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Talking About Bipolar

Natasha Tracy
Recently, I've had to talk about bipolar as a disability way too much. I talk about it online as part of my advocacy work, but that's not the issue. I have no trouble talking about it in general. The issue is talking about my bipolar as a disability in real life. The issue is talking about it to a psychiatrist, to a family doctor, to a nurse practitioner, to whomever I need to in order to get the help I need.
Natasha Tracy
Let me start by saying I'm not against bipolar disorder support groups. Actually, I recommend them to people and think they can be very helpful. That doesn't mean there aren't drawbacks, however. One of those drawbacks is the spreading of misinformation in bipolar disorder support groups. If you participate in bipolar disorder support groups, it's something you absolutely want to watch out for.
Natasha Tracy
Never tell a person with depression to lighten up. Take my advice here, and just don't do it. There is an infinite number of things to say to a person with depression that is appropriate, but telling a person with depression to "lighten up" is not one of them.
Natasha Tracy
Some people say I'm negative about bipolar disorder. Some people say that calling my bipolar disorder a chronic illness and anticipating the awful effects of bipolar disorder to come is negative. I disagree. I feel that I'm realistic about my own bipolar disorder. Being negative about bipolar disorder is different. 
Natasha Tracy
If you feel suicidal in any way, you need to talk to your doctor about your suicidal feelings. Even though suicide conversations -- with anyone -- are scary, you absolutely need to have them. I have had many I know this to be true. Read more on preventing suicides by learning how to have a conversation about suicide with your doctor.
Natasha Tracy
I'm tired of feeling sorry that I have bipolar disorder. I don't mean feeling sorry for myself -- that's a different thing -- I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am sick. I mean feeling sorry for the very fact that I am the one with the serious mental illness. And this feeling sorry about bipolar disorder is wearing on one's being. I, for one, don't want to feel sorry that I have bipolar disorder anymore.
Natasha Tracy
People like to criticize me about my bipolar disorder treatment and my guess is, many of you have experienced criticism about your bipolar disorder treatment, too. Sometimes people feel like their criticisms are helpful and sometimes, I swear, the people do it just to be dogmatic or cruel. No matter what their motivation is, though, it isn’t helpful and can be very harmful. If you get criticism about your bipolar disorder treatment, here’s how to handle it.
Natasha Tracy
People often say to those suffering with bipolar disorder, “Others have it worse than you.” This is not a helpful statement. We know that others have it worse than us. In fact, others with bipolar have it worse than us; that’s just math. But the fact that others have it worse than us is absolutely irrelevant to our suffering with bipolar.
Natasha Tracy
I write about some things that can trigger those with depression so it’s important for readers to know how to deal with depression triggers in blog posts. Understanding how to deal with depression-triggering blog posts can protect you from negative emotional effects and worsening symptoms.
Natasha Tracy
I express the experience of having bipolar disorder in a very specific way – my way. I express the bipolar experience with my words, my language, my thoughts and my metaphors. I approach bipolar disorder the way I live it: primarily depressed with short bouts of hypomania or bipolar mixed moods. I often write politically incorrectly if I feel that expresses my bipolar experience more accurately. But one thing I have learned after doing this for many years is that not everyone likes this.