I’m Amy. I’m also atorturedsoul from All About Bipolar. I have bipolar disorder and I talk about symptoms nobody talks about. Do you have symptoms that you think aren’t normal?
They are, and I will talk about them openly and honestly.
First, let me tell you my official diagnosis. I often jokingly tell people it’s a paragraph long. I have bipolar disorder type I with psychotic features and panic disorder with agoraphobia.
My diagnosis was cemented when I had a psychotic break. I’ve had several more psychotic breaks since that time. If you’ve ever had one, you know how awful they are. If you haven’t had one, I hope you never do. I would never wish that on anyone.
Coping with bipolar disorder
Since my diagnosis, I have had plenty of episodes of mania and depression. I rode the rollercoaster for much longer than I care to think about. I spent a great deal of time trying to keep my head above water and flailed around long enough to figure out this was a life or death situation.
It took some time to figure out how to cope and stay stable as much as possible. Of course, there is no such thing as a cure and we cannot stay stable forever. I do the absolute best I can, and I try really hard to stay on top of things. It takes everything I have some days, but I fight. I fight like hell, and it’s exhausting.
An unstable bipolar mind
In the days of All About Bipolar, I did a lot of reflecting and analyzed everything to death. I identified triggers and started avoiding them. Hours and hours led to days and months and years of trying to figure out as much as I could. I identified ways to help me stay afloat – coping mechanisms. I worked so damned hard.
The truth is, I can tell you all about the things I did to help myself but I still ended up where I am today – unstable. Despite all my best efforts, I still fell into a depressive episode and I am fighting to live. We all know where depressive episodes can end up, and the ultimate goal is just to stay alive. So far, I’ve made it. I’ve managed.
Read more below.
Managing bipolar disorder is a lifelong fight
In all honesty, I do believe that my hard work in finding ways to cope during the worst times has kept me alive. Am I happy? Absolutely not. Is it pulling me out of my depression? Nope. I’m still stuck here. It has indeed kept me alive to fight another day. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe that’s what I need to survive to make it to better days.
All of us know that managing bipolar disorder is a never-ending fight. It goes on and on until the day we die. It is relentless and never fails to sucker punch us from time to time to remind us it’s still there. This kind of life isn’t for the weak, so if you’re living it I’m proud of you. It’s so damned hard to make it through the longest days, and if you’ve done it you are much stronger than you think.
Are my bipolar disorder symptoms normal?
You have bipolar disorder or you know someone who has bipolar disorder. That’s why you’re here. You’re not here because of me, really. You’re here to figure out if you’re completely bonkers because your symptoms are worse than those lists of symptoms you’re reading. You think what you are experiencing isn’t normal and you may be committed for life if people find out how bad your symptoms really are.
I’m here to tell you that it’s normal. I am here to tell you about all the deep, dark things that other people aren’t telling you about. I’m going to talk about all the things we keep locked inside because we fear judgment or being locked up or we’re embarrassed. If you really want to see the truth about what goes on inside a bipolar mind, stick around. It’s going to get ugly.