Bipolar – Attack of the Body Snatcher
Bipolar is a disease that takes over your brain – well, parts of your brain anyway – and these affected parts of your brain change your psychology right along with them. So once when you felt “normal” or let’s say, average, you now feel utterly destroyed. Your emotions are altered thanks to the attack on your brain.
And what’s worse about this is that bipolar or depression fundamentally changes who you think you are at that moment. If you used to be a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky sort, in a depression, nothing could be farther from the truth. When manic, all your thoughtful, careful ways become things of the past. You can barely identify with the person you were pre-mood.
And perhaps even worse than all that is that some part of you sees this dissonance. You know that who you are at that moment isn’t who you really are. It’s like someone else, a crazy person, moved right into your head and body and coopted your life. Bipolar snatched your body and brain.
Depression and You
Depression is not like being sad. Depression is not like a wet blanket. Depression is not like a ball and chain. Depression is all of these things combined but much more. Depression is a fundamental change in the way your brain, the way you, operate. The you that you know yourself to be is altered. Where once you loved doing charity work, now you only want to sleep. Where once you loved to walk along the beach, now it makes you sad. Where once you enjoyed cooking meals, now you would rather heat a TV dinner. All of the little bits, the little opinions, the little actions, the little thoughts, that make up your day have been changed.
It feels like you stumbled into someone else`s body.
Mania or even hypomania is just as bad. Mania is a complete alteration of thoughts also. Where once you loved ice cream now you don`t eat. Where once you loved lazy Sunday mornings, now you don`t sleep. Where once you were rational and logical, now you`re prone to flights of fancy. Where once you were on a tight, responsible budget, now you wrack up debt you in no way can afford. All of the decisions you make are suddenly compromised. People around you know that you aren`t you but you`re likely too busy being someone else to notice.
Bipolar Takes Over
And somewhere just outside of the brain and just outside of the bipolar is the watcher that knows your body and your brain have been snatched by another being. It's very difficult to explain. I can only say that it's clear that you're not yourself and yet there is no way to move the foreign being out of your system. There is no path from here to there. The body snatcher, the brain snatcher, is stronger than you are. For the moment anyway.
The only thing to do in these moments is to remember that you are not your mental illness. You are not your bipolar. Yes, the disease moved in, burrowed into your head, and made a nest, but it`s not you. And you`re coming back. Fighting the illness is about getting the snatcher out of your body. Taking medication is about letting the actual you hold the reins again. Going to therapy is about beating the body snatcher at its own game and wrestling it out of there.
It might win today`s battle, but over time, you can win the war.
Tracy, N. (2012, May 10). Bipolar – Attack of the Body Snatcher, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2012/05/bipolar-attack-of-the-body-snatcher
Author: Natasha Tracy
Thank you for explaining this. My daughter has been diagnosed and she's described it almost exactly as you've done. I'm also glad to see that you're optimistic about battling it and reclaiming yourself. It makes me feel hopeful for my daughter too.
I can relate to the "Depression" one exactly. It gets very, very hard sometimes. By that I mean almost unbearable. But I guess each day that we're still here is a good thing. It means we haven't given up, even when sometimes that's all we really want to do.
Thank you for putting in words what I seem to be only able to put into pictures. Hard to explain something to people when the three of me are always arguing about what to say. Especially when my manic side thinks that not a thing is wrong and my depression as always has nothing to add, well nothing that I can mention here.
loved this post. brilliant one. it is reassuring to know that one is not alone in this struggle, but has compatriots.Especially people who could put it so vividly in words the nebulous world of the mentally ill.
Describes my struggle right down to a "T" .. people don't understand that when i am experiencing an episode I really am not myself in many ways.. and it is devastating because it robs you of you!
excellent post! Yes that's exactly what it's like to experience bipolar disorder. And yes it can be fought - never give up!