Bipolar 2 (soft bipolar) - what it is, tips for dealing, famous people with it, my own experience, etc.

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  • (Note before I begin: I'm being open about this to reduce stigma, because I have a relatively large presence here, and for the most part, don't think I'm viewed as particularly crazy by most of listology - although some may have detected a bit of odd, erratic behaviour. Be aware that I'm now fully treated with both medications and complex therapies, and am now considered a paragon of calm by my close friends and family).

  • If any of you also have this disorder, my heart goes out to you. It's unbelievably difficult to manage, and can destroy your life left unchecked. I did some truly nasty and self-destructive things before I managed to get it all under control. It took me a long time, and it was also difficult to diagnose. Anyway, for that reason, I want to provide my input and tips to anyone else who deals with this intensely frustrating disorder on a day-to-day basis.



  • Definition of Bipolar 2

  • I do this so that there is no confusion as to what this refers to, especially since there are so many pre-conceived notions and stereotypes surrounding bipolar disorder in general. Essentially, you exist in a constant flux between these 4 states:

  • 1) Long-lasting, severe bouts of depression, in which you are indistinguishable from someone suffering from major depression. These can last as long as months, or as short as weeks. This is extremely disruptive, and is a time of intense suffering (and often why I have stopped responding to comments and posting lists on listology for long periods of time)

  • 2) Hypomania - that is, non-psychotic, functional mania. This is a time of intense productivity, extremely high energy, fast talking, a very euphoric mood, an excellent self-image (but not grandiose and unrealistic - IE: "I bet I'm going to win the Nobel Prize someday!" rather than "I have superpowers!"), and generally a lot of irritability. During this time, you can go from laughing and making jokes, to tearing someone apart for fairly minor slights (I've done this on listology too - exploded on those new to listology for slightly annoying posts). It's a useful energy, but also somewhat random and unpredictable, and it quickly becomes tiring to be around a hypomanic person, although they can be incredibly fun...for a while. These last anywhere from days to months.

  • 3) The mixed state - the very worst part of bipolar 2. This combines the high energy and racing thoughts of hypomania with the deluded self-hatred and misery of the depression. This leaves you at an incredibly high risk of suicide, as you want to kill yourself (like depression), and you have the energy to do it. On top of that, the racing thoughts makes the depression intensify all the more rapidly - you think yourself into a pit much more quickly. You're also extremely angry, and will flip out intensely at anyone who slights you, considerably more so than the hypomanias. It, like all the other states, strikes randomly, and almost without cause. I have attempted suicide 3 times in mixed states - but the impulsive, sudden nature of these attempts prevented them from succeeding. This is very typical of mixed states.

  • 4) The periods of calm. In between these relentless emotional maelstroms, there are periods of normal behaviour. These can last for as long as any of the other states, and you're essentially a normal person at this time.

  • These can sometimes be triggered by events, but for the most part, they strike for very little reason.
  • Anyway, that's bipolar 2. The main difference from the considerably more serious bipolar 1 is the lack of mania and psychosis. Although left on its own long enough, type 2 can develop into type 1, and there can be more manic-like periods within type 2, that is, periods of type 1. Not all mental health professionals accept this, however, as the official diagnostic criteria define the disorder in historical terms - that is, if you've ever had anything beyond hypomania, you're bipolar 1, even if these are rare, atypical, long since passed, and always triggered by something. Same with mixed episodes - officially these are only supposed to be a part of bipolar 1, but a lot of mental health professionals believe that they are an extremely common part of bipolar 2. Lots of ambiguity in the difference between the 2, but the rule of thumb is that bipolar 1 has a closer resemblance to schizophrenia, and bipolar 2 more resembles incredibly severe and cyclic depression and ADHD, with possibly some mild, transient delusions.



  • My tips and advice

  • I should note that these tips and advice come from my own experience, and should not be taken as medical authority. While I have a psychology degree, and am working on a neuroscience Ph.D, my experience is entirely research based, not clinical, and I do not yet have a full degree (I'm quite a ways off, actually). In other words - it's tips and advice, not medical expertise. These things work for me, and may not for everyone.

  • The exception to my note above is this: make sure you're actually diagnosed, and that the practitioner carefully pores through your medical history and closely examines your current behaviour, gives you questionnaires to test your current functioning, and examines you for months before accepting a diagnosis. This disorder is over-diagnosed nowadays.

  • This is also almost universally a good idea: track your moods early in your discovery of the disorder, or right around the time your clinician is considering it. It's really helpful both in determining if you're actually bipolar 2, and in seeing how your mood episodes tend to go. This also gives you perspective whenever you're up or down - when you're down, you feel like you've always been down and you always will be down (which is why it's so commonly misdiagnosed as depression), and ditto for when you're up. Looking at your mood chart gives you real evidence that this isn't the case, and this helps you to better cope with the state you're in - it tells you that it's just a state, and it will pass.
  • I personally recommend tracking by the hour if you have a job that involves sitting in front of a computer much of the day. I find that you can easily remember your emotions within 5 hours of their occurrence, so you don't actually have to track every hour - just catch up every few hours. Separately tracking both mood and energy (but on the same sheet) is a good idea as well, as this lets you identify mixed states. Any specific mood-altering events should be documented (to prevent false alarms upon looking back through the data), as should any psychoactive substances consumed (IE alcohol, tea, coffee, chocolate).
  • It also helps to graph this out as you go - I do it in excel for this reason, which is extremely helpful - it's almost useless to track your mood without it, in fact.
  • This may, however, be more useful for rapid-cyclers (a subtype involving a larger number shorter episodes - that is, measured in weeks rather than months or years), as it doesn't require as much perseverance to identify your patterns.

  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal). Seriously, this is the perfect bipolar 2 medication. It's indicated only for type 1, but this is a mistake, and the research literature agrees. Within type 2, the most dangerous parts of the disorder are the depression and the mixed states - both of which involve the depressive side of the illness. Lamotrigine is considerably more effective at dealing with the depressive side of bipolar than any other med, and since that's what is most problematic in type 2, it makes it essentially the perfect medication for it. It still calms the anger in the hypomanic side however - it's still a mood stabilizer - it's just more of an antidepressant mood stabilizer than an anti-manic. Best of all though, it's has an exceedingly mild side effect profile - more like that of an antidepressant than a mood stabilizer (which have notoriously nasty side effects). Look out for the lamotrigine rash though, that's the one dangerous side effect (but it only affects a small percentage). If this occurs you'll have to discontinue it (sadly). If this occurs, try carbamazepine (tegretol) next. Lithium is seriously overkill. Also note that the same meds don't always work for everyone, but my advice is more that this is where you should start because of its effectiveness with this particular disorder, and its mild side effect profile.
  • This is the primary reason I'm now calm.

