Hi, I’m Bipolar

So, as the title says, I’m bipolar. Like… as fuck. I have what’s called Bipolar II Rapid Cycling. This is for real and not for fake. I’m gonna copy and paste a little info about it from Very Well Mind:

Rapid cycling is a term used when a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more mood swings (episodes) within a twelve-month period. An episode may consist of depressionmania, or hypomania. To be formally diagnosed, these episodes need to be demarcated by either a period of remission or switch to the opposite.

Some people with bipolar disorder will alternate between manic and depressive episodes once or twice a year. Others may only experience this once every few years. However, a small subset of people will have rapid cycling, in which the mood swings come fast and frequently.

Rapid cycling is considered one of the more severe form of bipolar disorder. The condition can seriously impair ability to function as well as quality of life.

Characteristics

In rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, mood swings may be random and unpredictable. There is usually no set pattern as to when an episode might occur and what form it may take. In some cases, the episodes may cycle every few months; in others, the cycling may occur monthly or weekly.

Rapid cycling is not a diagnosis, but a description or specifier of the course of the illness. Similarly, the symptoms of rapid cycling are no different than any other form of bipolar disorder. Only the speed by which they alternate is different.

We don’t know why rapid cycling occurs and whether it will be an ongoing pattern or one that will eventually resolve. Rapid cycling may, in some cases, be a precursor to more severe manifestations of the disease, including psychosis.”

Personal Experience

This is the diagnosis that had every past psychiatrist tell me that I should just get on disability because I would never be able to hold a job. Between ages 16 and 27 I’d had 33 different jobs so maybe they were onto something I don’t really know for sure. For as long as I can remember I’ve had SEVERE mood swings. Sometimes they’re week to week and sometimes they’re month to month. The longest it’s ever been constant was one year I would say I was probably in remission but it never happened before that and hasn’t happened since. It is extremely exhausting and quite honestly, dangerous, for me and the people who love me.

They worry themselves sick wishing I could just be okay and wondering how they can help me. I’ve been in and out of therapy for 20 years. I’ve been on 20 different mental medications. Nothing works. Nothing. In the fall I was going through a fantastic manic episode. I love them honestly because I am so productive and people think I’m so fun and I’m having fun and I’m lively and I don’t need sleep so I make so much progress in so many areas. It’s GREAT ! But only by comparison. Because I do not know what normal is. Mania is better than laying in bed crying all day. I met my boyfriend while leaving a depressive phase and entering a hypomania phase. So that’s the me that he knows and loves.

I am now and have been for a 10 weeks now in a SEVERE depressive phase. He can’t compute it. It’s hard. I know I’m exhausting him. It makes me nitpick at things bc I wonder if I should just be alone instead of being a burden so it gets really difficult to fight the urge to push him away. He handles it so well but I feel so guilty because he shouldn’t have to. I think he deserves better. I’m worried that it’s not registering to him that if he sticks with me, this will be a life long issue. I feel invincible then I feel like I’m already half dead. I get impulsive and make bad decisions that are sometimes dangerous. Literally. Not scary. Objectively dangerous. I do not want to put him in danger.

However, my environment and association have changed DRASTICALLY since I met him. I’m no longer trying to heal in the environment that made me sick. I’m afraid that I’ll think therapy and new medicine this time are really working but I’ll just be manic and not know until it’s too late. I hate that he’s going through this with me even though he’s willing. He reassures me that he’s aware and he’s choosing to do this because he loves me. I believe him. I honestly do. But I’m worried that he only means it now because he can’t imagine how much harder it gets and how hard it’s going to be long term. Should I ride it out ?

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