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I Have Bipolar Disorder

Doreen B. 

My name is Doreen. My psychiatrist says I have bipolar disorder. Some people say I don't have bipolar disorder. Sometimes I believe them.

I have had one full psychotic break, one manic episode with milder psychotic symptoms, and one short-lived manic episode. I've had many serious bouts of depression, and even hypomanic symptoms. Some people still say that I don't have bipolar disorder. Here's why:

1. The psychotic break and the mania with mild psychosis both occurred three months postpartum. It must have been the hormones. I don't have bipolar disorder. Why #1 is not proof: Do we say that someone doesn't have heart disease because they went on a roller coaster? It must have been the roller coaster. They don't have heart disease.

2. Prior to my first psychotic break I was cyclothymic (alternating periods of milder highs and lows) starting with my tweens. Everyone has good and bad days. I don't have bipolar disorder. Why #2 is not proof: Though healthy people get periodically "down" they do not have regular alternating mood states that change their personality.

3. Every time I try to go off of medication I have an increase in irritability and moodiness. Those are just withdrawal effects. I don't have bipolar disorder. Why #3 is not proof: Before medication, I was often irritable and moody - that's part of cyclothymia.

4. I can be quite dependable with the right support. I'm a nice person. I don't have bipolar disorder. Why #4 is not proof: People with bipolar disorder can have a life outside of the disorder, especially if properly treated.

5. I'm indecisive and have a hard time finishing what I start. I change my mind so much that it makes me dizzy. That's because I'm a mom with kids. I don't have bipolar disorder. Why #5 is not proof: Becoming a parent does increase your workload, but it doesn't cause indecisiveness.

Some days it's really hard to accept my illness. I just want it to go away. I don’t want bipolar disorder.

Today there is one thing I know for sure: I'm not quitting my meds and I'm not quitting my commitment to live healthy.

My name is Doreen and I have bipolar disorder. 

Doreen Bench


I agree, sometimes I dont agree with my diagnosis of bipolar disorder but since I did have a psychotic episode I do not want to risk coming off the meds and having it happen again. I do see that im moody and I've always been but compared to most people with bipolar disorder I dont come close to what they go through. Anyways stay strong and do what you have to do to live a healthy life

Bipolar is I finally understand now an illness of unawareness and what this means; unfortunately as such suggests I only understand this when I am lucid. And so not denial, such as some may class for example alcoholism to be, but actual very real physical and mental unawareness. Thus I have finally realised the full danger of particularly manic episodes that it takes another person either close enough to be experienced to monitor when I am a danger to either myself or others due to bipolar. Even after 50 years I only realise when it’s too late - if then - and am already embarking subjectively in damage limitation in ‘lucidity’. This is not a matter of practice or subjective experience. It cannot be for it is, for me, the very nature and danger of the illness itself. Thus I can never ‘learn’ this however long I live. One cannot be ‘experienced’ in this illness just as one cannot in cancer. Even those ‘trained’ can find this impossible to comprehend. Another will do this for me. It is the illness itself. Thus the danger of isolation where there is no one close enough to ‘monitor’ me. This sounds so blunt but is my reality. Thus I can stop condemning myself for evermore. Though there are still those who believe I use the illness as an excuse. My sister still believes it is ‘convenient’. It is not. It is not worth the pain of repeated intermittent ever decreasing cycles of intermittent damage limitation.

Nice to get to know you & I enjoyed your 1st blog. It is interesting how people that don't have Bipolar think that we don't have Bipolar. I commend you on making a strong stand that you are not quitting your meds and not quitting your commitment to live healthy. Until I made that commitment my life was a mess....I am not saying it's perfect, but a lot better. Thank you for sharing & good luck

Congratulations Doreen on your first blog. It was very concise n insightful. I very much enjoyed reading it. You are an inspiration!

Reading your blog is like a carbon copy of my emotions and not accepting my doctors and my physiatrist ...I was going to say telling me, but that used to get me dismissive and switch off to them when the word "telling" was said to me. "Explained" is now what I hear. I have hated myself from a very young age, moods were not the were words my family would say. I'm fifty now, and I really am trying to to accept that I'm bipolar, I've been on medication for a very long time now, I used to argue with myself and not take my meds, I would be worse, but I would shout and Sream saying "maybe it's just me, I've been on meds for so long I didn't know what it was like without tablets, but I must have put my mum through hell! I hated her, hated me, manic, angry, destructive, then so weary I wanted to sleep forever. As I've now turned 50, and being with my doctor and physiatrist now for a long time, they know me better than me, I try to see other disabilities and actually accept when I'm told I'm a a fighter with my illness. Even though I didn't think so, I've been fighting it for all these years and I'm still here. Some people when I was hospitalized arnt , they have taken their own lives. I'm not even sure why I'm writing this, but I suppose in my own way, I'm trying to say have hope and faith in yourself and look for others that have our illness and either write like me or talk to others like us,

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