I’m going to tell you something, and you may not have thought of it in this way before, but…
BIPOLAR DISORDER IS A THIEF!
The first thing it does is that it robs your loved one of their identity – of their true self. They become this “bipolar self” – this person they weren’t before they were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Which is hard for you, because they aren’t the same person they are in an episode than they are when they aren’t in an episode, and that can be very, very hard to deal with. So you have to try to remember what they’re like when they’re not in an episode.
It’s not their fault. It’s the fault of the disorder. It’s a thief! It steals your loved one’s real self.
Bipolar disorder can steal your jobs – your loved one’s because they might lose their job either
because their boss might find out they have bipolar disorder, or they can’t keep doing their job because of the disorder and have to go on disability. Or your job because you have to quit it to become a full-time supporter.
Bipolar disorder can steal your financial security. If your loved one goes into a manic episode (and you haven’t taken charge of the checkbook and credit cards), they can go on a spending spree, spend all the money in the checking account, and/or max out your credit cards. You can go broke, lose your car, house, and even go into bankruptcy, in one manic episode.
But, again, I’m telling you: BIPOLAR DISORDER IS A THIEF!
It can steal your friends. Sometimes friends, like society, don’t understand the disorder (or mental illness in general), and they will turn away from you. It’s like they’re scared of your loved one all of a sudden – scared that they’re going to “catch” their bipolar disorder. It’s not even necessarily your loved one’s fault. It’s the fault of the disorder itself.
It can steal your social life. Not just what I just said, but also because your loved one may be
embarrassed in public, or just may be too depressed to go out. Again, it’s the disorder, not your loved one.
It can steal your family. Again, possibly because your loved one is too depressed to go out, but also it may be because they’ve driven away their family because of what they’ve done in episodes, too. And because of that, it can also steal your family gatherings, so that holidays are especially difficult and probably a very lonely time not only for your loved one, but for you as well. People with bipolar disorder are usually more depressed around the holidays.
It can steal your standing in church and/or in the community. Your loved one may have once thrived in the community and as a leader. Now they may be just a shadow of their old self. Now they may be afraid of what people think of them.
It can steal your intimacy. Not just sex (either because of the depression or the medication), but just the closeness you used to share.
It can steal your trust, because you don’t know what your loved one is doing during a manic
episode, or what the consequences are going to be.
It can steal your fun (when was the last time you had any), and your happiness and enjoyment of life, because of your loved one’s depression and the disorder itself.
It can steal your health – both your loved one’s and your own, because of stress and other health issues that are caused by bipolar disorder.
BIPOLAR DISORDER IS A THIEF!
It can steal your time, when your loved one has to spend time in a treatment facility and/or hospital.
It can steal your self-esteem.
It can steal your security as well, as you wonder when the next episode will come?
It can steal your loved one’s fulfillment and satisfaction with life, as they struggle with no
sense of productivity.
It can steal your dreams…
It can steal your lives, as bipolar disorder takes over your whole lives, and everything begins to
revolve around the disorder. Everything I’ve just talked about.
But worst of all… Bipolar disorder can steal your loved one’s life. If your loved one stops taking their medication, they can kill themselves.
Now do you see why I say that… BIPOLAR DISORDER IS A THIEF!!!
Well, I have to go!