originally posted on psychcentral.com
I find that I often have very typical symptoms of bipolar disorder when I read articles about what others have experienced. Like for instance, even though I have been married since I was 19, I still have had moments of hypersexuality. I actually worked for a while in a strip club when I first lost weight after bariatric surgery. I always loved the idea of working in a club and loved the nightlife and it seemed like the thing to do at the time. I loved the attention I was getting from men and I believed I was fulfilling something within me.
It turned ugly though after I tried for a place as a body shot girl and was passed over for a more attractive younger girl. The extra skin on my body resorted me to only being a waitress — and where I was glad I wouldn’t ever be taking off all my clothes. The image in my mind I had of myself was shattered when I was shot down for the body shots position for the younger girl. It seems like such a little thing now, but at the time it was enough to send me over the edge into a suicide attempt that was almost successful.
I recovered from that manic episode and was afterwards given the advice to never work overnights again. I struggled with that for a long time. Where I knew the club was a dangerous place for me to be, I truly loved the club scene and the attention it brought me. It was a weird choice of a job though because at the time my children were quite young and many times I would take them to their football practices and sleep in the car as they practiced. However to this day I never had another job that paid as well as that waitressing job paid. The symptom of hypersexuality is one that is always with me that I am able to suppress with medication.
I also suffer from bipolar delusions. The type I have, have plagued me since early in my diagnosis. Only I didn’t know they were a symptom until way into the process. It wasn’t until I really started learning the symptoms of my disorder when this symptom came into play. I would believe everyone disliked me, I would think when I would walk into a room that if two people were laughing, they were laughing about me. I thought everyone was talking about me. When I first spoke to my doctor about this symptom, I didn’t even know it was truly a symptom. He however treated me for it and years later I read an article explaining this symptom and I remember feeling relieved I wasn’t the only one. It is a symptom that affects many people who suffer from bipolar disorder, feeling paranoid about how others think of you is a common thing among those of us who have bipolar disorder.
Many of us choose a defensive manner to deal with others to handle the feelings of being paranoid about the way others perceive us. This is what many people know as irritability or agitation when it comes to bipolar disorder mania. It also can be called dysphoric mania. It is an angry state brought on because of paranoid thoughts of others thinking bad of us. It makes us lash out at those we love because we are on the defense. Often, we will be hyped up because we will be thinking about the fact that we need to out-do the haters. It’s a common thing for us.
Another symptom I have that is very typical for someone with bipolar disorder is my need to talk a lot. I love to talk. I not only like to talk, but I do it all the time and about anything. I have what they call this pressurized need to speak when I am manic. Meaning that when I am manic or hypo-manic it physically hurts me not to speak. Not only do I talk a lot, I have found that most people with bipolar disorder 1 are very loud. I honestly must try to whisper at times while in the vehicle with my husband because I am so loud the fact that I was a disc jockey in radio only intensives the problem because I was taught to project my voice and now that I do public speaking events to advocate for mental health and tell my story with my illness continues to keep my voice at its optimal performance level. However, it isn’t just me people with bipolar disorder tend to talk a lot, very fast, and very loud. I had to teach myself to slow down for speeches, and performing on stages and the air waves. I am though glad that I can use my gift of gab for something.
Often symptoms of bipolar disorder are very common among those of us who have the disorder. However, bipolar is different for everyone and so you may not have all the same symptoms as someone else. It is good to remember that your diagnosis is unique to you. For that reason, your symptoms are also going to be unique to you. Your symptoms are what makes up your bipolar disorder. Start listing out your symptoms today to take them to your doctor.