  • Mindfulness meditation is an extremely useful way to calm yourself before sleep if you have racing thoughts (this is why it is a major part of dialectical behaviour therapy). This is done by focusing on your breathing, and and attempting to think of nothing else. If your thoughts wander, this is not a failure on your part - mindfulness is about learning to focus your attention, and snapping yourself back to your breathing when your thoughts wander is a part of the process. Just do it whenever you notice it, and your thoughts will wander less and less often over time. It takes practice. However, it's a very relaxing process, and really helps to calm the mind to allow yourself to sleep. As you go deeper into your meditative trance, your mind may fill with images - let them come when you are trying to sleep. I find they morph into sleep.
  • Also, when meditating before bed, it seems to help more to meditate in a sleeping position. Try not to move out of it - inhibit it if you feel such things as itches and urges to move. This can be done by focusing on another part of your body, away from the minor discomfort - which brings me to the second part of mindfulness - be aware of your bodily sensations. This is generally (but not always) done by starting at one end of your body, and moving towards the other, trying to be aware of each part one at a time. It's impossible to be aware of your entire body at once, so this method (or a method like it) is necessary to do this.
  • Relaxing music can help a lot when trying to sleep as well, that is, while meditating - check out my ambient list for what I find works the best for this. Focusing on the music as a secondary to your breathing can help (be aware of both) if your thoughts are racing too fast to be aware of just one thing at a time (that is, just your breathing).
  • As a side note, not everyone focuses on their breathing - some use a mantra, or a simple phrase, or something of that sort. I prefer breathing, as deep breathing is also relaxing - thus combining 2 relaxation exercise in one.

  • The mindfulness technique described above is an excellent way to control breakthroughs of racing thoughts or depression (or both, blah - but especially depression). I use it whenever this occurs, and it calms and centres me - it brings my mood to what I'd describe as 6/10, which, from my experience, seems to be the healthiest mood. It's described by the mental health community as "euthymia."
  • To add to this, mild exercise helps to centre you as well - especially if done before and after meditation. I like doing push-ups, sit-ups, and "supermans" (a back-raise done wile lying done, held for as long as you can. I can do it for 2 minutes, but most people do it for 30 seconds). I suggest always doing "supermans" if you're going to do sit-ups, as over-strengthening your stomach without doing any strengthening of your back can cause you to hunch over a little bit, which is (obviously) not very helpful for your appearance.

  • Mindfulness can be applied in daily life to some extent. If you feel yourself filling with nervous energy or experiencing racing thoughts, you can focus on your body and breathing without closing your eyes or sitting in a meditative position. If you are a fidgety person as well (not sure this is associated with bipolar), this helps prevent fidgeting - which can be extremely annoying to others. Being aware of what your limbs - and your body in general - are doing allows you to control what they are doing. This can become second nature, and that nervous energy you can seem to contain (especially in a hypomanic state) can be hidden or even prevented without much thought being put into it. I haven't yet gotten to this point, but I have repeatedly heard it is possible, including from my therapist.
  • It also helps to apply mindfulness to your emotions - if your emotions are coming from essentially nowhere, being mindful of what you're feeling (rather than reacting to it) can allow you to discard random, nonsensical emotions as simply mood swings. Be careful though - emotions are still an indicator of things your brain and body are doing or experiencing, so discarding them all is, of course, a bad idea. You have to apply logic to determine which emotions are useful, and which are not, and this takes time and practice.

  • Work on learning social skills - this is actually really helpful. Growing up, many bipolars experience a lot of social rejection, for fairly obvious reasons (erratic, depressive, and angry behaviour doesn't exactly make one popular). Along with the emotional disturbances, this can lead to a lot of deficits in social skills. Books can help a lot (I personally like "How to Talk to Anyone", because the techniques are so easy to apply, and you see results so rapidly), as does studying some social psychology. Examining what others do, and even discussing social skills with others who struggle with disorders leaving social deficits in their wake (read: most mental disorders, which afflict a very large percentage of the population).

  • Be careful who you tell about the disorder. Close friends and significant others are usually a safe bet, but be aware of their attitudes towards mental illness before you self-disclose. Another very safe bet is other bipolars, and those with another bipolar as a close friend or significant other. Seriously watch out though - a couple of people in my life who were fairly close friends distanced themselves from me upon my self-disclosure. It should never be revealed to anyone in academic or work situations. One professor found out about my issue, leaving a lot of problems in its wake. I didn't tell him - he felt something was "off" about me (pre-meds), and harangued a friend of mine who worked at his lab until she told him, and he spread it to every professor who would listen at one university, which is now cut off from me for graduate school. Don't think that medical fields will be any more accepting - a lot of people have a lot of serious stereotypes and stigmas regarding the disorder even within these fields wherein they should most understand. If you work with a friend, even if they struggle with their own mental health problems and are open about them, unless they too are bipolar or something worse, don't reveal it to them. (I feel comfortable revealing it here, as it would be nearly impossible to track me to this location).

  • It can help to make a list of reasons why you should stay on medications. Once you're stabilized, it's easy to feel like you actually have nothing wrong with you, and close friends and family can also begin expressing this opinion. Making a list to remind you of all the past hurt you've caused yourself and others through bipolar behaviours pre-treatment can prevent you from doing so. This is easier if you have had such things as suicide attempts and delusions (IE: I once thought - for several months - that the entire universe was created just for me, as a punishment for a heinous crime in a dystopian future, as a way to torture me. Typical mixed state delusion, actually - a delusion of both grandeur and worthlessness at the same time).
  • Watch out though - ensure you don't use this list to define yourself as a bad person. Remember: this is an illness that has traceable biological roots. If you are a good person post-treatment, then you are, in fact, a good person. Besides, the concept of "good" and "bad" is silly, especially if you're not causing harm to yourself and others (at the time). Just view it as an illness that you now have under control. Don't pull this list out when you have a breakthrough depression - only pull it out when you feel you might not need your medications and therapies.

  • Try to get some routine into your life. It's difficult to have depressions when you have to force yourself out of bed to get to work. Once you're medicated, this is considerably easier, and doing so can help stave off breakthrough depressions (and hypomanias - although if you're specifically using lamotrigine, you may still get them - just toned down and minus the anger). If not a full-time, 9-5, regular job (HIGHLY recommended - not crazy flex-time work), schedule in some social hobbies like clubs, groups, and sports. These all help keep you on track, and out of your personal cycles - in other words, they force you to follow a cycle defined by the outside world, rather than your inner turmoil.



