I’ve just taken the Cardiff University Bipolar Lifetime Mania Scale. My score was 64 which is consistent with my diagnosis of bipolar I disorder. I was very cautious in my answers and tried not to over-play my symptoms. But I still came out in the range of bipolar I disorder. I find it hard to accept I’ve had a manic episode because it didn’t feel that bad though if I really was ill then I wouldn’t necessarily have known it. I went through the DSM-IV criteria for a manic episode and I think I had criteria A, B3, B4, B5 and B6 in April plus the depression criteria which means I had a mixed episode. The severe agitation lasted about three weeks. That episode ‘counts’.
I have to accept that I have this illness. It is damaging to me not to accept it. I made my symptoms worse by doing stupid things like taking drugs but I did not make it actually appear. Even if I did, it’s here now and that is what I have to deal with.
I need to stop paying lip service to the idea that I have bipolar disorder and actually fucking believe it! What is so bad about it anyway? Yes, it ‘makes’ me do stupid things but it doesn’t make me stupid. I embarrass myself but who doesn’t? Why is my self-esteem so damaged by the idea of having bipolar disorder? It doesn’t make me weak. I have a responsibility to look after myself like everyone else does. If I don’t do it the results might be more obvious but it’s still the same principle. I’m not that different from other people. I can be an okay person and have bipolar disorder.