Here is a story that was submitted to us by one of our readers. It goes to show you that there are lots of people dealing with Bipolar disorder and the problems that result from it.
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“It’s very hard living with a loved one who has Bipolar II Disorder. Not just because of the ups and the downs you will witness them going through but also for the stress it puts on you and everyone else who cares about that individual. And that is probably the hardest part; the fact that you do care about them.
I know this all from firsthand experience dealing with my best friend who has Bipolar II Disorder. If we weren’t that close it wouldn’t affect me as much as it does, but the truth is she isn’t only my best friend, she is something of a sister to me.
When we were younger I never thought anything was wrong. She was crazy, funny, fun to hang out with and she had a lot of energy, but all kids are a little hyper and excited. Then there would be the times when she seemed moody or tired. I just wrote them off as a kid being a kid and acting a little immature. After all any child can seem moody when they are tired or just not getting their way.
However, something was wrong. I began to notice it when we were teenagers. Her mood swings were becoming more evident and more of a problem for me. One night we would go out and have a blast, and the next night she would be a complete jerk. She would ignore me or anyone else trying to talk to her, and complain that everything we did and everyone around was lame, or un-cool. Then she would withdraw from our friends, sometimes for a couple of days at a time. Being a teenager myself I didn’t see that this was Bipolar II Disorder and again just thought she was back to being a jerk. But then we would hang out and have a blast and she would be so funny and nice that I would forget about all the other bad days.
Things continued this way, pretty much into our senior year of high school when I finally became fatigued with her temperamental attitude and weird mood swings and decided that she just wasn’t worth hanging out with anymore.
One day after not really talking much, aside from the casual “hey” we exchanged in our high school hallway, she called me up. I picked up the phone kind of reluctantly. We chatted for a while and then she told me she was bipolar. She mentioned it very casually actually, I guess she was uncomfortable with this and hadn’t told many other people. I asked her a couple of questions because I was confused. Like you haven’t tried to kill yourself or anything and your never suicidal so how are you bipolar? She explained that with Bipolar II Disorder the hypo-manic episodes aren’t as extreme as type one, so while she never stood on a table in the middle of class screaming with excitement she also never sat at home with a pair of scissors dreaming about ending her life.
Now that I know this and have known her for years it just becomes easier for me to expect the worst and enjoy the best. Although, unlike people who don’t know, I know that the best times are actually just as much a result of the Bipolar II Disorder as the worse times.”