  • Famous bipolars - some diagnosed posthumously; by no means a complete list

  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Nina Simone
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Ozzy Osbourne
  • Edvard Munch
  • Dave Matthews
  • Pete Wentz (of Fall-Out Boy - proving bipolar disorder isn't always linked with creativity, haha)
  • Melissa Laveaux (of indie fame - I actually know her personally, and trust me - she has it. It's undocumented, but unquestionably true)
  • Jack Irons (of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam fame)
  • Adam Ant
  • Stephen Fry
  • Winston Churchill
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (through clinical research into his life: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16247856)
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven (highly suspected, but certainly not confirmed. It's thought that his very, very bipolar symptoms may have been a result of lead poisoning. So, while not technically bipolar, he was just like one, just with a different etiology)
  • Abbie Hoffman
  • Britney Spears
  • Lord Byron
  • Robert Schumann
  • DMX
  • Macy Gray
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Ben Stiller
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Sting
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Georg Cantor (mathematician behind set theory)
  • Brian Wilson (too obvious)
  • Charley Pride
  • Ada Byron
  • Russell Brand (which tells us it's definitely possible for bipolars to be great with women - as he's been given the "ladies man of the year" an absurd number of times, and dated some incredibly famous and beautiful women)
  • John Cleese
  • Patricia Cornwell
  • Mel Gibson
  • Patty Duke
  • Vivian Leigh (aka Scarlett O'Hara of Gone with the Wind, among many other things)
  • Graham Greene
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Jim Carey (not particularly surprising, considering his style)
  • Ben Moody (from Evanescence. I find his name quite funny considering his disorder)
  • August Strindberg
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Margaret Trudeau (Pierre Trudeau's wife)
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • Gioacchino Rossini
  • Patrick J. Kennedy (edit: I had a criticism of him here believing that he was a Republican, and therefore somewhat hypocritical, but I was mistaken - he is, in fact, a Democrat)
  • Jean Claude Van-Damme
  • Robin Williams
  • Robert Lowell
  • Axl Rose (of Guns N' Roses)
  • Sinead O'Connor
  • Phil Spector
  • George Handel (famous classical musician)
  • Spike Milligan
  • Linda Hamilton (Sarah Conner from the first 2 Terminator movies, among many other things)
  • Kay Redfield Jamison
  • Ivor Gurney (the famous war poet)
  • Maurice Benard (from General Hospital and All My Children)
  • Jenifer Lewis (from an uncountable number of TV shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
  • Sidney Sheldon
  • Francis Ford Coppola
  • Tim Burton (not confirmed)
  • J. P. Morgan
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Adrian Borland (truly creative post-punk musician)
  • Dick Cavett (the highly celebrated talk-show host)
  • Daniel Johnston
  • Nikolai Gogol
  • Otto Klemperer
  • Gaetano Donizetti
  • Ned Beatty
  • Francisco Goya
  • Hugo Wolf
  • David Strickland
  • Tracy Ullman

  • Great peer-reviewed scientific studies on famous bipolars here:
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15462476
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2734415
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076301



  • My own experience(s)

  • Note that my last episode was 6 months ago, and it was on the minor side (another depression). My last highly serious episode that wasn't just depression was 2 1/2 years ago (not since I started medication and therapy juggling for the third time in my life - and the first time I was myself on board). I'm highly stable now, and haven't even experienced anything more than very minor sadness or elation in about 4 months, or gotten angry even once (since starting the mood stabilizer). Mood stabilizers work - I'm almost unusually calm. Yes, this is a bit of an overkill response, but it's so refreshing after the life I'm about to describe, and I plan to remain in this tranquil state for the rest of my life. Plus my only other option is the life below - but I find this state pleasing nonetheless, as does everyone else in my life (stable Andrew is greatly preferred).

  • What follows are some incidents and episodes I exhibited over the years that led to my eventual diagnosis. I'm being very honest here, and sugar-coating nothing. Remember that this isn't who I am anymore, and the none of the worst of it took place any time in the last 2 1/2 years. Also note that as a kid, I had more of a resemblance to a mild form of bipolar 1, but as I grew up, my symptoms morphed more into a severe form of bipolar 2. Here it is:

