What It's Like to Experience the Depression Part of Bipolar Disorder

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

They say what goes up must come down, which is certainly true in the bipolar disorder realm. What really sucks is when you open your eyes one morning and you realize it’s “down” time.

You may push through. You may get up and pretend like you’re fine, get a cup of coffee and carry on like nothing is happening. But you feel all wrong inside. It’s like looking out the window at the clouds and rain and saying “It’s sunny out today!” Pretending only takes you so far when reality is staring you in the face.

You may get the kids to school and realize once you’re at work you’re petrified to be there. You may look at the floor and pray no one needs to talk to you. For no reason whatsoever, you may feel like you cannot take one more step in this “sham” of a life you are living.

So you may gather your things and decide to work from home — you’ve got a lot of admin work, thank God, that will keep your mind busy while you hide from the world.

You get home, change into pajamas and get out your assignments for the day. You make more coffee. You may tell yourself you can get through this, while at the same time you may wonder how you will possibly live the rest of your life like this. Every task is like climbing a mountain, every movement around the house is like dragging yourself across the desert on your belly.

Why is it like this? It makes no sense. Brain chemistry can screw with you like nothing else in this world. Recently, the University of Texas released a study in which they identified the place in the hippocampus where bipolar originates. There are abnormalities in bipolar patients. For me, it makes you want to rip out your hippocampus and stomp on it and scream at it. Maybe research will bring better treatment in the future, but for right now it is what it is.

So after the day is done, you may go lie down to ponder whether or not you can live this life, but something hits you.

You’ve got no choice, dear.

In my opinion, you can’t give up. You may need to cry on the bathroom floor at length. You may need some work at home days here and there to hide away.

You get up and make the bed. And start the laundry. And write about it. Because it’s all you can do to fight.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via flisak

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