Yeah, Nick, I know - I have made the mistake of telling people in the past that i THOUGHT I knew, usually I am not wrong about people, but I guess the stigma of "mental illness" runs deep still. I dont know about your experience, but yeah, the reaction to me has been treating me different after they found out, like I was some serial killer or something. You know when you just KNOW people are whispering behind your back. One job I was in I thought I would be honest and tell them at hiring time, and what was suppposed to be confidential somehow "leaked" out to the wrong people, one was a girl that i had worked with at another job and we were on very friendly terms. After she found out, she called me "psycho" and basically hated my guts, and let me know it. No one would reprimand her, she got away with everything becuase they feared a discrimination suit. I ended up leaving, not just because of her, even one of the MDs (internal med/cardiology job) said he hoped I wasn't thinking about having children, since it is hereditary. Nice. Luckily, I wasn't so I didn't get really offended until I thought wow, what if I was going to? What an ass.
So, i just don't tell anyone now. And I pretty much dont' hang out with anyone except Paul and family, I can't hide the differences in my moods, even now on meds, I am soooooooo much better, I feel great, but compared to other people I'm still not normal. I avoid things, people, because I dont want to have to pretend I'm in a mood I'm not! (Happy and wanting to socialize when I DON'T). I can't hide the blahs or a bad day, which still happen a lot more to me than to other people, esp when people are like "what happened", well, NOTHING!
So, there's my rant about letting other people know and their ignorance, a real pet peeve of mine. But on the flip side, most people dont even know what bipolar is, they only know manic depressive and then they think that's just 'REALLY bad depression" lol!
I dont say anything better than you, Nick! You're funnier! And you dont' exactly beat around the bush, either, lol. This is a great thread, something I have wondered a lot, and didn't even think to start a thread on. I hope you get lots of responses. I think once we come to terms with it, quit denying it and find the right meds, we can see how truly unique we are and be happy to be BP, I also think the ones who hate it are either not stable or unfortunately have no support systems at home. But there is a LOT to be happy about it.
I also highly recommend a new movie called "Proof", about a genius mathemetician who was very mentally ill (didn't say what, seemed schitz or BP to me, untreated) who was a brilliant math professor and published many winning theories, but lost it when he got older and his daughter, I can't explain it, but it WILL make you proud even if you weren't before. Paul and me were extremely affected, cried just because we could so relate. It was awesome. Anthony Hopkins, how can you go wrong?????
Thanks for listenng to me ramble, as always lol!
Variety is the spice of life, BP is the key