  • Went around telling everyone I had superpowers (and believing it) [sporadically from ages 3 to 11]
  • Went around telling everyone I was the smartest person who ever lived (and believed it) [again, sporadically from ages 3 to 11]
  • Tried to kill myself by jumping in front of a bus (which stopped in time), and had to be detained as I tried to smash myself on the sidewalk. Was institutionalized for a day [age: 18]
  • Became convinced that the entire universe was created for me, specifically as a torture device for me, for a crime I had committed in a world in the far future. [age: 19-20]
  • Became convinced that if I didn't systematically drive nails into my leg, I would run over children. [age: 19-20]
  • Stayed awake for 8 straight days working, all the while driving, until I crashed into a tree. When a crowd formed, I ran away from the scene, believing that they would throw rocks at me (as I was that pathetic). Upon returning home, began repeatedly throwing myself into walls and punching myself in the face, smashing things throughout the house, relentlessly screaming and shouting grandiose conspiracy theories centering around my personal worthlessness. Was restrained by 3 family members (including my future fiancee, a truly wonderful person to stay with me through all of this) and institutionalized for 2 weeks. At the time I blamed College Pro for all this. While it was certainly the trigger, my response was a textbook mixed episode (mania and depression simultaneously). [age: 20]
  • Stayed awake for 5 straight days working, and started hallucinating demons [age: 19]
  • Tore the skin off my forehead during mixed episodes, until my face was covered in blood, about 8 times. [ages: 14-20]
  • Spent 4 months feeling nothing but sadness and self-loathing, and came home every night from school and just sat in my room, and lay on my floor. [age: 14]
  • Spent 3 months being miserable and complaining to everyone about incredibly minor things, all of which I described as evidence that I was the most pathetic person ever to live. [age: 21-22]
  • Put around 40 holes in various walls around my house growing up [ages: 10-20]
  • Went into a fit of rage and started smashing everything in my kitchen - did this several times growing up until the age of 20 (that is, 2 1/2 years ago). [ages: 10-20]
  • Told everyone that I thought it likely that I had been abducted by aliens who made me more intelligent, which is why I was so genius (a separate period of months from the time I simply went around telling everyone that I was the smartest person to ever live). This showed up in recurring cycles [between ages: 7-12]
  • Stopped talking at school for a whole month, which I spent moping, and if I truly had to talk, wrote it down. [age: 14]
  • Threw a barrel at my school's principal, before melting down and screaming and threatening to kill him. [age: 14]
  • Threw shoes and other objects at my teachers multiple times (dozens of times) throughout childhood [ages: 3-14]
  • Tried to strangle a classmate who slighted me [age: 14]
  • Had a reputation at throughout school for flipping out and smashing things, often for absolutely no reason, in concentrated periods. ("Crazy Andrew's hissy fits") [ages: 7-15]
  • Stole from many people in my school, believing it wasn't bad, because I was so much better than everyone else. I then planted 2 items of my own on my best friend, who I also felt was a "lesser mortal", and upon some of our stolen items being found, said I wasn't aware any of this was going on, and used the fact that my 2 games were in the pile as evidence that he was stealing from me. [ages: 13-14]
  • Spend about a year almost continuously depressed and unable to sleep after the stealing and blaming my friend, who was sent to juvenile hall. This came back to bother me in every subsequent depression (minor or major) until around the age of 20, and this was, in fact, my first major, long-lasting depression, and the longest I have had to date. [ages: 14-15]
  • Spent 3 months never leaving my room, and constantly complaining, moping, and insulting myself, before being put on antidepressants. [age: 20]
  • For a class project whose requirement was "anything" (as long as it's "deep"), I wrote a play, created a graphic design, made a minor video game, created a 15 minute documentary, made a scrapbook, wrote out a design for a simple neural network, and wrote a 10 page paper, sleeping only 4 hours a night on average during this period (hypomania upon receiving an SSRI antidepressant [Zoloft] for the first time - I know it's hypomania and not mania, as I was given an A+ on it, meaning it was a very high-functioning period of excessive energy). Received an A+ or A in every class that term. This pooped out after 4 months and I became completely lethargic (typical bipolar 2 response to SSRIs). [age: 20-21]
  • Believed that everyone in the world hates me (and that those who hadn't met me would hate me if they did) more times than I can count.
  • Tried to commit suicide by jamming metal items in wall sockets 3 separate times. I always survived the shock - I am very lucky.
  • Pulled over 150 all-nighters over the last 4 years (many of them 2 in succession) - I just couldn't sleep, and couldn't stop working (note: it was always high-quality work - I finished university with an 89% average [A, just under A+]. Definitive hypomania.). Usually had clumped periods where I pulled a lot of all-nighters, generally not tied to exam or midterm periods - I usually finished my work ahead of time (thanks to these little episodes)
  • Became so depressed that I began screaming, and refused to get out of bed for 4 straight days, and spent several weeks feeling miserable.
  • Learned Java in 3 days, staying awake the whole time
  • Had a 3 week period in grade 10 where I would spend every break from class lying on the ground outside, and would sometimes continue to lie outside on the ground after the bell rang. At the end of this period of 3 weeks, decided I would run away and live in the woods. A search party had to be called to find me. Upon being found, I spent the next day crying in my room.
  • Publicly beat myself senseless (in grade 12) until I was virtually covered in blood.
  • Ran into a wall 4 times until I passed out, publicly.
  • Beat up a much younger kid in the park over a minor slight (how dare he insult ME, being my rationale), which was responded to by having his 3 brothers beat me up and throw me out of the park, and stomp my head into the snow. Spent over a month depressed afterwards, telling everyone I wished I was dead and that I deserved to die.
  • Had a mental image of myself as "the greatest warrior ever to exist - in every way that a person can be godlike, I am". This lasted about 2 months.
  • Broke my glasses for no reason at all (sudden burst of anger) about 20 times growing up, often tearing them off and stomping on them, often publicly.
  • Started smashing my head into the wall repeatedly while screaming until I had to be restrained (with almost no trigger, if any) - well over 50 times growing up, between the ages of 2 to 20.


  • Currently in progress - I will complete this over the next few days, and continue to add things as I think of them.

darktremor,

dank u, en gelieve gaan verder


to anyone who just saw their refection, an echo, a shadow, an impression,

my heart, mind, nails, hair, skin go with you–teeming imagination, teeming compassion glow for you–a tacit affinity radiates eternally, for you. please, get what help i refused for so long, that you can, and you can. please, go a-maying: Fare Forward Voyagers!

.shall the wellsprings of the morn endure––wet from the azure to the fleur––regal of delight––forlorn, no mourn––born once more, just, just once more

dada gladinian

Everyone has been telling me I had bipolar disorder for so long and I truly refused to believe it. I thought it was just my basic assholeness mixed with rage against all the injustices in the world. And so on. Whatever. So then I'm reading up on the Cranial Nerve 1 just now and I was like, think I really AM legitimately bipolar. Well, this one definition of cranial nerve 1 from source X states, "~ arises in bipolar olfactory neurons and are responsible for smell. The central axons project to the olfactory bulb via the cribiform plate of the ethmoid bone."[sic.]

I think there must be many sensory related bipolar neurons (for equilibrium maintenance or protection)

Does this sound ignorant? No idea. Just struck a chord.

Sorry to hear about the age 3-11 thing - sound rough. I'm cagey but that's largely environmental factors and my own volition mixed together, playing perpetual hide-and-go-seek or tag. I just want to read The Tooth of Crime with another actor, damnit

for all of us,

Indeed, it does seem to be associated with artistic/creative ability. I go to a writing group once a week, and 3 others have it as well (type 2, that is). Don't know if I'm personally creative, but I certainly think those 3 others are - they all have very unique writing styles.

Nice pictures, BTW - quite fitting. Van Gogh, are they not? He's thought to have been bipolar 1 himself - a considerably more serious illness.

Who was the artist behind that poem? It's quite nice.

yeah, both paintings are by Van Gogh. with the bits of trivial information i have read or heard he could have be classified with many different illnesses because of his torrid lifestyle (EXCESSIVE drinker, and he even would eat paint at the lowest points, or is that the legend???).

you should consider amending the article to include famous people like Van Gogh, or more contemporary figures like David Foster wallace (though it says nothing about him being bipolar) to illuminate your points further without glorifying it through their posthumous success; contemporary figures may help people relate, and thus be more willing to get the treatment they need. ignoring that idea completely, i really do love that you are posting this, and please tie up all loose ends so no one can mock this page, illness, and all psychological illnesses.

i have known people, or have talked to some, who have think it is a good idea to abuse drugs in order to be great like...but they just end up in the gutter.

as for the poem, i wrote everything in the post. :^)

Agreed, it shouldn't be glorified (nor should abusing drugs). It's incredibly frustrating to deal with, and managing eats up probably around 10% of my time and reduces my quality of life. I know I'd be better than I am without it - people succeed in spite of it, not because of it. Although, admittedly, this particular disorder is well associated with creativity - bipolars consistently score significantly higher on all psychological tests of creativity. Still, for most people, I don't know if that makes up for the incredible frustration it causes - and besides, it may just because because (hypo)mania causes incredible flights of fancy.

