I was once asked how I could believe children were over diagnosed while having a correct childhood diagnostic. I don’t think it’s as much of an oxymoron as people think.
There are a lot of things children can be diagnosed with, but some are more common than others. Bipolar is pretty rare in a child and it’s what I got diagnosed with. I had clear symptoms, and here’s the kicker they weren’t just symptoms inconvenient to our societies adults. I say that because when faced with heavy numbered diagnoses you see that a lot of it is triggered by inconvenient. It’s why so many young boys are labeled with ADHD, then a shocking number of them stop needing treatment as they get older. Is it because they outgrew it or is it because little boys have problems sitting through hours of school with ever shortening physical play? We’re the ones that are shortening outside times and pushing non-active electives instead of more physical ones (like shop which is hardly found anymore).
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
We get very locked into our bad times, they swallow us whole and seem to threaten never spitting us out. When your in middle of a bad spell, whether it be situational or emotional, you feel like it’ll go on forever, even if you believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel you feel like it is a million miles away. It’s terrible and it’s normal- but I still find that the best thing you can say during these times is that they will pass.
We can’t fix everything and if you have solutions then great! Share them! But it’s true that a lot of darkness just isn’t easily fought off, that we have to simply just get through it. Sometimes that’s really annoying to hear in the middle of the darkness, but it’s true. Surviving is the strategy. Surviving depression till you find the right medication or therapy. Surviving your bad job till you can financially quit or find a new one. Surviving until the timing just lines up.
It’s not glamourous and it’s hard to advise yourself to just get through, there is a reason why suicidal thoughts are common, but waiting while you work is the key to make it through. Try to make your situation better, even when it seems hopeless there is normally small things you can do to make it better, put that work in, but know that in the end it will get better. Life will move pass this and you should be there when it does.
The knowledge is said often but it’s not fully comprehended till you’ve seen it unfold and come to pass multiple times. Sometimes even then it can seem hard to swallow, but there is always a way out of the mess you are in and that way is not death or giving up.
Before I say anything else I know that someone will disagree with my use of “false” all moods are real and all thoughts come to our head are thoughts, I know that, what I’m talking about is the moods and thoughts that are controlled more by our mental illness or imbalances than they are by us. They are false answers to questions we could normally answer correctly.
Those moods and thoughts are a lot of time out of our control, but how we acknowledge them and how we act on them is completely our choice. Once we know they are “false” or from our imbalances it is easier to choose to not act on them or to do so properly, the problem is a lot of these moods and thoughts feel just as real and rational as our other thoughts and learning to tell the difference between them is insanely hard.
It might be easier to know where our thoughts are coming from if we ran every one by a group of trusted peers, but even leaking some of them toxic thoughts can hurt people and it can hurt us having other people tell us what is “real” and what isn’t. So how do you go about trying to figure it out?
Sometimes thinking about what a trusted peer would say to it can help a lot. It can give you insight. Sometimes thinking about what you would say when you were more stable can give you insight. Would you have reacted this way when you were in a happier mindset? No? Why not? Would your calm and collected friend widen her eyes at your thoughts in response to something?
I actually haven’t heard this phrase from anyone but myself, you see, my bipolar has been controlled for years, so I have a mask of normalcy over me. I’m a stable home for a child so no one worries about it, but this is something a lot of bipolar women deal with, even if they are projecting it on themselves.
Bipolar is a genetic disease. It’s not given that your child will be bipolar if you are, but the chances are higher. I could have a bipolar child, it’s very possible, it’s even kinda likely.
So why does reproducing not bother me? Why do I not see it as a risk, or as I’m sure some anonymous poster would say “irresponsible”?
The biggest reason is because I’m bipolar and I’ve lived a wonderful life. My life has been worth living. The swings have not taken away from my value. My life has not been so horrible that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
That’s the basic and end all argument against eugenics, but I won’t go into ranting about that because I could go on for hours.
