Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bipolar off-label

I know it has been forever since I have blogged but trying to get back into the swing of things.

While training on my new job today, the current manager refers to most of the residents as bi-polar. At first it didn't bother me too much because so many people today use it as an off-label for people they consider a tad bit different then them. But today a nerve was hit, my mental nerve.  After one resident left the office and I commented that he seemed nice her reply was this: "He is but he bi-polar! BUT he has a job, so honey even people with Bi-polar can get a job and hold it!!!!"

So now I step up on my soapbox:

Well who would have thought a person suffering from mental illness could obtain a job and work at it! Well I sure didn't <insert sarcasm here!> and I have been doing it for 16 years! Ok, for those of you who didn't know it, I just opened up a skeleton closet! For those of you who did, thank you for tolerating my manic and depressed episodes for this long! And for those of you who thought I was,and behind my back cracked a few jokes here and there, just keep reading.

Just a little bit of background for those who are wondering but scared to ask. First of all you can't get it if you hug me, and some days I need a lot of those! Yes, it is a bonafide illness, a mental illness. Is it hereditary? Some believe so (remember I am adopted). What many don't understand is how serious it is. It is an illness that effects and affects the entire you. Your entire being. How you think, how you feel physically, is all wrapped up in one diagnosis.

At the young of age of 21 I was diagnosed as bi-polar. The psychiatrist said it was apparent that I had been bi-polar since childhood. My mother said this was a ploy against her and just a way for me to blame her for all of my life's problems. I have spent many years in therapy, going through cognitive therapy, retraining on things like simple daily life, and trials of many different medications. I have gone through the denial of having it, the deppression of being differenet and people not understanding ( not to mention the stupidity) and the secretiveness and being ashamed due to the stigmatism that is placed on it by our society.

I know that when I tell people they often have a zillion questions. I would rather them ask and learn than to through the medical term around so loosely. Just because someone has a bad day, or feels a little blue does not automatically mean they are bipolar. And just because I am bipolar does not mean that I am going to go into a fit of rage and try to stab you with my scissors! Although maybe the thought crossed my mind!

If you know anything about me, you know that I have a special place in my heart for those with mental illness. And now you know why.

A must see:
Please know the art is art but graphic.


  1. I was wondering the age of the person training you? I'd hate to think anyone of maturity would throw the label "bi-polar around that loosely.
    I think my comment to her might be "you seem to lack the understanding of what bi-polar is. Would you like me to explain it to you." If she said no, then I'd explain it to her anyway, or at least google it, print it out & say "I thought this might help you."
    Ignorance is one thing, lack of educating yourself on a mental illness term your calling people out of stupidity is insensitive........ Wendy

  2. She is mid-50s. I am usually not this sensitive but I think right now I am overwhelmed with everything that has happened in the last two months. I usually respond with medical terms and make the conversation somewhat politically correct and that usually re-directs peoples attention and sometimes they get bored by it and usually give up.

    However I do feel that my illness has given me the ability to communicate with others with mental illness because I am on that same bridge, only I cross it fully armed by taking meds!