As for abusing drugs to be like ... - for every account I've read, either the famous figure was only using drugs, and not abusing them (IE John Lennon), or they were great before drugs, and their decline coincided with increasing drug use (IE Elvis Presley).

That would be a good addition - the famous figures, that is. There are an unbelievable number of them, actually - many of them actually diagnosed (most of the modern sufferers, of course).

I'll tie up the loose ends for sure - I'm not done working on this. I'm currently about to go on a trip to India (backpacking), and so I won't be able to finish it until I'm back in about a month.

Nice job on the poem :D

BTW, since you had spoken to me a lot on listology before this list, I'm just wondering - did I ever come across as bipolar (2) in my past postings? I'm always a little anxious that that comes across somehow in my behaviour (I know it does, I'm just wondering how noticeable it is, exactly).

thanks.

it is frustrating, but the mania is the only thing i currently have to live for==my creativity. i am launching a website to host all of my unfinished literature (poems, short stories, novels, plays, essays, art/artist reviews, bullshit ramblings), and sound (demos, songs, video of live performances), visual (demos of plays with friends and others on film, short films, film projects, paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc.); and, when any single project gets finished i will put it up for sale, if i can afford it, and if i have a fan base willing to buy it. the site will be free to view, but i will have a donation set up with paypal or something that may support my site (then hopefully my projects, and in my fantasy: my career!).

i was in a deep depression 2 weeks ago and only had Vicodin on my my mind. pondering whether or not to buy it illegally online or on the streets, but it passed, it always passes! DON'T DO RECREATIONAL DRUGS!

i have not noticed too much of your bipolar (though i prefer the manic-depressive term, since bipolar desensitizes it to ignorant people; and when bipolar is mentioned in a small area, most people physically around me think of it as psychopathy, a severe disorder that is contagious or harmful towards them...). i know i have acted in that way: i would put up new pages, update them, but when i was depressed i would delete them all and ignore any comments on any of my other postings; i would make pages when i was happy, and cleaner ones when i was happier, and destroy them when i was not.

i am doing a bit better now, but i am not completely there yet. i am still painfully alone, platonically, but more importantly for myself at this point in my life, sexually. i am going to ask out/tell a girl i love her soon, even thought i already know she does not feel the same way - i have a knack at reading people's body language (and in this case i do not mean what she looked like or said today, but when i first fell in love with her 6+ months ago, and nothing has really changed). but, i need to tell her so i can feel bad for a couple days and get the whatever "in love" i have for her out of my system (though it usually never goes away), and move on to being her friend and composing all the various forms of aforementioned art (literature (all), sound (some), visual (A LOT, she is an amazing visual artist)). it will hurt, but i have to go down on this roller coaster to go up again, but i take meds and work with myself to make the undulations less severe.

to reiterate, i need my hypomania, and i need "somebody to love", and i am not just giving up on the current girl, but i do not want to lose her completely.

have fun in India, when you get back i should have my site going. if so, i will let you know. if not, well, it will be obvious, because i will probably make a new page announcing the launching of the site.

have fun, stay fun, and be fun as long and as durable as you can; it will never go away, but you don't have to either,

feif

It sounds like your life is very hard :( - I feel very lucky in mine compared to yours. I was where you were at about 8 years ago (around when I started on the site), and that's a really hard place to be. If you keep working at it, I'm sure you can get out of it. As for the girl - I wouldn't tell her you love her. Girls HATE that unless they love you too, and she'll probably distance herself from you if you do that. You'd be better off (if you want to be her friend, that is) just letting it drop and trying to see her in a solely platonic light. I find women will rarely develop a sexual attraction to you beyond the first 10 hours they know you (in pop culture, this is called "the friend zone"). The best way to find a sexual relationship seems to be spreading a wide net, talking to and meeting lots of women, not being nervous to talk to random people, and pursuing connections through your social network (which is the richest source of romantic connection)

Also, if you're still getting manias, hypomanias, and depressions, you should consider stronger meds (I really like having an antidepressant on top of the stabilizer - it's more flattening than a stabilizer). The up is honestly a large part of what causes the downs - I find bipolar a lot like having a random imp sitting beside you injecting you with an amphetamine that lasts a few weeks, after which you crash. It really is like a stimulant crash. Once you can let go of the hypomanias, your life will get easier, if a little bit flat compared to what you're used to. I actually enjoy the mild flatness - it's very refreshing compared to the exhausting rollercoaster. I eventually came to barely enjoy the hypomanias - I knew they'd be followed by a painful crash which I began to dread, as well as the potential for a horrible and dangerous mixed episode.

As for recreational drugs - I think some of them are OK, you just have to be careful which ones you do. The opioids and stimulants are particularly bad ideas. Pot is actually a mild mood stabilizer, and mild depressants are often prescriptions for bipolar (but should ONLY be used as prescribed, and never for fun - although you can get away with a little bit of social drinking). Psychedelics are non-addictive and can provide you with some insight about yourself (but more importantly, they can be a lot of fun :D) - you just have to be very careful with them - in other words, plan your trips with care.

That social skills tip will honestly really help you, I think. Also, be as extraverted as you can. A job and classes are good to places to meet people, and join artistic clubs if you can - you'll meet people who will understand. IE, I go to a writing group every Tuesday evening, and there are other bipolars there. It's been one my of richest sources of friends, and once you have a small network, it's easy to grow it. I now have a (friend) network numbering about 50 (with over 100 acquaintances), and I used to be utterly, completely alone, and hated by more people than I could possibly count. It is possible to be (fairly) normal socially with bipolar disorder.

BTW, are you type 1, or type 2?

Indeed, if you look through my page post history, you'll also notice erased and re-added lists here. There's one particularly manic one (in which I thought I had discovered a new type of logic) as well.

Also, watch out with your reading of body language - I find mood has a very significant impact on what you think people are thinking about you. IE: everyone is reacting well to everything you say and do when hypomanic - and they love you; and everyone hates you when you're depressed.

Make sure you explain what bipolar (2?) is to anyone you tell about it, even if they're super-close friends. People have a lot of misconceptions about it, and you can dispel them if they know you and you explain it.

As for career, I hate to advise this, but 9-5 is the most stabilizing thing you can have in your life, if you can manage it within your highs and lows. It's hard, and medications are almost certainly required to do it. But having creative projects on the side is also a great idea.

