4 Lies About Bipolar Depression That Need to End:
1. Depression means you are lazy. False. You are the farthest thing from lazy. If you were lazy, by definition, you would be unwilling to exert energy. More than likely, you are not only willing, but begging for energy, and lots of it! But your brain is unwilling to give it to you. It feels similar to taking sleeping pills during the day and trying to get your regular routine done. Just add in the relentless sadness and anxiety, that are depression’s best friends.
2. Depression means you are mentally weak. False. Some may argue that people with a mental illness are quite the opposite, and are mentally stronger than most. The war that goes on inside your head would bring many to their knees because of its excruciating pain. So please, don’t ever say you are not mentally strong. You have fought a million wars in your head and won every one. After all, you are still standing.
3. Depression means you are nutritionally deficient. False. Perhaps you have taken every supplement in the book. And quite frankly, you are sick and tired of trying out “the natural way.” Yes, supplementing has helped in some ways. But many people are convinced that bipolar disorder is somehow rooted in the fact that you are fundamentally lacking certain nutrients. Many have taken most every supplement, and guess what? They still have bipolar.
4. Depression means you have “unresolved issues.” False. Yup, we’ve all got them. As an example, I can say with great certainty that I had an amazing childhood and do not have any significant unresolved issues. I had loving and supportive parents, a best friend for a sister, and a ton of close friends. Nothing stands out to me that I need to “resolve.” But I still have bipolar.
What is not understood or maybe even known, is that bipolar is genetic. Rooted in biology. My great-great grandma, great-grandma, grandma, mom, and myself ALL have/had bipolar disorder. Or is it still possible that FIVE generations were simply lazy, weak-minded, nutrient deficient, and bad at resolving their issues? I am inclined to say, no.
Many people have made these assumptions or suggestions from a very loving place. So on my behalf, thank you for loving and trying to support those who have bipolar. I am, however, voicing a perspective from someone who deals with bipolar symptoms on a regular basis. We are who we are, and most likely will not be “fixed” by one of these simple changes in our lives. It is all incredibly complex.
If you have bipolar, you are so incredibly strong, never forget that.
4 thoughts on “4 Lies About Depression”
My sister and myself are both extremely emotionally strong. We are strong for ourselves, our families, each other and our patients. Yes are both RNs. One of the most emotionally charged jobs there is, but we both had a calling to it. I was 5 years old when I started waning to be a nurse. The years ahead of illnesses and grief from lossing too many loved ones at too early of an age, left me wanting to help others even more. It also left me with some super strong emotional reactions to happy & sad situations. All part of what at 25 I would be diagnosed as manic depression with a depressive suicidal attempt. Bipolar type 2. Now at 59, I’ve gone 2 1/2 years since the second attempt. This last one was so much more serious because I was so very disillusioned that after 30 years, I would have a recurrence of that horrible bipolar depression. This time it was medication induced. Dopamine agonists for RLS. Horrible meds!!! The use caused a manic like behavior and the discontinuing caused an almost catotonic depression. After 4 months of the depression I couldn’t imagine my life ever changing. Thank GOD, literally that he wanted my life to continue. After 3 flat line EEGs and 4 days of no response, I moved and woke up. I’m back to work and have all medical knowledge at hand. It’s taken a huge toll on my marriage though. Working constantly on that. My husband is totally burnt out. I wrecked our finances and am still having get up and go issues. One Day at a Time. BP
Wow Vickie, thank you so much for sharing your story of courage and hope. It’s not always easy with bipolar, that is for sure. But with your obvious strong faith in God and the faith to keep going, all good things are possible. Medicine induced mania is absolutely terrible. I am so sorry you went through that. Thank you so much for commenting, and all the best to you!
I loved the part where you wrote how “you have fought a million wars in your head and won every one. After all, you are still standing.” So beautifully said and so true.
Thank you so much! Alone we fight the battles in our mind, but together, by talking about our issues, we will win the war! Much love!