I am diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder (Manic-depression) and/or Cyclothymic disorder, Agoraphobia with panic attacks and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I have to take mood stabilising drugs. Because these things come in phases sometimes I function on all cylinders and can get stuff done, but this never really lasts long for me. I just try and make the most of the good days and try to force myself to do things.
I mildly disapprove of the words “suffer from” or “mental health problem”. How the mind works is still mostly a mystery to modern science. It is my belief that my brain chemicals are different that’s all, just like people who are epileptic have a chemical imbalance.
You wouldn’t think there was anything “abnormal” about me if you met me. That said, without purposefully trying to be contradictory, I also freely acknowledge that sometimes I may well be “not normal”. I get easily confused or anxious for no particular reason, or am unable to make even simple decisions without things going round and round in my head. I am sometimes easily and suddenly irritated and can’t cope unless things go exactly to plan, other times I am completely flexible and chilled and nothing ruffles me, I can flip between these states throughout a day. Sometimes I can’t go to the shops because it makes me nervous and distressed so I run out of coffee, and food. It would be safe to say that I am somewhat dysfunctional and probably a bit irrational and/or downright peculiar at times. I often need to just be on my own, some days I literally just stare at the wall, feeling quiet and pensive but not necessarily depressed. Sometimes I have no motivation, can’t get out of bed don’t eat properly or tidy up and have erratic sleep patterns; Other times I’m a fireball of enthusiasm and inspiration, full of ideas and can achieve any goal I set myself (and I have achieved quite a lot despite my predicament). Other times I am just “normal” like everyone else. These conflicting mood states cause my friends and family to despair at how I’m not doing really well with a good career etc, normally because they see I may have talents, but don’t see the other side when I can’t function – I just go off the radar a bit then. This is just the way I am and I have finally accepted that. From day to day I’m someone who most find polite, chatty, understanding, honest, compassionate, mildly interesting, etc, etc, long list of words that don’t include Lunatic, Nutter, Psycho, Wierdo, etc,. etc,. I know I’m a decent man, I like who I am, and so does everyone who knows me.
Here is a link to my old cyclothymia case file/website help page thingy, some bits of which I have not added to this new website yet. It is intended to be of help to anyone diagnosed as cyclothymic or bi-polar and for their family and friends. My Cyclothymia and Bi-Polar help page