Why it’s okay for people to call mental disorders gifts:

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There was a post going around Tumblr and Facebook recently about Vincent Van Gogh and his mental illness. The post was saying that we shouldn’t say that his artistic mind was a gift from his mental illness. It’s argument was that nothing from a disabling illness (that lead to his death) was a gift, and that he would have completely thrown away his art if he could have a cure for his illness.

Van Gogh is one of my favorites, not only because he is a great artist, but because he was bipolar, just like I am. I wrote a huge research project on him while I was in college, and I got invested in who he was as a person. And I have a problem with posts like these.

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I’m Not Offended by my Bipolar Jokes. You Shouldn’t be Either.

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A post about real personal things calls for an unstaged picture. The “real” Anna.

My favorite one liner is “You know North Carolina, the weather is more bipolar than I am.”

I think it’s funny, it makes fun of both myself and my favorite place on earth. I said it while walking across campus last year with a friend and I had some random guy stop me. He told me I shouldn’t say that because it’s insensitive and offensive. I calmly explained to him that I was bipolar and I didn’t really think it was insensitive or offensive at all.

Have you ever had someone lecture you on why you should be personally offended by your own joke? It was really strange and it has happened to me more than once while at Guilford college. The strange part was that the people who were offended by me tossing the word around were never bipolar, nor were the people they were close too. They had just learned it was offensive and were trying to protect whoever it might offend.

The only problem was that I wasn’t offended. I thought it was funny and I’m going to explain why I think it’s okay to use the word bipolar when not talking about the disorder. Continue reading

You don’t know what my bipolar acts like.

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My blood is sixty-percent coke zero, the other forty being medications and life questions. I talk too fast and people often have to tell me to slow down. “I can’t understand you.” I repeat myself wondering if what I’m saying is possible to understand. I’ve gotten so I repeat myself out of habit, just generally believing that no one could get it on the first pass. I stutter over words. My minds already four ahead of me. My mouth never can keep up. My thoughts are to deep and fast to cover slowly. There are too many of them. “Everyone’s like that.” Someone tried to assure me- but that’s not what the doctors say. Manic. Always manic. Unless depressive. They couldn’t hit the middle. I got to pick. Manic. Always manic.

“You don’t act bipolar, though.” You don’t know what my bipolar acts like. Fingers flying on a keyboard, writing long winded sentences while singing music at the same time. They don’t mix. Why would they? I forget a word. Everything halts. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I can’t summon it so I rewrite the sentence to go around it. The singing starts again.

I can feel my soul when I close my eyes. Coming in like radio waves, a little fuzzy, too many stations at once. “I need you to focus.” I’m told. I haven’t been on the same topic as you for a good two minutes. I was working on a solution to the problem you told me two weeks ago. I think I’ve got one.

Bipolar on the News

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I never rant on social media, I find it unproductive, unrewarding, and annoying. But today the news has been talking about the most recent mass shooting. The channel mentioned his bipolar disorder about eight times in the single coverage.
Every time I hear the words bipolar on the news it’s being used as the excuse for a criminal killing people. Well, I’m sick of hearing that, I’m sick of it being an excuse for any kind of action. Bipolar people might not have complete control of their emotions, but they damn well have control of their actions. I don’t care how severe it is, they still have the conscious knowledge of what they are doing. They’re the ones choosing not to treated. They’re the ones choosing to be criminals.
Bipolar disorder isn’t a scary thing, it isn’t something that should be feared. The news is turning it into that.
But even more than that, it’s not an excuse.
And I’d know, I was diagnosed at the age of six.