4. Medication is a band aid.
I’m not going to waste time going into all the reasons there is no shame in taking medication. Bipolar disorder is an illness. When you are ill you take medicine. End of story.
Medication doesn’t cure you of bipolar disorder, though — it’s not like taking an antibiotic when you get strep throat. While medication helps (a lot), it does not render you asymptomatic; you can be on medication and still experience symptoms, the medication simply reduces their severity. I like to think of medication as a band aid: it may cover up the wound, but it’s still there (and sometimes it bleeds through a little bit).
5. Mood swings can be sudden and unexpected.
Sometimes you can feel depression or hypomania/mania slowly creeping up, and sometimes they come crashing down and hit you in the face like a thousand bricks. And because life has a funny sense of humor and there is nothing convenient about having a mental illness, mood swings seem to almost always hit at the most inopportune moments: while you’re at work, on vacation, on a date, at the gym or at the bar with friends. Once while on a spring break cruise in college I suddenly began (inexplicably) crying during a stand-up comedy show, of all things.
There are some hilarious and extremely relatable posts about living with bipolar disorder on Tumblr. One of my favorites that sums this point up quite well is a post with the following dialogue:
“Brain: It’s crying time
Me: But I’m not feeling anything rn
Brain: Did I fuckin’ stutter?”