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5 Positives to Living Life With Bipolar Disorder

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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in June 2015, when I was 20 years old. It was a sudden diagnosis after I was hospitalized for mania.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

The week before and the week during my hospitalization were two of the most terrifying weeks of my life, and once I was discharged from the hospital, I was determined to learn all I could about my new bipolar diagnosis. I quickly learned that there are a vast many “negatives” to having bipolar, but there are also many “positives.” Here are some of the positives of having bipolar disorder that I’ve personally experienced over the last two and a half years.

1. Creativity.

When I’m hypomanic, I have a wonderful ability to be creative. I can create fun pages in my bullet journal. I can entertain myself for hours with vivid storylines in my head. I can spark whole novels from songs I hear on the radio, my iPod or on YouTube. The mental imagery that comes with the creativity for me is a world of fun and entertainment.

2. Writing.

My non-fiction writing is definitely better when I’m manic, hypomanic, depressed or in a mixed episode. My words are more grand and descriptive. My sentences are longer and more elaborate and eloquent. I can type two to three pages or more worth of text in 20 minutes. I’m absolutely overflowing with inspiration much of the time when I’m in a bipolar mood state; either that or I get inspired very easily.

3. Deep conversations.

I have wonderful, deep, intellectual conversations with people whenever I’m in a bipolar mood state. When I’m depressed or in a mixed episode, I have deep, meaningful conversations with my friends about emotions and life experiences. When I’m hypomanic or manic, I have fun, enlightening conversations with my friends or with fellow advocates about plans I want to make for advocacy adventures, trips I want to take, articles I want to write and fun experiences I want to have in life. I enjoy both of these different types of conversations with people because I get so much out of each one.

4. Emotional depth.

I enjoy TV, music and art so much more than I normally do when I’m in a mood state because my senses (physically and mentally) are so much more heightened. I cry or get excited or otherwise experience emotion more while listening to music, watching TV, looking at photographs or artwork, or while talking to friends or family because I’m more in tune with myself, my mind, my emotions and my body at those times. It makes going through ordinary life much more interesting and extraordinary.

5. Empathy.

I’m able to empathize so much more with others because of all that I go through with my bipolar disorder. I’m able to understand the positive and the negative aspects of life in a more helpful way due to what I’ve personally experienced. It truly is special being able to relate to people on a deeper level because of the complex life I’ve been handed. The ability to use what I’ve learned and what I’ve gone through to help someone else feel less alone means everything to me.

These examples are only a few of many positives I’ve experienced due to living with bipolar disorder. For every negative of having bipolar, I can usually find a positive to go along with it. Keeping this kind of mindset isn’t always easy, but it certainly helps me to cope better with the life I’ve been handed.

Photo by Greg Raines on Unsplash

Originally published: April 21, 2018
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