This article was written by our Advice and Support Community, a group of about 50 volunteers who contribute their advice based on their experience living with or caring for someone with bipolar disorder.
You are here
A few of my friends who know that I have been diagnosed with bipolar have come to ask for advice on how to help someone they know, someone who seems to be going off the rails.
Recently an ex-colleague asked about how to engage a friend who has stopped taking his medication. She was concerned because his mood swings were still evident and he had been starting numerous projects without finishing them.
I hate myself right now.
I hate myself every time I’m depressed. I just started a new medication after gaining 9 pounds in a month on the previous med I tried, so I’m depressed about that on top of having general depression. Since I’m starting over again on a new medication, I have to wait out the 4-6 weeks it can take for the medication’s full effect. At least I’m able to get some thoughts down today. All I’ve wanted to is sit around or lie around and exist. I don’t even want to exist. I don’t want to die, either, if that makes sense.
Every time someone suggests I read an article on having Bipolar, I discover that articles written or paraphrased by normal people always find a way to quip on how people with mental illness should adopt more normal activities in order to enjoy life. It is appalling that with all the available information and sensitization on mental health, the myths like mental health is a spiritual or worldview problem fixable with a religious tweak still thrive. There are many solutions to universal problems, but human beings are not as different as we would like to believe.
As a woman with bipolar I disorder I have experienced many major depressive episodes. During those times I’ve not only relied heavily on family, but also on friends and church leaders. As a recipient of the compassionate phrase: “I’m here if you need to talk”, I want to provide some perspective from the talking end to help those who may occasionally find themselves on the listening end. (Be aware that if you find yourself on the listening end too frequently, please appeal to someone else to help lift that load so you do not become the sole means of support).
When I’m high, I can fly. When I’m low, I sink into the deepest, darkest place. I keep wishing I could change this.
One of my medications in particular gets me through the day. It’s actually supposed to help with anxiety, but it sort of has the opposite effect on me. I’ve realized that without it, I am worthless. Less than worthless. I just want to sit there. To merely exist. I don’t want to rely on pills to get me through life, but I know I have to. I know because I’ve gone off my meds. Many times. I felt better, so I thought I didn’t need pills.