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The Bipolar Urge We Need to Talk About

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There’s this symptom that can cause pain when you’re in love while also struggling with bipolar disorder. And to be honest, it’s painful even if you’re not in love. It’s hypersexuality. Do we dare discuss the urge many people with bipolar disorder experience?

• What is Bipolar disorder?

In my experience, it’s a soft and sensual feeling that envelops you and causes you to put that mascara on a bit harder. You put on “sensuality lotion” and soak in Vera Wang perfume until just your smell entices others. You see, sex can be an addiction but it’s not about the end result that causes my bipolar mind to self-indulge and my mania to rise. It’s the extreme need to be desired. It’s the game of cat and mouse that creates the excitement within and the enticing need to be attracted is the high that keeps giving. The recklessness and impulse to act on every sexual whim is what causes immense amounts of regret when the mania subsides. Until then, the world is your oyster and you are the pearl. Can you ever live without the need to be desired? The following of men and women behind you even though the love you have for another never subsides and it’s never personal. The high is ever so present and takes over every physical and mental aspect of who you are and the craving to be the person your mind tells you to be is intoxicating.

An angel in a world of destruction your mind takes hold of reality and suddenly all you see is the prey at hand. Marriage be damned, the fun and flirtation provides a high that cannot be developed with any drug or alcohol provided. The art of sensuality is your expertise and those intoxicated by your every move and existence is the reason you breathe. You are the fiery beacon that entices all those searching for lust and love. You don’t see them as people, only pills that can cause a solution to seep the yearning within.

Living in lust and a countless need to be enticed is no life at all. The constant sexual escapades is a drug that has caused me my reputation, my morals and my relationship. The art of sensuality is envied by many but the casualties always exist behind the scenes. In a land of predators, the most vulnerable with mania seek a drug that is rarely relatable. When most seek help, I stand alone in a world that makes no sense and where these urges are frowned upon by many. In a bipolar mind, the flirtation and conversation is harmless at best, and the reasoning within oneself is inexplicable.

Can you resume life as “normal” within a marriage that doesn’t satisfy your addiction? Even though your marriage is the center piece to your salvation, the addiction takes over all reasoning and pulls you into what you see as the garden of eden. Can your loved one ever forgive you? Can you ever get past what you have done? Certain moments you seek redemption and on other occasions you seek only your own satisfaction despite the cost. The secrets that harbor within you eat away at your very being and self-esteem. The impulsive acts that mean nothing to you but destroy the trust within a bond you worked so hard to create. The emotional aspects of your spouse’s very being is all on your actions. In mania none of that matters, you are distracted by the need. Distracted by the drug no one can understand.

The simple need to resist all temptation, to act out on all impulses is harder than depicted. The hypersexuality state can cause pain and dysfunction in what was a solid marriage. The impact of this symptom can cause self-esteem issues and conflict within any relationship. In a world where infidelity is viewed as an ultimate betrayal, how can a bipolar person redeem themselves even as the struggle continues? The understanding is limited, the education is minimal and the judgment is harsh. Bipolar disorder provides so much more than mania and depression, it can push infidelity, unreality and psychotic hallucinations that may never be understood by the so-called “normal” population.

Holding onto all that means anything is a battle every day you exist. It’s never truly understood by those who do not struggle with it. The need to be loved by all and the obsession for attraction despite the reason is an intoxicating drug no one can possibly fathom unless they’ve experienced it. Holding onto the pictures of love and commitment is your only grasp on reality and all you can hold dear. The promises and love you hold for another create the strength to fight every impulse within you to be deceptive.

I hold my vows with severity and push myself to be a better wife every day but for those who have given in to the temptation, please know it’s a symptom of your disorder and it’s understood by those who understand your struggle. You are not alone. Impulsivity can effect all that you love, but the most important thing to remember is love conquers all and this too can be defeated in a world of hypersexuality.

Unsplash photo via Pablo Heimplatz

Originally published: October 2, 2017
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