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Fun Facts About Bipolar Disorder

I hate being bipolar. It’s awesome!

Well, we know that people with bipolar disorder are definitely mentally interesting (I much prefer that to mentally ill) but here are some fun facts I’ve pulled together. I’m writing this for a bit of a laugh, why so serious?

Lithium can make concrete harder and can power small batteries. (Also, when I broke my jaw at age 18, I poured my lithium capsules into cranberry juice as that was the only way to take it, my jaw was wired shut, and it turned the cranberry juice green!) Also, lithium is extremely toxic to humans in it’s normal form. When it is converted to a salt (lithium carbonate) it is safer. (Same with table salt!) Nobody knows exactly why lithium carbonate stabilizes the mood.

Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed. In women, they are more likely to be diagnosed with depression (unipolar) and men are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. I’ve actually been diagnosed with both at different times, but eventually, they just said, “you have bipolar disorder type 1 and schizotypal personality disorder”.

Nobody knows what the hell schizotypal personality disorder is. I went to a walk-in clinic because I had a UTI and the doctor asked why I was taking all these psychiatric medications. I told him my diagnosis and he said “oh, schizo-TYPICAL personality disorder” and I then argued with him for a good ten minutes, because schizo-TYPICAL personality disorder doesn’t exist. It’s schizo-TYPAL. I eventually got my damn antibiotics and he wrote down on my file that I’m schizo-TYPICAL. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Us bipolar folks are said to be the hardest to treat. Why, thanks! I guess it’s because we’re all over the goddamn map. Over half of those with a bipolar diagnosis have attempted suicide, and 1/5 do so successfully.

Manic episodes can be brought on by irregular sleeping patterns. Too much sleep? You can end up manic. Not enough? Same thing. I once worked at a restaurant, doing 8-12 hour shifts during a manic episode. I didn’t sleep for 3 days, got some sleep on my day off, and then resumed. I was full blown manic and I don’t remember the details, as with most of my episodes, but I ended up on lots more medication.

Rapid-cycle bipolar disorder means that you have more than 4 episodes a year. Only one manic episode is needed to diagnose somebody as having bipolar disorder. Ultradian (episodes lasting hours to a couple of days; may be phased out in the DSM-5) cycling is extremely controversial and is often mistaken for a mixed episode. (And mixed episodes can also been mistaken for ultradian cycling)

The higher you swing, the harder you fall. (True!)

The hippocampus, which means “sea horse monster” is bigger on the left side of a bipolar brain.

Mania is not always fun. It can be downright devastating. A lot of people with bipolar stop taking their meds when they get hypomanic, thinking that they’re normal and don’t need them, and WHAM, get him with mania. Some things manic people like to do: Spend every cent in the bank, have sex with anyone that has proper ‘equipment’, abuse substances (self medicate), drive recklessly and don’t think of consequences.

Many people with bipolar disorder are more creative than the rest of the population, in such things as art, writing, and more. Some people refuse treatment because they don’t want to give up their gift.

Bipolar disorder doesn’t discriminate on race, religion, sex, gender or age.

 And finally:

We are dazzling, passionate, and adventurous lovers.

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5 thoughts on “Fun Facts About Bipolar Disorder

  1. Thanks for all the information. I’m bipolar too and what I gleaned from your blog is that doctors have a particular format of making a diagnosis ie one manic episode and you’re. categorised as bipolar. All this diagnosing is useful as a medical condition but living with this condition is a whole other ball game, to use a cliché. Living with bipolar is extremely challenging in my opinion. It’s not for the faint hearted. It takes courage and a strong self belief that you are a valuable person.
    You’re obviously a very Intelligent person and I hope you get the support you need to live and not simply exist with this condition. (I prefer to use the word condition rather than illness, as it doesn’t have as negative a connotation.)

  2. I LOVE that term, “mentally interesting.” I think I’ll be using that from now on!

    And you know, I think it’s kind of funny. I think we have ALL gotten diagnosed with depression before anything else. When I was 18, I was having an episode WHILE WITH THE PSYCHIATRIST! I was talking fast, I couldn’t sit still, I just went on and on and on and did all of this stuff and what did he do? “You have depression and probably anxiety too, here’s Zoloft.” I walked out of there dancing and singing and never took it, which I’m glad, antidepressants and me don’t get along.

    Also, isn’t it amazing how often we have to argue with doctors? I’ve personally never heard of schizotypal, but truth be told, I don’t know much about schizophrenia. But I do know that doctors like to be know-it-all assholes!

    • Oh wow, what a psychiatrist! Zoloft does horrible things to me.
      I had never really heard of schizotypal until I was diagnosed with it. I still don’t see why it would affect my bladder problems!
      My worst experience was when I got accused of drug seeking when i said I can’t take NSAID’s (Lithium and NSAID’s are a HUGE no-no) to a clinic doctor once. He made me submit to a drug test. I had a broken arm and shattered shoulder, but he was more interested in bitching about my tattoos. What a knob.

  3. I love how you attacked this topic in a positive way. Indeed, some doctors pretend to be “all that”. It’s funny how they can argue about something that’s not even there! Anyway, thanks for sharing. I see myself as an “interesting” person even with the disorder after reading this post.

  4. You make it sound so fun! But, I am not having much fun at all. Except on Thursdays. Thursdays are Bipolar Fun Days and i try to make the most of it. I do lots of drugs on Thursdays.

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