Also, are you sure you're actually platonically alone - that is, having no friends - or just depressed and thinking that no one likes you? My parents said that one of my most common statements growing up was "everyone hates me! I'm so pathetic, everyone will always hate me, and always should!" It just doesn't sound like you're actually platonically alone from your description of yourself (and your relationship with that girl)

Thanks - I hope you can stay fun and be fun as long as you can too. I definitely will have fun in India, thanks :D. I'm considering chronicling my adventures there on listology - I'm already doing it on facebook (though I'm not in India yet, I'm stuck on an extended layover in New York thanks to some visa issues, blah)

life has been hard, and i hope the worst is behind me, but i know i still have a long way to go, and welcome the challenge. girl: yeah, well, i decided to not tell her before you posted, because i need to work with her on plays and other various works of art, and i do not want to lose her talents because i said something. that said, i have to be me, and i have to have her like me (platonically/creatively) for the weird person i am (that is, even without the emotional undulations i am a bit weird, and i embrace it now...i used to hide it and i became a very good actor because of it!). and yes, if someone is not sexually attracted to someone within that "10 hour" window then they either never will be, or it certainly is not a good idea to profess your love for them unless you are willing to lose everything. so, i will bite my tongue as long as i can; the problem is, i have such a big mouth, and my tongue is a tricky little thing. :-P

hypomania crashes: i understand, [see your email] but i cannot let go of my mania. i will accept the flatness later, but i need the mania now, and i need it to give me purpose in life, with or without a girl by my side. i am by no means dogmatic, despite how i wrote it, i need it to function how i want, and need.

rec drugs: i don't drink, smoke, or anything. i like air, water, sugar, women, music, etc. i have always been able to "trip" on my own!...!

social skills: i can be very extroverted, but i had a problem last quarter with a girl who is even more sensitive, and troubled than you or i, and she took my "advances" ALL WRONG, i just wanted her to have a friend (she said she had NONE). i am going to try and write plays and stories with that one girl; work with another guy on poetry for some publication at my school that i just found out about today (from someone else), and talking about my art always help me with my happiness and my art.

which type?: i don't know, i guess i would fall more under 2, but i was seeing myself slipping into 1, which is when i started to get help - i refused it my entire life until about a year ago.

manic listologist: i hated that the most about myself. that is, with a little site like this i would self destruct, and YOU can only imagine what my real life relationships have been like - not too many friends nowadays, but the ones i used to have i do not want to be friends with, so i need to find a new group, and my art will help me with that, like your writing groups and the such. i have a post on my 2009 RELEASED albums ranked amended to my #1 ranked album, but i wrote it with my tongue literally in my cheek, and it is nothing more than a satire on those who feel so important for "making" artists...you can read for yourself, and the response to Menindrag at the bottom of the page.

body language: YES! but, to your surprise, the people who really like me, like me on either side of spectrum, but for the general public, your statement is where it is most true. regardless of my state of mind, my mouth still knows how to spit colors on the canvas of conversation that people admire, if they admire me for anything ever.

explaining bipolar 1,2, and other depressions, and personality disorders: i am actually going to pick up the DSM-IV-TR and annotate the best i can and carry it with me, because some people think it is some how synonymous with psychopathy on some level, i do not know which, but it is in their minds as such.

career: i will accept a 9-5 for sustenance if it comes to that, but i am an artist, in some fashion - we'll see what i truly excel at when i try them all out professionally.

alone?: i have friends, but so many have moved away! or i do not like them, as human beings, and the few i have left i am trying to stay as close as i can. i am going to do a little book club thing with one, another: music, another: we have been friends too long, that will never die, even if 40 years go by. i am alone most of the time because that girl, and my "music" friend blow me off so often, and the other 2 are extremely busy with their own lives. i am trying to get the "art" girl and "music" friend to produce more in reality than in our mouths and minds. i try every day; i have never given up, and will never give up on them; if not for me, for them.

India: sounds like a good idea, make it mean something now, and the creation will be something more tangible than fleeting memories years from now. have fun!

It's interesting that you're a good actor - because I too am a pretty good actor (at least I like to think so, haha). I was involved in dozens of plays throughout high school (from major school productions to fringe-festival roles, to plays I myself wrote/co-wrote and directed for various festivals). Also, a lot of the actors I know through high-school drama are themselves bipolar - I also recently met a theatre manager who says that she's tired of dealing with bipolars, it seems like it's all she has contact with in working with actors. You should consider community theatre as a hobby - I imagine it would be a great way to meet others who would understand you.

Hypomania crashes: you're not really flat on meds, you're just comparatively flat. In tracking my moods pre- and post-meds, I just noticed my emotional range and duration shrank. My range was 1-9 (out of 10 - 10 totally manic, 1 suicidally depressed) before, and sometimes highs or lows would last for many days/weeks (like hovering around 2 for 2 weeks, or around 8.5 for a few days or whatever - I'm a rapid-cycler), sometimes with large cycles throughout an individual day, all with virtually no cause. Now, I sit between 4 and 7, (averaging 6) and emotions are only reactions to situations, and they tend to only last an hour or two at most, with even the most extreme circumstances lasting a day or 2 at most. I'm also a bit/lot calmer than your average person, especially combined with my behavioural therapies. In other words - if you get the right med combination, you have a pleasant, peaceful existence. Flatness only occurs if you're overdosed (which is sadly sometimes necessary if you're severe enough - more common with type 1 though).

Rec drugs: whatever works for you is great. I wasn't suggesting you definitely should do recreational drugs, just naming which ones seem to (generally) be OK for bipolars - including others I know, and from viewing research literature (IE stimulants can induce full-on manias, depressants/opioids can induce depression - in bipolars).

Body language: quite correct about the general public thing. I even go so far as to re-evaluate previous public interactions depending on mood. For me however, it also extends to friends - to some degree. In severe depressions I have (had) a lot of "everyone hates me!" moments. Good to hear you don't have that particular symptom (to the same extent) - it really sucks

Friends: Like I said, give various artistic clubs a try - acting, music, writing, and you'll find others like you who can understand you. Psychology and neuroscience also seems to attract them - especially the high-functioning type (which it sounds like you are :D). Of course, it could just be the circle I run in within the field.

India: it's already been an adventure, and I'm not even there yet, haha! I've had considerable visa issues delaying my trip, blah (I was stranded in New York for a week, and ended up sleeping on the street and in a homeless shelter a couple of those days thanks to it also being spring break and there being no available hostels). I think I'm going to start publishing my travel blog on listology.

