It's not easy for the people around me when I'm depressed, but it's not impossible for them to recognise it or to understand that it's an illness, that I can't help it, and that I don't mean to be that way.
I think it's harder for them to see the hypomania side as an illness. I seem so happy, so carefree, so selfish. I put my need to run around enjoying myself above everyone and everything else. I interrupt a heartfelt story to prattle on about utter nonsense. I ignore my family's wish for me spend time with them because I would rather be dancing. I crave adventure. I need excitement.
And that's the thing about it. It's a need. I don't just want to be off enjoying myself; I can't stop myself. I can see what it's doing to my family and friends but I just can't not, however hard I try. Somewhere in my head, I know that I am going to regret it, I know that I don't want to hurt those I love, but it's like watching a car crash. I can see what's going to happen but I have no power to stop it. And that's hard for those on the outside to understand.
Let's face it, it's hard for me to understand and I'm the one doing it. So, I get scared when I get high. Scared that this time I'm going to finally go too far and lose everyone. That when I come down, I'll have nothing left: no friends, no family, no money, no job, nothing. I still can't stop though.
That's why I've come up with a new strategy. First, I talk about it when I'm stable, trying to explain how it is for me. Then, when I start to ascend, I allow myself to enjoy it. I try to eat and sleep when I can, but I ride it out cheerfully. I make a promise that any big decisions have to be run by at least two close friends and their opinion is final. And then, I stop fighting it. So far, it's working out.
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