Bipolar: Good or Bad?

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Is bipolar a gift? Or simply an illness, as we are told by the medical community?

Some will argue, “how can a disorder of any kind be a gift?” I will do my best to explain.

Almost everyday of my life these days I am knocked down by my brain telling me: you are not good enough, end your life, you are a burden to your family, you will never succeed. Everyday I fight like hell pushing back saying: I am good enough, my life is worth living, I am needed by my family, I will succeed.

This thought process has created a resilience, a kind of stamina that only someone with mental health struggles would know. My bipolar has made me mentally strong, contrary to what people would think. When others quit, I keep going because I am used to the fight.

Bipolar has given me some of the best days of my life. When my brain is manic and rapidly thinking, my best ideas and passions come to fruition.

On a spiritual level, I am a Catholic and my faith is paramountly important. When I am suffering in a deep depression, I am able to align my suffering with the suffering Jesus went through dying on the cross for me. If you are not of a Christian faith, it can be a powerful tool to suffer. You learn compassion, and I believe a deeper understanding to the meaning of life. I do not believe we were created as human beings to lead easy and cushy lives. I believe there is much value in suffering. In suffering we are humbled, in humility we find understanding, in understanding we find compassion, in compassion we find love, which is what I believe we were created to do; love.

On the opposite side of the argument, people will say that bipolar is bad. In fact, if you look at a previous post, I asked people to describe bipolar using one word. Out of 215 comments, only 20 responded with a word that had a positive connotation. Most words were extremely negative in nature. And I get it, bipolar can be exhausting and all the other words mentioned.

Bipolar’s very nature is a chemical imbalance. There is something “wrong” with how our brains function. Or so we are told. Could it be that our brains are wired differently for a bigger purpose than we can see?

The one dreadful bipolar side effect is its contribution to suicidal behaviors and suicide. Which easily makes the argument that bipolar is a bad thing. But is bipolar bad without the suicidal tendencies? I’m asking you. I want to know your opinion on this. Is bipolar good or bad?

15 thoughts on “Bipolar: Good or Bad?

    1. My apologies for my tardiness in replying! Just want to thank you for your comment. I know what you mean about wanting that 70% to go away. But on the flip side, I think I’d be too bored with feeling “in the middle” all the time. But ask me again when I’m deeply depressed 😉

  1. This definitely made me think. As I’m reading it I can definitely identify with the feelings that can be seen as positive. I get most things done when I’m manic and my confidence is through the roof. I rock interviews and things that require some kind of bolster Ideas come flying through some stay some go. My issues is with my fleeting thoughts comes the risk of irrational decision making. But I do feel with all blessings come a curse. With good there is bad.

    As you said the dark is a very dark place.

    1. I can relate to so much of what you said. I love what you said; with good, there is bad. So very true. Thank you for commenting!

  2. As I am reading this…I think its more like 45% good and 55% bad. Only good because like you i have faith in jesus. Not necessarily towards myself but i definitely believe for others. Also my ability to have compassion, understanding, and resilience is thru the roof…especially compared to “normal” people. The bad comes in when no one else appreciates you. Or when you are left being the only one still fighting. Or when people give up on you because our episodes have pushed them away. I am about at the point to where the one thing i always wanted is about to be trashed…having a loving family. I am starting to see/feel that no one “normal” will ever want to understand me. That hurts because i used to love and trust so easily until you pushed me to a point where i have exhausted all my energy. But my energy is much different because like you said we are used to the fight. I dont trust myself or others. I want to but sadly every time i do i just get let down because bipolar ALWAYS gets in the way. I hate knowing that i will be alone for the rest of my life..(i am only 42)…I have been fighting since i was 13. The only thing left for me to do is help others from afar. I am willing to do that. I even want to be the ” Trent Shelton” of bipolar. But when i think about the life i really want matched up with the small amount of faith matched with bipolar…..It just lowers the 45% down to 10% and increases the 55% to 100%…in other words its unbearable.

  3. The good part is the deep feelings and compassion I have for others. I know I only have this because of the pain of the lows I’ve experienced. That is where I see my bipolar as a gift. Thank you

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