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The Unspoken Bipolar Symptom That Made Me Think I Was in Love

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The bipolar disorder symptom nobody talks about, it even took me by surprise as I willingly ventured deeper and deeper into *not my first* technicolor delusion.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

I laugh now, thinking back at all of the incredulous thoughts I’ve entertained as part of my bipolar disorder’s hold on my brain processes. It’s funny, I say again mostly to comfort myself, how a perfectly charmed life can seize opportune moments to dismantle it all.

Who am I, and how did I get here? Was it really me, over 10 years ago searching the internet for other people’s experience with convincing delusions? I wanted to hear all the stories: how bad did it get; was your phantasmal world as enthralling and intriguing as mine?

I found very few stories, confessions more likely, the few cathartic descriptions I encountered online brought me to a place where I could see the delusions for the truth-tellers they were. We all had the same thing in common: an ability to be wrapped up and swept away, fueled or exacerbated by a dopamine rush and adrenaline.

The visions though, the highly-detailed concocted overtures we feel compelled to oblige our will to, where do they come from and why must they stay? I know, I know, keep taking your prescribed medication, pay attention to triggers, adhere to a predictable schedule and be wary of any new situations — you’ll be just fine.

They creep in though; we are unsuspecting. How on earth I developed an entire plot line where I was engaged with the military, able to *read between the lines* as I broke through the masks of personalities on TV screens. It was a cacophony of noise outside my windows, a team of well-camouflaged spies were protecting me and all of my supernatural abilities and secrets.

Ha ha ha. That happened so long ago, and its memory doesn’t so much embarrass me as empower me to live my life as if all of it really happened.  My other choice, to explain away all of the sane truths I discovered while hypnotized by the pulses and rhythms directing my convicted behavior.

Where does it come from, what parts of our inner selves are being reflected on the outside, through bipolar? Can a single psychiatrist explain to me what on earth a delusion is for? Was being unloved as a child, and still feeling unlovable, the reason I developed de Clerambault’s syndrome?

Ah ha! This is the symptom that nobody talks about, and the magazine nobody really wants showing up in their mailbox without a paper sleeve, BP Hope, had nothing to report on it. Wow.

Old research reveals the syndrome to mostly affect middle aged women, although with our heightened commitment to social media channels these days, I’d suspect all age ranges can be affected.

Falling hopelessly in love with a mythical figure of higher social status and being consumed with a relationship that exists only in your head, yeah, that can happen to everyone. With all the stalking and *stanning* of celebrities and the ultra-wealthy these days, erotomania seems to be featured everywhere.

What’s my story, and who did I fall in love with? That’s a web of entanglement I’m still sorting out to this day. Funny, considering I’ve been patient to four doctors, and not a single one broached the subject, ever. The few times I’ve tried to explain the conflicting emotions I deal with, it did not go well. Without current research on this disorder, how will I ever make peace with it?

Now, I’m finding out that de Clerambault’s syndrome can reoccur out of nowhere. During the most stable of times, it can whiplash you back into everything you thought was tucked safely behind you. A metaphysical world without conventional boundaries, where we are able to consult with our deepest conflicts and confront the shadows previously kept hidden.

So where are the answers, and why have doctors stopped asking questions? Why is my self-understanding limited to ancient research studies that reveal the case stories, but delve no further?

A banner promoting The Mighty's new Bipolar 1 Support group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Join the Bipolar 1 Support group to connect with others who understand what it's really like to live with hypomania, rapid-cycling, depression and more. Click to join.

It’s a rotten deal, to have an emotional obsession that is completely out of character, counter to every value you hold, but also to have the universe conspiring against you simultaneously. Revealing signs and synchronicity, otherworldly levels of communication, your consciousness evolves, and the petals of your heart literally unfold in this process.

Clerambault’s syndrome, in its best light, allows you reach for your highest self, to be captivated by an ideal and attain new levels of love and self-acceptance. But at the same time, the all-consuming nature of erotomania is disruptive, and as far from consensus reality as it’s possible to get. In my experience, it’s a fast-track to healing and evolution, despite the possibility of complete self-sabotage.

If you asked me today, are the emotions I’ve experienced based on any shred of reality, were the absurdities I’ve witnessed all delusional, or do they contain any nuggets of truth? I can only tell you that every day, I’m fighting the battle from one angle or another, as if I literally have no choice in the matter.

Clerambault’s syndrome is an inner conflict nobody should have to commit their destiny to, especially without the help of doctors who should prioritize this subject in the laboratories, literature and patient settings. A syndrome that leads to growth and healing, an opportunity to reach into the deepest recesses of your heart and soul — it’s likened to the twin flame experience.

An evolutionary phenomenon, or is Clerambault’s syndrome a delusion of grandeur that coincidentally leads to enviable growth, all urged on by the fairy tale that gets you there.

Photo by Wesley Balten on Unsplash

Originally published: August 4, 2020
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