Hello I'm Brad - new here,
Please forgive my spelling and gammar I am a spell-check junky. Anyways... I have been diagnosed ADD, Dislexic, and Bipolar. I Have not experienced depression, but have had many interesting experiences throught my life that doctors diagnos as "Acute Mania". I accept the fact that I am different and have taken my medication regularly since my third hospital visit - with no plans to stop. The one thing that doctors don't seem to understand is... THESE EXPERIENCES ARE REAL!!!!!
I question whether doctors have a true understanding of what it means to be bipolar (if anyone knows of a bipolar mood therapist / phsychiatrist please let me know). Regardless, I do not accept that bipolar disorder means I have a phychological illness. On the contrary, I view it as a gift. I am very skilled at reading people / situations and there is a direct corallation with confidence, "bipolar disorder" and this ability. Doctors are correct when they say that Mania is pleasant and that it can cause gandure. They are also correct in that it can spiral out of control. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT - THEY ARE ONLY DEFINING IT. My expereinces with "acute mania" brought me to a level of confidence (not arogance) that is still beyond my comprehension. I have been taking my meds for sometime now and have realized that they are not a solution to my problem. I work with a doctor that monitors my mood and medication - he is not a therapist. According to his observations I have been '"level" since the day he met me - this is not true. The medication does supress me, but I have had many manic episodes since in his care, I have only learned to control them.
When I was first released from my most recent hospital visit I became affraid to be the person I was. I suppressed myself thinking that anything too ambitious, ecited or eccentric would mean that I was manic. I did this not only for me, but the people around me - so that they would not worry. Eventually I became too bottled up and decided to release the person within. I was very cautious and watched closely for signs from other people. Others, especially mother picked up on my change in behavior quickly and were concerned, assurance from my doctor and myself put them to ease over time.
I have let my "bipolarness" out for over a year and with the help of my meds, I have learned to control my mania from spiraling. I have also learned to hide it from people that do not understand it. Be assured, I am typing this letter slowling, rationally and calmly. In addition I have learned to reap the benefits of "bipolar disorder" (if you are bipolar then you know what they are) Bipolar disorder has given me gifts to help me succeed. I am self employed and my career is soaring. Still no serious relationships but am dating a few girls (I AM NOT MANIC - I'M A YOUNG GUY). People in my industry are not concerned for me... they are respecting me. I also have a very balanced social life and always make time for my family. TAKE YOUR MEDS!!!!
Most importantly I decided to attack the doctor's claims. I never suffered any loss in memory in my "Acute Mania" so I traced the courses of all three incidents that lead to my hospitaliztion and interviewed the people that I interacted with including co-workers, clients, receptionists, bartenders, girlfriends, nurses, roomates, police, hospital security, ambulance drivers, anyone that I could find. What I discovered was that IT ALL HAPPENED. Some understood it some didnt. Example - When first checkled into the hospital I told a social worker that I needed Dragon because he was protecting me (she said I was manic). The truth was there was a security guard at the hospital named Dragon (I know its a tripy name) - I trusted him and he protected me - everyone was scared of him. When I was released the first thing I did was find him, thank him, and shake his hand - later I thanked god that he was real.
I am exploring, but am still at a loss as to what bipolar disorder is and means. Are we all bipolar? Are we different? Is science only labeling things this that is can't comprehend? If anything in this letter is familliar to you or you want to talk - let me know! If you are responding because you are concerned for me or to tell me I am manic, excuse my language but **** OFFF!!!!!