Living with a mental disorder is far from being the tits*. Understanding a mental disorder can feel like learning a foreign language. Explaining it to others is as if you and they speak completely different languages and one needs directions. It’s aggravating, irritating, annoying, frustrating and again far from being the tits.
When you try to gain some perspective on it outside of your psychs highly scientific (it’s actually not all about chemicals–more on that in a bit) explanation, it seems everywhere you turn online whether it be support forums, blogs, what-have-you, it’s all bad and about triggers and trying to talk people out of offing themselves. I get it. It’s shitty. Having any mental disorder is wretched. But why bathe in it? Why so much negativity on something that is inevitable to live with? Why only share the most terrible times your disorder has branded you with?
I also felt so lost because anyone who, having bipolar disorder, shared a story or an update knew about Triggers. What threw them off and caused an episode if overwhelmed by it. At one point I was convinced I didn’t even have this disorder because I didn’t have ANY triggers. What is Bipolar Disorder without triggers? By how much I have seen online and experienced in one support group a few years back, they had triggers and they knew what those were.
I caught myself. Thursday.
Paranoia, anxiety, confusion all swept in and threw me on my ass in an instant. Actually on my knees, who needs specifics. Whether it was being away from people I knew and were apart of my everyday life, being alone in a place that wasn’t mine in a town I had no attachment to, or just being alone—could be one or a myriad of possibilities. My reality was completely slipping and I was sure I was going to fall right through the crack.
I picked my nephew up from school. Called my dad who in turn called my sister’s fiancé who picked us up and took us home. I left my car behind without a care in the world about it. Why? Driving is a trigger. Ding ding! Fast forward to Saturday I finally called my psych who upped my Seroquel from 25 to 300 mg to prevent psychosis. Or if it’s easier to understand, to keep me from going psychotic. Simple terms.
I’ve been used to depression since I was 14—traumatic experience happened—so it’s almost like I’m immune to it and can handle it a bit better than had it came with the Bipolar Disorder. My actual bipolar episodes are a whole different beast. I start connecting dots where dots are not connected. I believe songs on the radio are specifically played for me. If I am driving I feel all the cars around me can hear me through my stereo or that my car is bugged. I believe that I have to have all the blinds open so the cops are not called. I think people are apart of schemes that are completely made up–conspiracy theories. I become very child-like; animated, laughing at inappropriate times, etc.
But before I was completely gone, I was able to reach out for help. Though my episodes may be extreme (who am I fooling, they are duh!) I’m able to catch them before someone throws out the H-word**. Or the C-word**. It’s a good feeling.
More than Chemicals: Two parts/areas/whathaveyous of the brain are affected when it comes to Bipolar Disorder. The gray matter that surrounds your brain is less dense than non-bsds and the membrane (filter) between rational thought and emotional feeling is fragile and thin. So in psychiatry it’s more than just medicating the patient’s symptoms, it has to be about building the brain up. My psych specifically has me on a Lithium and Valproic combo. Lithium works better when you sleep because your brain is in rest mode and that’s when a lot of your information processing happens. Valproic helps get open up the thingies (fuck if I remembered what they were called, picture looked like DNA strands) so that more of the Lithium gets in to start building up your brain. This is all my own words, my psych would tell it better and it’s from a few appointments ago so it’s not that fresh. I know what I knows.
*figure of speech, not talking about any sexy bits.