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Please Stop Using My Bipolar Disorder as Your Insult

My disorder is not an insult.

Yep. You heard it here first, folks. My disorder is not an insult.

Your ex-girlfriends, the mail man, your next door neighbor nor the barista at the coffee shop “are bipolar.”

In fact, according to a multitude of mental health websites, bipolar disorder affects about one percent of the world’s population. So the fact that you say, “all my ex-girlfriends are bipolar,” might be a bit of a stretch, statistically.

When someone changes lanes in traffic, or your wife changes her mind about dinner three times, or you just simply don’t like someone, please don’t call them “bipolar.” You are feeding into the negative stigma that surrounds those of us with mental illness, every moment of our lives.

I cannot control this disorder I’ve been diagnosed with. At least not by myself. I take a cocktail of medications daily so I am able to function like everyone else. I am not and will not be ashamed of what I have been dealt. I can only do my part to spread awareness and acceptance over something that isn’t our fault.

Now, if your ex-girlfriends were abusive and mean and unfaithful, well that’s just considered being a crappy partner and in no way is related to their mental health. If that guy cuts you off in traffic twice, well he’s just a bad driver, not “bipolar.” Bipolar disorder can manifest in so many different ways and impacts people differently. For me, I can reach untouchable highs where I feel sheer perfection in everything I do. I’m on top of the world with happiness. I can also, within days, feel like my life has no purpose and I wonder how I’m going to make it to the next day, week, month…etc. This is known as rapid cycling. It is so much deeper than a decision or direction change.

So please, I beg of you, stop using my disorder as an insult.

Getty image via Lisa Vlasenko.

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