I was thinking about something today. I was thinking that I have several people who work for me who have bipolar disorder, and how I always brag on them, about how you would never know that they have the disorder, unless they told you. They tell me, too, that when it comes to
being around other people, that others would never know that they have bipolar disorder either unless they told them. It just doesn’t come up.
Of course, I live in New Jersey, and they live in other places, all over the map. But I was wondering about what they look like in person. I mean, not their looks, but whether in person, that you can or can’t tell that they have bipolar disorder. So that made me think about you and your loved ones.
If there’s over 6 million people with bipolar disorder, chances are that you know more than
just your loved one with the disorder. Can you tell or can you NOT tell just by looking,
if someone has bipolar disorder or not? I mean, what does someone with bipolar disorder
actually look like? Interesting question, don’t you think?
See, what made me think about it, too, was the many emails I’ve gotten from people like
you, asking me about whether “it” is the bipolar or the loved one, and about whether they are “faking” it or not. That’s been a real big issue, according to the emails and calls that I’ve gotten.
So I give it to you. What do you think? What has been your experience? Can you tell just by looking, if your loved one has bipolar disorder or not? If so, what is it about their behavior that gives them away? For those of you who can’t tell, what is it about your loved one’s behavior that is different, that doesn’t give them away?
This is what I think – that the difference in people is that some are high-functioning and some are not, at least by what the people who work for me are concerned, this is what makes them different.
High-functioning behavior can make a person with bipolar disorder NOT stand out as someone with the disorder. Does that make sense?
Whereas, on the other hand, someone who has bipolar disorder, but is NOT high functioning, would be someone who you can tell DOES have bipolar disorder.
I have seen this firsthand – in the people who work for me, those I have interviewed for my courses, those who I have talked to at the support groups I attend, and others I have heard from via email and phone.
I’d like to say that everyone with bipolar disorder can be high-functioning. Unfortunately, not everyone can… But I believe that a majority of them can. They have to try really hard, though.
They have to take their medication religiously, go to all their appointments with their doctors,
psychiatrists, and therapists, eat a healthy diet, exercise, keep a good sleep schedule, stick to
a good treatment plan, have a good strong support system that they go to for help, be productive, and do all the other things they need to do to stay stable. And they need to do all these things for the long term.
Well, I have to go!