101 Things Nobody Tells you about Bipolar

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  1. It is more than just happy or sad
  2. Bipolar is a complex long term condition
  3. Sufferers all have slightly different periods of depression, hypomania, mania and stability
  4. Depression will be severe and unrelenting
  5. A depressive episode could last months
  6. A hypomanic or manic episode could last months
  7. Mania is not always fun
  8. Mania makes you feel irritable and restless to a point where you can no longer sleep
  9. Sometimes mania will make you scratch and pick at your skin
  10. Sleep deprivation is agony
  11. Mania is dangerous, for you and those trying to help you
  12. You will have no fear
  13. Fights will start with random people because you have no filter to what you say
  14. You will get run over because you believe cars should stop for you
  15. Driving will be reckless and you will crash your car many times
  16. When manic, you’ll drink and take other drugs excessively
  17. You will drink a bottle of whisky in your flat alone just because you want to
  18. When you’re manic you’ll want sex all the time.
  19. You will wake your partner up at four in the morning because you want sex
  20. You will begin wild and whimsical projects that will take over your life
  21. These projects will be left unfinished when mania turns to depression
  22. You will be able to concentrate on projects for hours on end
  23. Projects will be so important you’ll stay up all night – and then the next night
  24. You will forget to eat for days at a time
  25. You will not eat because you have more important things to do
  26. You will lose the ability to understand the concept of money when you’re manic
  27. You will constantly be in debt
  28. You will spend hundreds of pounds on a pair of shoes anyway because you’re manic
  29. Mania comes with it’s own special variety of intense anger that can’t be satiated
  30. You will punch holes in the wall so you don’t punch someone you love
  31. You will trash your possessions because the anger is too much
  32. Relationships will end because of your Bipolar
  33. The anger will cause you to lash out and hurt the people closest to you
  34. Anger will cost you many opportunities; in education and your career
  35. Bipolar is accompanied by other disorders
  36. Anxiety will cause panic attacks that come out of nowhere
  37. Panic attacks will cause you so much pain you’ll end up in hospital
  38. You may develop an eating disorder alongside bipolar
  39. The combination of bulimia and bipolar sees your weight fluctuate dramatically over the years
  40. Psychosis can happen when you’re manic or depressed
  41. Psychosis when you’re manic can spur you on to do even more dangerous things
  42. Hearing noises that you search for and can’t find is beyond frustrating
  43. You will spend hours looking for a meowing cat that doesn’t exist
  44. Psychosis when you’re depressed is terrifying
  45. You will ask yourself ‘is this behaviour normal?’ ten times a day when you’re stable
  46. When stable you will doubt yourself everyday
  47. Sometimes you will secretly wish to be manic again
  48. The come down from mania to depression will make you suicidal
  49. After a manic episode ends, you will be completely and utterly exhausted
  50. This exhaustion will lead to physical illnesses
  51. You will take more time off school/work than any of your classmates/colleagues
  52. You will be constantly trying to stabilise and stay that way
  53. Depression will be all consuming
  54. You will spend days at a time in bed
  55. You will spend days, weeks, or months in a haze
  56. Your memory and concentration will be impaired
  57. There will be whole swathes of time you don’t remember
  58. Suicide will feel like the only way out
  59. You won’t wash for days on end
  60. You won’t brush your teeth for days on end
  61. Your hair will be matted and greasy
  62. You won’t be able to complete the most basic of tasks
  63. Your home will become dirty and untidy but you won’t be able to clean
  64. You will feel incredibly guilty that your home is a mess
  65. Sometimes you will feel so empty you won’t be able to cry
  66. Sometimes you will feel too much and won’t be able to stop crying
  67. When you’re alone you’ll want someone to be by your side
  68. When you’re with someone all you want is to be alone
  69. You will recall an relive every mistake you have ever made
  70. All your negative memories will resurface and you won’t be able to stop thinking about them
  71. You will need twelve hours sleep every night and will still feel tired when you wake up
  72. You will be desperately tired but won’t be able to sleep
  73. Medication is not a magic wand
  74. Therapy is not a magic wand
  75. You cannot escape side effects
  76. You will encounter side effects that cause weight gain
  77. You will encounter side effects that make you feel like a zombie
  78. You will encounter side effects that make your hands tremor
  79. There will come a time when you will choose between two disruptive side effects – the lesser of two evils
  80. There will be times when you will stop taking medication because you can’t stand the side effects
  81. Withdrawal symptoms are worse than the flu
  82. Your condition will make you feel isolated and alone
  83. Hearing people say ‘I’m so Bipolar!’ will set your teeth on edge
  84. People will compare you to characters from tv and film depicted with Bipolar
  85. You will answer ‘I’m fine’ when you feel desolate inside
  86. You will answer ‘I’m fine’ so as not to cause a fuss
  87. You will worry about people finding out and thinking you’re mad
  88. You will worry about telling friends and family for fear they won’t understand
  89. Some people, who might be family or friends, will never understand
  90. The acknowledgement you will never be able to change their opinions of the disorder is heartbreaking
  91. You will worry about disclosing at interview or when you start a job, because they may find an excuse not to employ you
  92. At one point you may end up on long term sick or having to leave a job entirely
  93. You will lie about why you are off sick
  94. You will worry about telling your employer in case they don’t understand
  95. You will feel deeply ashamed the first time you claim benefits
  96. Relying on your partner for money will tear your pride apart
  97. It will take years for you to be diagnosed
  98. You will be tested for every physical ailment linked to depression and tiredness, except for Bipolar
  99. Mental health professionals will have differing opinions about your care
  100. When feeling stable you will feel like a fraud and believe there was never anything wrong with you
  101. You will have to adjust to the idea of living with the disorder for the rest of your life

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6 Comments

  1. M.J.Neely February 15, 2017 / 8:48 am

    This all feels very bleak, but unfortunately it is all very true and relatable. The frustration is immense.

    • Katie Conibear February 15, 2017 / 8:54 am

      Unfortunately it needs to be said. There are still too many people out there that don’t understand the condition and the day to day realities.

      • M.J.Neely February 15, 2017 / 9:00 am

        Yes – true. I didn’t consider it from a well perspective.

    • Katie Conibear February 15, 2017 / 6:29 pm

      Yes, it is the reality of living with the disorder from my experience. It’s not always like this, but when it is, it’s very tough going.

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