Would a child have it easier if it did not have the risk of bipolar hanging over them? Maybe, but maybe not. You hear the argument to adopt a lot in situations like these, but you have to realize, there could be a disorder and illness in any child. People have things in their genetics that are hidden and undiagnosed, some disorders and illnesses aren’t based on genetics at all and can pop up in anyone, and they do, regularly.
And I know how to deal with bipolar. I’ve lived it. I know which medications my family can take for this disorder and I know how to talk about it and find proper treatment for it. I’ve learned coping mechanisms outside of medication that I can pass down. I will raise this child to know what to look for in their emotions to help alert them of a mood swing so they can get help before they have to face the aftermath or fallout.
Who is better to raise a child with this disorder than someone who has it? Even more, someone who has the disorder and has been able to find stability and normality?
I know how to handle my family’s genetic traits, from bipolar, to bad teeth. I’m prepared for it should it pop up. But again, there is no guarantee it will. We have it in our family tree and there are a lot of us that aren’t bipolar. It’s a roll of a dice whether any of this matters.
But it is a question a lot of women wrestle with. It is a topic you’ll find in the deep web comments. And as a pregnant bipolar woman I found a need to discuss it with you incase it is a topic that’s ever crossed your mind.
Being someone’s support person is a hard job, but as a human being who needs support, we also need to be able to give it back.
Mental illness and life’s hard moments both are known for knocking us down, and when we get knocked down we need someone more than ever. But honestly, just being alive requires having support, having someone to cheerlead you on. We need that positive push to get us through, we need someone to cheer us on when we win, and comfort us when we lose.
When you have a mental illness, or have gone through a really rough patch, it’s easy to take more support than you give, that’s okay, sometimes we need that, but I really want to talk about giving support back and creating those kinds of relationships.
Going out of your way to support someone is hardly ever going to backfire, especially because to start out, those relationships don’t take a lot out of you. They start small with words of encouragement and some extra time spent caring, then it turns into some of those bigger support tasks (whether it be waiting in the ER with someone or watching their children when they need help). Support is about being there. It’s about being a kind voice of reason and being excited for people. It’s taking an everyday good relationship and pouring a little more effort into it than you feel like is a hundred percent necessary.
Pregnancy reminds me of my bipolar disorder. That’s a weird statement to make, but it’s true. Your hormones are all over the place, and not unlike the chemical reactions in your brain that make you cycle from manic to depressive. It finds you in the exact same strange space were you know your emotions aren’t 100% correct or rational but you know you are feeling them fully anyway.
A lot of the mood swings make me ponder the lessons I’ve been trying to teach myself for years. Is this a rational feeling? How can I try to turn it into one without devaluing the fact that it is real?
Just because you know an emotion isn’t right doesn’t make it go away. Knowing your manic doesn’t let you switch off your manic traits like a light switch, but it is a start, and lets be real, you have to start somewhere. It lets you start trying to fight for control.
I’ve found most of my control in this disease through medication, but even those of us who have had a lot of luck with our bipolar medications can tell you that we still swing some, and I still have to take on those swings one on one. Rational brain verses the chemical brain.
I’m bipolar, I write about it a lot. I cover a lot of mental health topics on this blog. I’m passionate about it. But even people who are super understanding and have been through a lot have their limits, and I want to talk about that. I want to talk about something that deeply annoys me in bipolar communities, and that’s people who have access to treatment and refuse it because they like the high of mania despite the fact that they are putting their loved ones through daily hell.
Untreated bipolar happens to everyone with the disorder. We all start untreated. Sometimes people can’t afford it. Sometimes we have to go off our medications for health reasons. Sometimes we haven’t found the right treatment and we’re in limbo as we try to get it right. It’s hard and I will support people through those rocky years without any hesitation. It’s when people have no excuse for being untreated. It’s when they give up because it’s difficult to find the right meds and therapy. It’s when they don’t do anything to try and prevent their toxic actions that hurt people. It’s when they roll over in defeat without caring the consequences.