Reasons my Bipolar Disorder rules my life

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1. With every medical change, I have to ask "And how will this effect my Bipolar Disorder or disrupt my medications?" This is annoying. Bipolar Disorder is not the only problem I have. I also have persistent acne that is now requiring the use of something much stronger than what I have been on. My dermatologist wants to put me on Acutane. I want to get rid of my acne forever. It is annoying, constant, painful, unsightly, and the scarring it has done to my body makes me hate my skin. This is only one example. There are more: birth control, antibiotics, nutrition, etc.

2. I live in an endless parade of side effects. I got the comment the other day that I was "so lucky to have lost weight" on my meds. Do you know what it's like to lose 30 or 40 pounds in a few months without even trying? It's scary as hell. I could also gain it back just as easily. That's not healthy. It's exhausting. And I would like to sleep normally for once.

3. I am losing my memory. My short-term memory is extremely effected. Even a planner, sticky notes, and a pad by my bed when I think of things to do often isn't enough. I'm not saying I'm going to completely lose my identity in a few years time, but I am saying that it's much harder. It can be as mundane as forgetting what I'm saying (I lose my train of thought often) and harder as I forget people. Which brings me to the next thing: I am also losing my long-term memory as well.

4. I know that bipolar disorder not only affects my mood, but also changes the way that my brain processes and perceives things. In planning a wedding and raising a puppy, the stress is getting to me. I take it harder than most. These are things that I love- my best friend, my first puppy that is truly mine- I love that responsibility, but keeping things straight all the time is hard.

5. I cry or tear up at almost everything. Especially anything to do with military members and their spouses/families/significant others being separated or reunited. It's so unfair to do that to a person with Bipolar Disorder! Don't they know I can't control myself?? I cry at tv shows, commercials, stress, being tired, movies, and life events that are overly frustrating. The worst is crying for no reason- just when all of my emotions that I didn't express through writing or crying spill over. That makes other people frustrated because they can't understand that I'm not like everyone else. My crying isn't always because of some unresolved issue. Sometimes I just cry.

6. I am afraid to tell people about it. I know, I've been telling you about it for two years on this blog and I've had it for five years, but I still hate telling people because I am terrified that they are going to judge me. I hate judgement.

This isn't a list of complaints; it's just a list of facts. A list of things that make me tired. Notice that I did not title it "Reasons my Bipolar Disorder ruins my life." Just "rules." It's not quite as bad. Bipolar disorder doesn't ruin everything, certainly not my entire life. It makes things more difficult but it makes the times I succeed more rewarding. I know that sounds stupid, but it's true.


  1. I was diagnosed a few weeks ago with bipolar and have just started medication for it. It's a scary thing, especially when it runs heavily in my family and I grew up with an unmedicated bipolar father.
    I was referred to your blog this morning and it has actually been very interesting to see the overlap of things that I would not normally have associated with this. Especially the memory part. I remember when I was 12 I could recite conversations almost word for word, and now it can be a struggle to tell you what I did yesterday.
    I'm 21 and was told when I was 17 I was starting to show signs of bipolar. I had a rather messy period of development into bipolar over the last six months and it's definitely a life-view adjustment. Thank you for writing this blog, it has definitely helped to glimpse another person's struggle with this disorder. There is a great deal of fear and foreboding, especially having grown up with my father's consistent downward trend. I fear for whomever I grow to love, lest they have to deal with the same madness I experienced from my father.
    Perhaps I'm being too blunt and honest for a blog comment, and should stop. Either way, thank you.

  2. I hope this wasn't the only post you read! With a new diagnosis, this probably isn't the most comforting thing I've written on Bipolar Disorder. I'm 23 and started with signs of depression when I was 17. My technical diagnosis is Moderate Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. It was a pain in the butt to diagnose and I didn't get a Bipolar diagnosis until I was 19. I won't put my experiences on you, but when I was told I was bipolar, a huge part of it was insanely terrifying and a small part was relief. I was a little relieved that I had a reason why all of my depression medications plateaued, why I'd be depressed for months and then just be anxious and irritable for months, and that I could get started on treatment. Just a few of the things I felt. Please keep poking around my blog (or read it like a book, start to finish!). It's not all about BD, but since I have BD and I wrote it, then in a way it kind of is. Life is really rough with BD but it can also have it's awesome moments. You'll find ways to cope- writing, reading, religion, rock climbing, music, whatever floats your boat. This blog is all about being honest, so thanks for being brave enough to comment! All experience is welcome here. Inexperience too. A diagnosis is hard, so please feel free to email me if you have any questions (email is at the top under "this is me"). Best of luck as this journey starts out, especially with medications. We're all cheering for you! And, you're welcome. -Lauren