Manic listologist: I'd actually like to see some of your manic lists, just to compare them to mind. I'd also like to find other manic listologists - I know there are others, a site like this would be a haven for bipolars (and OCDs) - you certainly need to be pretty obsessive and high-energy to make enormous and comprehensive lists, and the focus this site has on the arts would only make it more attractive to us.

DSM-IV: great idea. Seriously do it - but don't try to diagnose yourself with it - you'll think you have damn near everything in the book! It's meant as a clinical shorthand, not a diagnostic tool. DO NOT try to find things that seem to fit you - only a mental health professional can do that. It's easy to think back to times in your life where various symptoms fit you, and on seeing them, it's all you'll be able to think of, and you'll think you have the condition. No matter how much a particular disorder seems to describe you - trust me, it doesn't unless a doctor diagnosed you with it.

Type: It seems like most 2s have periods wherein 1 would better describe them. I know I have, and it was actually kind of my psychiatrist not to diagnose me with type 1. However, "1" style episodes are always triggered by something, whereas my "2" type episodes generally aren't. It sounds like that describes you as well.

Career: consider studying your own condition, or one closely related to it. You have unique insight into it, and the field is sorely in need of research. In terms of disorders, it has one of the lowest ratios of writing about it to actual clinical, peer-reviewed research (beaten by borderline personality disorder). I don't personally want to study bipolar (too close to home), but I do want to study its nasty (if surprisingly less serious) little cousin, unipolar depression. Of course, I always had an interest in the brain, long prior to my diagnosis, so maybe that's not for you. Still, the sciences are highly rooted in creativity.

BTW, are you on facebook? I would like to add you.

actor: i think i am good actor, that is, i have a large range of emotions that i can fake on cue (so do sociopaths...), but i hate plays, but...i am currently trying to get that girl i was talking about above to help me write plays. plays do not come natural to me. i could write the extensive narrative, the characters, some key lines, stage direction, etc., but i feel i would fall a bit short without the help of someone who has a knack for playwriting. i am not sure if she does, but she can write, and is creative. i am have about 9 plays floating, with 3-4 narrowed down, and 2 that i am positive i could complete with someone that would be good enough for print and production. i don't really like "artistes", if you will, but prefer the less pretentious artist. most actors i have met at my university, and throughout my life, are the pretentious kind.... but, if i finish plays, i will have to talk to these people eventually, i think.

Hypomania crashes: i get what you mean, and it will be some time before i get that perfect "cocktail" of drugs, and daily ritual down...as of now, right now, i am doing great. so, let's hope i am closer than we both think. :-)

Rec drugs: i still drink caffeine through tea or through some powder stuff i get at GNC so i can stay awake through reading boring literature (it is either just boring, or it is taking me away from what i want to be doing - creating my compositions: sonically, literally, visually...). but, no serious recs for me.

"everyone hates me!" moments: no, i am a self-loathing person: very existential. i have more trouble getting out of myself then getting with anyone else.

Friends: i try with the friends i have, but they keep dodging me; girl: writing, but i just gave her an outline of all the plays i want to work on and i will know more tomorrow when i see her and ask what she thinks of them. guy: he keeps telling me we should record something together and doesn't call me for a month...and when he does he ditches me for some tramp; but, i know i just have to keep trying....

India: publish your travel blog on listology.

Manic listologist: i am not sure which lists i would consider manic: i probably deleted those a long time ago...but i will think about what they were before i deleted them; they may still be in Word document form on my computer somewhere. i definitely have OCD: when i was 7-9 years old, i would re-vacuum the carpet in my room just to change the pattern, and i would re-align my stuffed animals, toys, and books in different categories (size, age, name, color...), just because.

DSM-IV & self-diagnosis: i know, i pretty much only have OCD, M/D, and ADD, but the prevalent one is M/D, and the others are merely bi-products of it, as are all the other diseases i will have when i read it. i thought that DSM-V would be out by now, but it says that they are shooting for 2013, and i was waiting for that one, but i will get IV.

Type: don't know for sure, never consulted anyone about this other than my regular doctor.

Career: i was on track to be a psychologist, but i hate school - i only go now, and i mean TOMORROW, because i want to talk to people, see people, and just be around people. if i did not have that i would drop out before you could read this post. i dropped psychology as a major, not because i do not like it, but because it requires that a lot of graduate studies and heavy research, which i wouldn't mind if i had a best friend to do it all with, but i would be doing it alone. and i hate school; and i would need a PhD to do anything in the field that i would want.

Actor(s): some of the pretentious kind definitely have their crazy moments - often many of them. Writing plays takes a bit of time to get into, but you really need to have an interest in theatre to pull it off. I personally like dialogue based plays, because they lend themselves well to verbal flights of fancy (see Melon, which I've posted on this site), and are much easier to manage in terms of writing. That would be a good place to start if you really want to, but honestly, if you don't like theatre, write prose or poetry or even screenplays instead.

DSM-IV and type: seriously see a psychiatrist about it - it makes a big difference.

Career: That makes sense :D - I personally like school, for the reasons you state, and I also have a deep fascination with the field of psychology/neuroscience. BTW, I cheat and use stimulants to study and work too :P

Friends: You're at the point I was at 6 years ago then. Keep working at it and expanding your circle, and this will go away.

"everybody hates me": I'm also self-loathing when I have these moments - I just bring others into it. I hate myself, and everyone hates, and I deserve to be hated by everyone, and "understand" why everyone "hates" me. I'm glad you don't bring others into your depressions (to the same extent) - it just adds to the misery.

Rec drugs: I'm glad you don't include alcohol on your list. As much as mainstream society (but not science!) disagrees, it's a very serious, and very hard drug. The ones I listed as OK are not, but caffeine and those GNC powders are even less serious, so kudos - I mean it.

Hypomania crashes: I know what you mean about the daily ritual. The only reason I got it down was through my amphetamine addiction: since I could directly feel the effect of the drug shortly after taking it, and all day as well, it was very easy to tell if I had taken it or not, and I thus always remembered. It eventually became a habit to take pills every morning, and since the end of the addiction coincided with using SSRIs, I never had a period without taking pills daily, and I therefore never lost the habit. Good luck developing that, it can be tricky. I also know what you mean about the cocktail - it took 19 years for me to find mine! :P

Haha, yep :P

"Who fears the falling dew? It only makes the mown grass smell more fragrant." (Mary Wollstonecraft, Letter II, Letter written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark)

I suspect you'll eventually come to disagree with this. It may be true of regular people, but for us bipolars, it's our downfall, and can destroy us. Of course, it wouldn't be a disorder if that weren't true. I felt this way for years, until my final diagnosis, and even a few months after until I accepted it, but I really enjoy the tranquility now - and so does everyone close to me, as they no longer constantly fear for my life.

maybe, but i think of it as an inspiring quote, not a sarcastic one.

