I’m So Bipolar: A Rant

chair swirlsI have noticed a new trend in people’s vocabulary.  They like to say they are “so bipolar” when they can’t make a decision.  Drives me nuts.  Seriously.  If they had any inkling of what it means to actually have bipolar disorder, they wouldn’t throw that description around so loosely.  Perhaps I am overly sensitive, but I still think it’s inconsiderate.  But, people can be dumb and ignorant.  (Is that a redundant statement?)

I have similar feelings about people calling someone crazy.  “You’re so crazy…”  Ummm…thanks?  I had a number of boyfriends call me crazy during my undergraduate degree experience.  Perhaps I was, considering my current diagnosis.  Little did I know how hard I was going to drop my basket…

People just don’t think.  They find these words and think they apply to them when they have absolutely no idea what they actually mean to someone who is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Jerks. But, like I said before, people are ignorant. No one wants to find out the true meaning behind certain words, or even how to pronounce words correctly. An example that comes to mind is espresso. It is pronounced “ESPRESSO” not “EXPRESSO”. Sheesh. Even my spell check doesn’t like that word.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive, I am still trying to navigate life with a new perspective. But, that still doesn’t excuse ignorance. My husband actually reprimanded a friend for using the word “bipolar” when describing herself. I think his reprimand caught her off guard and she apologized profusely. She should have said she is having trouble making a decision.  So, maybe I’ll cut people a little bit of slack.  Maybe.

Also, people who describe the weather as bipolar.  Weather is neither manic nor depressed.  It has sunshine and rain and snow and drought.  Weather does not have emotions.  It has jet streams and ok, maybe it has tropical depressions, and the rain can be interpreted as crying.  But that’s not the point.  When you can’t make a decision, it doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder.  It means you are indecisive.  The weather changing doesn’t mean it has a mental disorder.  It means it is the weather, wait 5 minutes.  You might be happier with the results.

I wish I could make a decision about whether or not I wanted to feel happy or sad on a particular day, but my brain doesn’t work like that.  I take medication to make my highs and lows not so severe.  It numbs me a bit, but it’s not as scary.  I’ll take that, but I would like some of that mania back.  Mania minus the psychosis.

Just think. Think about what you are saying. I suffer from this problem, too. I’m not perfect. But, I wouldn’t call someone crazy or describe them as bipolar. It’s just inconsiderate when you really don’t know what a person is dealing with, and if you do know what they are going through, why would you air their dirty laundry? That would make you a jerk, and I don’t associate with jerks.


9 thoughts on “I’m So Bipolar: A Rant

  1. I’m on the fence on this one. Obviously, people use bipolar and crazy as adjectives that are dismissive of the reality and struggles we have living with a mental illness, but maybe we could use humor to respond, not take casual use of the words personally, and use it as an opportunity to educate lightly without jumping on people who have no intention of offending or hurting us as individuals or as a group.

    • You make a valid point, Kitt. I don’t think I meant to jump all over anyone, but the example I gave happened while I was still in the major throes of recovery. I do think it is important to educate others, but I’m afraid of sounding preachy. I’ll find my voice on how to deal with this situation in the future. After all, I’m a work in progress…Aren’t we all?

      • Exactly. When we are raw, it hurts. When we are further along in our recovery, and have achieved some emotional distance from the symptoms of our illness, then it is easier to laugh it off and teasingly respond. Using humor, as you do deftly, helps immensely. Humor breaks down walls and is a fabulous coping mechanism.

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