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The Flipsides of the Bipolar Ride

Updated on September 27, 2011
Theatre Art
Theatre Art | Source

Bipolar Disorder from the Inside

Forget the "formal diagnosis", how does Bipolar Disorder really affect people?

How nice it would be to be a "normal" person, behaving within the "normal" realms of expectation. Following the rules, being consistent and being reliable.

  • A good friend,
  • A good partner.
  • A good parent.

Where did the Consistencey go?

People like others to be consistent. Well, within parameters anyway.

Consistency is one of the major problems for those with bipolar disorder. Everyone likes the odd suprise, but when it's their best friend running through the living room naked, when there are a houseful of visitors this kind of surprise falls into the VERY odd. The "maybe we should be leaving now" type of odd.

People are afraid when their friends don't act in a way that is usual for them and they don't know how to react. This is espscially true with friends who don't know you well, and don't have any contingency plans in the event of some kind of episode.

It's always good to plan ahead, have a cheat sheet, maybe even practice drill depending how useful you think this might be. A list of people to call (in order of priority), meds that need to be administered,

A true friend won't wave their hands in the air and leave.

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Reccommended: A famous memoir written by Kay Jamieson who not also has bipolar disorder herself but has spend several decades researching the disorder in a professional capacity.


Life on the inside

Following is an insightful set of videos from

"Bipolar Sate of Being"

You can find her YouTube channel here where there are many more useful insight from someone who has been there done that and got the t-shirt (figuratively speaking).

I'd like to thank her for her time and honesty in making these videos.

A personal account of mania


On the manic road

People in the early Phases of mania people like you. They like you a lot.

You're outgoing and interesting. Very interested them and their lives, on an intimate scale, so much that they may feel irresistibly drawn to you in many ways.

You will be feeling at your smartest, and performing better than ever, have little need to sleep and can solve any problem that comes your way. Almost no fear at all.

The one problem is you eventually have difficulty with all the input and processing and you can't turn it off. AND it's accelerating...before long what your are saying begins to make no sense and those around you of a nervous disposition start to head for the hills.

A personal account of psychosis


When mania turns to Psychosis

The progression to psychosis, caused by lack if sleep and neurons in your brain going into overdrive, you start behaving in strange ways that are odd and inexplicable to regular folks.

One of the major frightening things for the sufferer is the increasing belief that they can't trust anyone, and that their own thoughts are under surveillance. This is severe paranoia and can lead to times when you can't even regonize your own family for who they really are.

Perceptions are very much skewed and sensory input is amplified. There may be visual and auditory hallucinations at this time, but not always

Some people feel like the radio or TV is speaking directly to them (due to a strange deja vu effect where your thoughts line up exactly with what is happening in your environment and you can't tell which really came first).

A personal acount of anxiety


Bipolar disorder and anxiety

Stress and anxiety about things that seem irrational are often kept hidden and pushed inside.. Or else other explanations are given to throw people away from the nonsensical reason.

These can become issues for people who you live closely to you, and you confide in them, and they don't think that you can justify your irrational fears. They get tired of trying to calm you and start to feel trapped themselves.

Uncertainty in all kinds of situations can be from very small issues that have been blown out of proportion and are a good indication of problems with anxiety. Some fears can be calmed but some are so biologically controlled that they need medication to resolve

Anxiety itself can stem from things that have happened to a person during their childhood, Learned responses to certain situations can consistently plague you throughout life unless they are confronted with some form of therapy.

Bipolar Depression

This account shows that times of depression are not necessarily linked to particular events although they can be.

It's easier for other people to understand and have sympathy with you if something traumatic has been happening to you, but if not, there are those who will even refuse to believe you can be depressed.

Often a depressive phrase will follow an episode of mania, almost like it's an inevitable flipside and the levels of chemicals in your brain begin to resolve themselves.

Don't even feel like it's your fault, and always remember to ask for help from those who show the most sympathy and have the ability to help source the assistance you need.

Peruse more of the videos from "Bipolar State of Being" for even greater insights....

Recovery resources

Break the Bipolar Cycle: A Day-by-Day Guide to Living with Bipolar Disorder
Break the Bipolar Cycle: A Day-by-Day Guide to Living with Bipolar Disorder

Step by step ways to recovery.

Make goals, but don't beat up on yourself when you don't make them on time...



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    • catsimmons profile image

      Catherine Simmons 5 years ago from Mission BC Canada

      Thank-you Thundermama, I'm glad that this helped you :-)

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      This was a very well written and insightful hub. It has helped me find perspective and understanding for someone in my own life who struggles with this. Really helpful.

    • catsimmons profile image

      Catherine Simmons 6 years ago from Mission BC Canada

      Yep Cloverleaf, understanding really is the key, but it's hard to do that before a diagnosis!! Even then it's hard to get over the past...

      Interesting Jeremy Brett story...just proves to anyone who thinks Bipolar is not life-threatening, it is, in so many ways...

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Hi cat,

      A very interesting article, thanks for sharing with us. My ex-boyfriend was bipolar and until he was diagnosed I could never understand his irrational behavour; it was a very stressful time.


    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      Jeremy Brett reportedly did a lot of that odd behaviour when he was in his manic states. He was one of the first actors to publicly admit he had manic depression as it was called in those days. He had an extremely difficult personal life, including diving in to the Thames in the middle of November in a state where he convinced himself that his classmates believed he was a bad diver and he'd show them. He ended up with Rheumatic Fever and this enlargened his heart.

    • profile image

      Teres Tippetts 6 years ago

      Hi Cat - Very interesting reading and insight fully educational. Thank you.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 6 years ago from Escondido, CA

      I'm going to try and post. It keeps giving me a 502 error when posting - isn't that cop talk for drunk driving. I don't drink so I don't know where that is coming from - LOL. Or am I being paranoid. No I just woke up from a long nap. And, I've taken my meds and exercised.

      What a great article. The videos are awesome. Very well done Catsimmons and I hope it hits the google search engines at the top of the list. I'll be tagging this for sure in some of my articles.

      Remember to smile and have fun, fun, fun, oh yeah tweeted too

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 6 years ago from Northern California

      Voted up and interesting. I hope that you don't mind my asking a stoopid question. Is there any research that suggests a link between the manic phase and low levels of oxytocin?