The Pain of Living with Bipolar 2 Disorder

Wednesday, March 29 2017 Hannah Blum

With bipolar 2, the depression is crippling and the hypomanic episodes are exhausting. Find out what bipolar 2 is really like on HealthyPlaceLiving with bipolar 2 is a constant challenge

I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crowded room, elegantly dressed from head to toe, screaming at the top of my lungs. My mascara dripping down my face and hitting the floor like blackened rain drops. I keep screaming, but no one can hear me. Strangers, friends, and family wave towards me with smiles filled with glee as if my pain is invisible. Then it hits me. It is invisible.

The pain of living with bipolar 2 disorder, also known as bipolar depression, is difficult to explain. There is no Merriam-Webster definition that can accurately describe it. The depression is crippling and the hypomanic episodes are both physically and mentally exhausting. You feel out of control and lost. No amount of coffee can get you hyped for the day and no amount of encouragement can motivate you. The stigma of bipolar disorder is equally as painful, causing you to isolate and loath your own reflection. I wish they had as many pills for ignorance as they do for all other illnesses. When those around you don’t acknowledge your pain as being real, it causes you to doubt yourself and feel like an outcast in society. The pain from those negative thoughts is draining and all-consuming.

The Most Painful Part of Living with Bipolar 2

The part of bipolar 2 disorder that is the most painful for me is the guilt. The guilt I feel for being lost as if I did it on purpose. It bullies me to think of myself as unworthy and ashamed. As someone who is viewed by others as being selfless, the idea of emotionally hurting others is overwhelming. I feel like I am constantly saying “I am sorry” even in situations where an apology is not necessary. In severe hypomanic episodes, I can be irresponsible and irritable. In depressive episodes, I am nonexistent and isolated. It is an out of body experience. I go from being confident, energetic and social to withdrawn and insecure. It’s like seeing yourself from the outside withering away as if you were watching a sad movie in which you are the star. However, the irony of this movie is that if I could choose to live without bipolar 2 disorder, I would not.

I blame bipolar for the internal pain that is so difficult to explain to others, but I also blame bipolar for feeling emotions so deeply I crave to help others. I blame bipolar for challenging me to find strength at my weakest point. Bipolar shares with me its pain and the day I stopped letting society make me feel ashamed, was the day it shared with me its gifts. If it were not for the pain, I would not be the woman I am today.

How does living with bipolar disorder feel to you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Author: Hannah Blum

Hannah Blum is the HealthyPlace YouTube bipolar disorder vlogger. Check out her I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2 playlist and subscribe to the HealthyPlace YouTube channel. You can also find Hannah on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

View all posts by Hannah Blum.

The Pain of Living with Bipolar 2 Disorder

Bryan Ross
May, 16 2018 at 7:17 am

Well, didn't this just hit the nail on the head. I am now middle aged and have only in the past couple of years come to terms with my illness, even though I was diagnosed years ago and even though people knew something was very wrong a long, long time ago. But the thing that hurts the most is when I am depressed and my mind is filled with a constant churning of shame for how I treated (or ignored) my children and for what I've put my wife through. I am ashamed for the moments lost. I am ashamed every time I meet a "normal" family with "normal" parents that act normally towards their children and I am reminded of how abnormal I was towards mine. I feel shame. Then when the mania hits I am back to abnormal and creating more memories to be ashamed of. That is how I feel.

Analiz Bermudez
June, 6 2018 at 4:34 pm

This is one of the only times a person have described how polar disorder feels in so few word. The isolation from others, the people running away because you're so far from them not picking up phones and not leaving your house at everybody just runs and forgive about you, they may think that is them maybe they did something or maybe it's you that don't want to be with them anymore they don't understand that is not them that is not you that is something that is just going in you but sometimes it is hard especially when you don't have to strength when to be able to talk to them and explain to them what is going on in your life because you feel that they are going to be judgmental. So the first step for me was to get new friends and learn to share what I have with them so they have a little bit more understanding of what is going on in my life.

Ty Young
June, 26 2018 at 11:46 am

I'm so encouraged by this post, and its replies ... thank you. Our 14 year old son was just diagnosed with bipolar disorder two weeks ago, and I think it's type 2 because he doesn't really have any particularly high manias. His doctor has prescribed Abilify to help stabilize his mood swings, and although it's done that, it's also seemed to have dulled him to the point that he has no interest in doing things with our family, doing things he's loved in the past such as swimming, etc. We feel like we've lost our son, though of course we haven't.

I'd sure appreciate any encouragements or experiences you think would help us.

Thank you.

June, 27 2018 at 8:12 am

I dont how to say. But I am bipolar 2 disorder. I see doctor. And i also have my friends and family. But with this mental illness. Its not the same anymore. Ermm hergh i dobt kbow how to explain what I felt :'( and its so damn hurt

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