The Hidden Illness: Bipolar II

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/Sad_Woman.jpg

By Jiri Hodan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I am mentally ill. That’s the official diagnosis. It’s a genetic predisposition and can’t be “cured” because the medical community is still researching the connection between genes, the wiring of the brain, and the interaction of the previous conditions with the environment. Materialism has disconnected medical “experts” from the wisdom of the ancients.

I didn’t start out ill. I started out with that different sort of wiring.

In the time of the Druids, my parents would have presented me to the Lady of Avalon. There, the wise teachers would have protected and molded me during the most important milestones of my young life. I would have embraced my gifts instead of hiding them. I would have been groomed to teach the Mysteries to other young girls.

I read the histories of objects, read and interpret the energy fields of people, and within nanoseconds I can calculate and articulate the likely outcome of a plethora of possibilities. My mouth always got me in trouble because the first thing I thought would pop out. People don’t like truth, especially when it’s spoken by an eight-year-old girl who shouldn’t know any better.

We’re not psychics, just different. People wired this way can do similar acts to a greater or lesser degree. We’re emotional savants. We’re a silent minority in a world that suppresses messy feelings.

Society brands us as “weird,” “touched,” or “crazy.” We are none of these but we are different from most people. Misunderstanding and improper handling creates walking disasters. This society does not know how to handle people like us and often abuses our sensitive natures until we are dead inside a living body.

It took over ten years for the medical community to define Bipolar (previously known as manic-depression) as a mood spectrum in the DSM-V rather than a set definition of symptoms. Either you had Bipolar or you didn’t. During those ten years, I was misdiagnosed and continued a pattern of self-destruction that was only exacerbated by the anti-depressant that was supposed to help.

Fortunately, the right medication has returned me to not only baseline but to greater health—without sacrificing my sensitive abilities.

It took twelve years for my “condition” to be diagnosed properly. During that time, I lived with the weight of the emotions and issues of others. My bright and positive disposition was snuffed by a miasma of heart-crushing depression and terrible irritability. My formerly active, even hectic, social schedule was reduced to an agoraphobia and social anxiety so severe, I couldn’t leave the house without several pep-talks. The moment I arrived wherever, I wanted to go home and hide. If I couldn’t, I’d lash out or hide in the bathroom.

This is the norm for people with a similar position on the mood spectrum, or what’s known as a hyperthymic personality. After bouts of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, our boundaries are shot full of holes.  The bombardment of technology and materialism leaves us defenseless so that we are wrapped tightly in spider silk and slowly, daily drained of our essence. We are trapped in concrete jungles, assaulted by proverbial beasts of claw and fang, and there is nowhere to hide from the cruelty of this existence.

The symptoms are many and Bipolar II is often diagnosed by its co-morbidities such as PTSD, General Anxiety Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.  I have been diagnosed with all three co-morbidities in my psychiatrist’s efforts to figure out why I wasn’t responding to anti-depressants.

If your mental health provider is unable to help you and no medication seems to work the way it should, you may have this mood disorder. It is not a moral weakness, as Dr. Phelps emphasizes, but an actual condition that responds to treatment much the way diabetes responds to insulin.

I want to bring awareness to the mood spectrum and the disorders that can develop for different types of personalities. I want people crippled by this condition to find relief. I want their family members and friends to understand what happens inside a person with this condition.

Below are resources cited via hyperlink. Read up, arm yourself with knowledge, and make the world a better place so that you and those like you will thrive.

©2017 I.O. Kirkwood. All Rights Reserved.

RESOURCES/Citations

Psychiatry.org and the DSM-5

Jim Phelps, MD, leading authority on Bipolar II and author of psycheducation.org

Russ Federman, PhD, ABPP, and author of Misdiagnosis of Bipolar II article, Psychology Today

Psycom.net and Lamotrigine (home page includes mental health tests)

 

5 thoughts on “The Hidden Illness: Bipolar II

  1. Good Wednesday, my friend…

    In reading this blog post, my goodness it was like reading my own life. I, too, could not keep my mouth shut, and more than anything else, I was teased horribly because I was not like the other kids. It did not make things easier for me that I was a child at a time when people still “saw” color of skin…and I was in attendance at an all white private christian school…

    I am glad to be in such good company as yourself. I am glad to be thought a weirdo in an otherwise “saner than me” world…and if this is the insanity called “propriety” then I will take insanity, all day long.

    I.O. – I promise you one thing, and one thing that I am very sure that you are well aware of…without folks like us, the ones who literally think outside of whatever box it is that the rest of society and its unspoken agreements have chosen as “right and upstanding.”

    My dear friend….let us not be so unrequited in our originality that we will, ourselves, stifle who we are, for those who, in the moment, cannot, will not, choose not to come to our side of the proverbial street, where it is possible that unicorns exist, even if only theoretically

    Try hard to stay….original…because for sure, you are anything but insane

    From one crazy to another….happy cyclothymia to you, my friend…

    Please continue to wear it well…you know that I will
    Aloha Mai E
    ROX
    #LosAngelesKahunaRox22

  2. Indeed…Have a lovely night, lady

  3. Very lovely post. I’m so glade there are others like me out there. Thank you for blogging about Bipolar 2.

    • It’s a sneaky disease. You can’t figure out why you feel so awful most of the time. Untreated, or mistreated, it can lead to death. Others call it suicide, but it’s not. It’s a slow degradation of the quality of life and if I can save one person from the abyss by revealing my own vulnerability, I’ll consider myself successful.

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