For sure, I definitely think it's meant as inspiring, I was just saying I don't personally think it applies to bipolars (or at least me), as the ups and downs are out downfall.

WOW i'm so impressed i can't find any word to describe what i felt reading your history. i have been throughout most of them. i had my 20th birthday on 18 july with a big episode finalizing at the psychiatry hospital as i was convinced to be a prophet of god. i went around claiming that i had discovered the main purpose of universe. i believed that nobody couldn't stop me since i was becoming the same as a god so i felt energized at the max. i remember that i even beat my father as i was thinking he would make a suicide. so my family was forced to take me to the emergence metal hospital because i was becoming more and more agressive. now after a month i am totally rehabilitated but the memories till remain and cannot be deleted. thanx so much andrew my heart goes to you. i will write the entire history about myself very soon. you gave me help really, and power to accept the truth. im so glad about it. all the best mikel from albania

It's refreshing for me to read this because i can understand where you're coming from. I have had bipolar 2 with psychosis (seeing and hearing some stuff, won't disclose exactly what) since i was 15 and since i was 14 i've had a cutting problem. I don't know if there is a link between creativity and bipolar, but i have always had an extreme talent for anything creative. i also wanted to post this comment to ask if people who have schizophrenia/bipolar get along better with each other as opposed to people who don't have chemical imbalances in their brains/other problems?? because both of the guys i dated were schizophrenic/bipolar 1.

darktremor,
I am bipolar 2 as well. i was diagnosed at 35, and have lived aware of this disorder for the next 20 years, expectedly through many cycles.

I so enjoyed your article. You got diagnosed early, and you are very self-aware. This hopefully will serve you well throughout your journey.

I see it has been two years since this post. How is it going now? How has your journey been since then?

Recording and graphing moods and energy levels is a really good idea.
I found this app to do that. It does not have multiple trackers, but it is color coded and helps me so much.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/moodtrack-diary/id549251057?mt=8

It is a wonderful post Feif Umgotnn. Thank you for taking your time in creating it. Your words and sentences definitely indicate the great peace in mind you have which is unusual for a normal person itself and that I am striving hard for. This is something I had been searching for a number of months. The tips provided, I feel, could be truly useful.
I am suffering from this condition due to an overdose of anti-depressants prescribed during my graduate studies. I still feel that stopping all medications were a better option that starting with bipolar medications because I have visited 3-4 psychiatrists so far and all have confusing opinion neither I feel better. Some say I had a latency for bipolar that came to the fore with an overdose, some say it were a bipolar NOS, some say it is all normal. Currently, there is a continuous strain I feel in my brain, I don't know what is the better way to get relieved of it.

The only fact I know as of now is that I have to continue with medications because other means like continuing with graduate school, taking fresh juice, more food items I relish eating, doing good level of physical exercise are no longer an option and I do feel the variation in energy levels (the worst were every 15 min) because of which I had to leave my graduate school. I still feel lot improved if I think I could rejoin the graduate school. My professional career seems lost with incapacity I feel as of now and I do feel somewhere a level of hopelessness. Friends and family are kind of not believing me. I neither find space because I am not allowed to go out alone, so I have to hide most of the times what I feel to avoid a further suffocation due to probable over-concern. I am happy to take suggestions from people most importantly from those people who have faced similar things in their life.

Hi. I am 20, now. I do not even know what the reason could be. Whether it was a lack of love from mother or the very frequent separations of my parents in childhood or is it genes or God knows what, that I was diagnosed with an illness called "Bipolar 2 disorder" back in 2011, in New York. I went there to study in July 2010. Had extremely stressful conditions there as had to live my father over there and sadly his apartment had some weird law suit issues that he had to deal with. And he is much of a psych. patient himself, LOL! Old and loud. He is a Pakistani American. Nevertheless, I was strong, strong enough to let go of the issues which were at hand, at that moment , in fact I even solved them one by one. Got admission in college and was starting a new life. And God knows what happened to me, that in Jan of the next year; that is as the new year began in 2011, I became unhappy and I just wanted to die. Just actually kill myself and die. As I'm a person of faith, I have heard that its prohibited to commit a suicide so instead of having a plan I started to wish for death ... I was depressed to that extent. But then one day, when I was coming back from somewhere with my dad and we were in the car travelling back to Manhattan to reach home, I really started to cry telling him "I want to die." My parents have a bit of a weird relationship , so mom wasnt with us and it was me in the U.S. only with my "psycho" father. Anyway, sorry, long story short I wanted to die and so I was hospitalized. Had to stay there for straight 30 days in order for the docs there to diagnose a disease for me, because apparently in western psychology killing yourself has to be a "mental illness" and not just life becoming really hard and someone trying to give up. Anyway, so yeah , I had to come back to my homeland , didn't make the woman who had to raise me , proud and left college without even going there. So , now I am still on meds. I am actually a failure in academics. I think its major depression, which offcourse needs treatment too. But the docs there dianosed me as having Bipolar 2 affective disorder. At my age a normal student is almost half through college and I still havent been able to finish high school because of this disease. My life is more sad than anyone could think. Yes, I have blamed parents for it. But then I have forgiven them thinking that God will perhaps make a way for me and make me find peace myself. I wanted to share this just because I wanted to tell you guys that I , a young good girl , am feeling this way. so is it just me and me being lazy and a loser, or is it actually a disease which can be justify my failures so far. All i want from God now is a way to health. An happiness. all else I will be able to achieve in my own.

-Ms. Nobody.

youngandlost, you are not "lazy" nor a "loser". Bipolar IS a real, serious illness, caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. It needs to be treated with medication. This will not cure it, but will make you feel MUCH better and allow you to have a successful life. Depression is a major component of bipolar, but the treatment is different. It's not your fault and it's not a weakness that you have been unable to overcome it on your own. If you believe in God, believe that God gave people the ability to develop the treatments that we have now. I don't know if such treatment is available where you are now, but please seek help. If you are able to return to the US, there are many doctors here who understand this disease. You can succeed. Don't let this beat you.

And now my recent exams which we had to pay for although being in serious financial trouble, well I failed them all too. Again. God knows if I even deserve to live and If I will ever have a sane and healthy life. Now and ahead.

I have read similar story by a patient of bipolar disorder. He was suffering from manic depression and got response from a professional psychiatrist. Am I Bipolar? this story has changed my mind towards this disorder. Bipolar 2 is also called manic depression and in which person can not differ from one thing to other. Thanks