a 100 posts in shatters all hopes that this isn’t some hypomania-induced transitory phase. Oh well, glass half full or half empty I guess. Or, in bipolar lingo; hypomania(in case of type II) or bipolar depression?Hmm.
Yes random reader ,who was misdirected here by Google, I have the ‘dreadful’ disorder that mustn’t be confessed except in mocking context the inglorious bipolar. I started this blog-ish with the intention of channelling the torrent of thoughts and observations and weird quips no one gets but me into something remotely intelligible , and the drive behind it was ironically this disorder. I’m a hybrid of intermittent disorders and ‘abnormalities’ that are so finely woven into each other, the line where one starts and the other ends has been blurred throughout the years.
I was around 15 when this genetically endowed gift was handed down to me. I wish it came with a manual though, something along the lines of ‘ by conventional standards, you’re whack, accept it, don’t bother to try to convince yourself or others otherwise and use this mental inferno to your advantage. Good riddance’ . Or something. Because to be honest, the past 9 years have been riddled with shell shocks, bullet holes,amputations (metaphorically of course.not that kind of whack) and this feeling of disgust seared into my heart in case the constant torrent of criticism for not fitting my square head into a circle didn’t do a great job already. It wasn’t so much the chemical imbalance in my nervous system that caused the Noradrenaline/Serotonin levels to go haywire (mostly to my advantage, to be honest) that broke my hopes and heart to smithereens; it wasn’t this that caused me to develop PTSD, anxieties, eating disorders and the rest of the mental sob story. I learnt – the hard way – that nobody owes you anything; no pat on the back, no gentle nudge in the right direction, no comforting. In fact, we’re all like herds running our own separate race in the most erratic manner because none of us fully know what on earth it is we are running to or running from.
But the teen-me didn’t know this of course. So I’d engage in self-pity tea parties where I’d invite my comrades from my old school of Trauma, and we’d sit there and sip on bitter pit-tea and exchange stories of sombre childhood days and unrequited puppy love – and how that horrible aunty complete wrecked my life over her insensitive joke she made 14 years ago. All this would be compiled into a fine edition of sighs and sobs. My goodness! “… No wonder why I am so messed up, I was doomed from the get go!” This, I surmised with a misplaced hint of relief. Cue the birth of my scapegoat; learned helplessness.
Ignoring a blaring reality hurts. It hurts like you wouldn’t imagine. You’d ignore it, thinking it’d leave you alone if you didn’t acknowledge its existence; that you could somehow forget it into oblivion and for a moment it does vanishes. But then, when you least expect it, it’ll come back . Not only will it come back bigger and bolder, it’ll come back with its’ entire extended family of cousins and aunties and childhood friends. That’s a brawl you’re not winning today,m’lady.
So, what’s my point? I have no idea, but if you’ve reached this far into my confused/-ing tirade, I salute you. You’re awesome, everything will be alright, follow your heart-yada yada.
No, but really, what I was getting at was that I’m open about my condition because I refuse to acknowledge the stigma attached to my challenges, by people who don’t know anything about it, no less. Bipolar is portrayed like this confused and disoriented emo teen with something resembling dissociative identity disorder ( “we all don’t look alike, mind you”). First of all, google is just a click away, type in bipolar disorder and you’ll come up with countless sources more accurate than a Facebook post or Tumblr-whateveritscalled. That’s número uno.
Secondly, bipolar, as the name suggests, is characterized by the fluctuation of a mood between two extremes of elation and depression. Now, this fluctuation does not occur (barring special cases like ultra-rapid cycle, which is the fluctuation of mood within a month) under 60 seconds. Picture a time that you were sad and intensify that by, say, a 4-5 fold. Now contrast this with a time you were really happy and times that by 6 (or 10 if it’s type I) and you’ve got the two poles of this disorder. Now, one can go for 7 months in a bipolar-depression phase that is then gradually transited to a hypomania phase that might last the summer.
Basically, when we feel shitty, we feel really really really shitty. And when we feel good – we feel a tad bit too good (which is why a hypomania phase isn’t healthy, because it involves abnormal levels of serotonin).
Also, do keep in mind that despite the stigma attached to mental conditions, it’s safe to say that at any one time at least 25% of a population are afflicted by it. Now, we can’t really detect these conditions just by looking at a person, and in most cases the one who has them is either in denial over it or ashamed because of the social stigma attached to it. This creates a sullen chloroform-drenched fabric of taboo that is used to gag the big question which keeps begging to be answered and it’s then thrown in a dark dungeon somewhere in Azerbaijan. People are pretty much left to their own devices and sent packing with a generic brand of Zoloft “…and do come back in six weeks to see if this 5th drug is the one that’ll do the trick.Next!”. What’s the question echoing from the depths of the Azerbaijan-ishfb dungeon? Well, what caused this? And how best can we resolve this, not only on an individual level but on a sociopolitical ( no idea what this connotes, just seemed like a fancy word to bedazzle readers into thinking I know my stuff) one as well?
For whoever sat through this verbiage of dry humour,musings,tirades and a poor attempt at explaining science; You’s tha real MVP.