10 Things I Wish My Loved Ones Knew About Living With Bipolar Disorder


To my loved ones who don’t understand my bipolar disorder,

It’s been a year since I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The past year, through my hard times, my recovery and my new found strength, some people have struggled to understand me and what I’m going through. This is me trying. This is me telling you what I wish you understood about my mental illness.

1. Bipolar disorder is not something I’ve made up.

I didn’t not make up bipolar disorder to excuse my bad decisions. Bipolar disorder has a medical definition, and it’s very real.

2. It’s not fun when I’m manic.

I’m a young adult who takes pride in being able to get good grades, run a business and pay my bills. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming out of a manic episode to find my credit card has several hundred charges to it, or that I missed some major deadlines for school.

3. I’m not giving up. 

I want you to know no matter how far I fall, I’ll always climb back up. I’m determined to live a successful life. I won’t give up, so please, don’t give up on me.

4. When I forget things I’m not just being neglectful.

When I say I can’t remember something, it’s not me being neglectful or choosing not to remember. Sometimes things are harder to remember. I don’t know why, but believe me, it’s not by choice.

5. When I cry, I’m not looking for attention. 

I’m not even looking for sympathy. I cry because I’m tired of fighting with myself. I cry to release the stress, anger and frustration I carry within. I cry because I know when I’m done, I’ll get back up and keep pushing through.

6. I’m sincerely sorry when I snap at you. 

It’s not on purpose and it isn’t a choice. I wish I could control my outbursts, but when I’m in a bad place I lose control of those things. Know I will come back to you to apologize every single time.

7. There are days when the stress of life is just too much. 

This doesn’t make me weak. Please understand my disorder makes dealing with stress much more difficult. I might need help with things you feel are simple.

8. I’m trying. 

You might not see it on the days it’s 4 in the afternoon and I’m still in my pajamas, but if I’m out of bed and being semi-productive, I’ve won a huge inward battle.

9. I still look for your approval.

Despite my disorder, I’m constantly trying to be the girl you once knew.

10. I will always love you. 

Even if you don’t understand my disorder, what I’m going through or why I am the way I am, I will always love you. You have been there for me since the day I was born, and I cannot imagine how my life would be without you.

 A version of this post originally appeared on Defying Shadows

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