The word Bipolar seems to be thrown around a lot these days and I find it funny and a bit disconcerting. I find most things funny and disconcerting.
Last year I had a run-in with a rather silly doctor who suggested I might be bipolar. Now before you go running back to your spouse, pal, or dog and yell up and down that you just knew Walter was bipolar, hear me out. Sheesh. This voodoo doctor came about her partial suggestive diagnosis by asking me a few questions. Initially I had gone in to talk about (uh oh) hormones (I just lost the men in this conversation) and wanted to discuss my age and the lovely things coming my way or that I could be suffering from, etc. Turns out I’m neither menopausal NOR bipolar. I hate that doctor and should have said something at the time because suggesting such a serious disorder to someone ain’t funny…but it was disconcerting. Okay yeah, now I think its funny.
It seemed that at the time quite a few things were going on in my personal life that were tough, my back had gone out, blah blah blah. I felt sort of nuts…which is NORMAL.
Last week I saw another doctor and told her my story, she (appropriately) was shocked and apologetic regarding the knucklehead I had seen before. But just in case, she asked me a few questions:
1) Do you have radical mood swings of great elation or great depression?
2) Do you have radical obsessive desire for sex?
3) Do you have radical shopping spree’s or excessive spending?
4) Do you have radical drinking sessions (or something like that)?
Now honestly people, I’m an artist, do I really need to answer those questions? Okay, yes I do.
1) No I don’t have radical mood swings but I can be very introspective and ponder life like Edgar Allen Poe. I don’t experience elation unless after yoga, sex or anything physical, or even a beautiful view gives me great elation…possibly even radical elation!
2) I’m a hot-blooded single gal..WTF? OF COURSE I obsess about sex but no, I don’t binge on it…but I’d like to.
3) Again, I’m an artist! I don’t have money to go on shopping sprees and when I do have money yes, I will buy a nice bottle of wine instead of “plonk”.
4) See above.
As I’ve said before, I know some incredible people. Quite frankly I know amazing people and I can say that most of them suffer from all the above. Those questions describe the human condition! Yes, manic depression is quite serious and if those questions are taken seriously I do know that it can be nightmarish for those that suffer but how is it that we have to label everything and everyone? No just because you get blue for a month or even 6 months doesn’t mean you are nuts; it can mean that you are being introspective and trying to figure things out in your life: you are going within. Yes, I know people who shop to make themselves feel better but we all know that particular elation wears off almost as soon as you get your bags out of the car and into the house.
I realize I’m rambling again but I want to make it very clear that I do understand the serious nature of certain personality disorders, but for God‘s sake can’t we give humanity a break? If you are someone who flies into irrational rage and really can answer a serious “yes” to those questions then get thee to a doctor, talk to someone. There is absolutely no shame in it but it’s sure worth getting better and not hurting those around you…and yourself.
Soooo my satellite was getting sucked into the black hole of love and I may have lost a limb – but for the most part I am intact. Does love make us nuts? Hell yes it does and I thank the moon and the stars up above for every second of madness. Life can be so very hard on all of us and it can be so very, very lovely, and we usually get both whether we like it or not.
Now where did I put my ear?
- Zeta-Jones ‘brave’ to reveal bipolar disorder (today.msnbc.msn.com)
- Depression or Bipolar Disorder? (drsujan.wordpress.com)
- 11 Difficulties of diagnosing bipolar disorder (thecrazyrambler.wordpress.com)
- Bipolar study to shed light on use of patient-created legal instructions for times of illness (mhrnemsy.wordpress.com)