My second article on Medium. Bipolarism: what is it and why telling about it in your life and at your work

I have bipolar disorder.

When I was diagnosed I had some qualms about telling about it even to my friends but especially at work.

Then in mid 2014 I had a big crisis and I was forced by it to tell to all my family and friends. 
It was a liberation. Since then I have significantly changed my way of approaching it. I tell people but especially at interviews or at work in general.

But before starting let’s explain what is.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorderthat causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

There are four basic types of bipolar disorder; all of them involve clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. These moods range from periods of extremely “up,” elated, and energized behavior (known as manic episodes) to very sad, “down,” or hopeless periods (known as depressive episodes). Less severe manic periods are known as hypomanic episodes.

  • Bipolar I Disorder — defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  • Bipolar II Disorder — defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia) — defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.
  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders — defined by bipolar disorder symptoms that do not match the three categories listed above.

I have bipolar II and I always tend to a certain level of hypomanic status.

This make me more productive, more creative, more dreamy. And I sort of like it. Because make me even more positive. Even although depressive periods are really hard.

As you has read bipolarism is a brain disorder: it is what you have not who you are. At least not entirely. I know that I behave in certain ways because I have this disorder. But I also think that it makes me better.

Bipolarism is seen as a stigma, sometimes scares people and I know it for sure when I talk about it and I look into the eyes of the person I am speaking to. He or she thinks that I am different, or that I am dangerous in some way. I am different and this is not necessarily a bad thing.

Bipolarism made me seen people differently: It made me think that every person that I met on the street could have his own issues, problems so I have always to respect this person. I have to respect everyone although for the common thought they are different. I don’t like stereotypes anymore.

I start telling about my situation at interviews and I have seen really the most different reactions: empathy, understanding, fear, indifference and even scorn.

But I keep thinking it is the right way: I respect myself and what I have so the people I work with have to respect it too.

If I had other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, I would be treated normally. So I want it too for bipolar disorder.

So people that have some kind of psychiatric disorder don’t be scare, talk about it, it would make you better and free.

My bipolarity changes based on music; I will talk about my relationship with music and what this beautiful art means to me.

But this is a whole other article

 

Me as Bipolarism  

Me as Bipolarism

 


You can read the article here and follow me on Medium

Cheers 

-Ilaria-