What It's Like Living With Bipolar II Disorder

What It's Like Living With Bipolar II Disorder

A peek into my life.

There are a lot of mental illnesses out there. Bipolar disorder is definitely one of the most commonly heard of. The thing is, the kind of bipolar portrayed in movies, often isn't the kind you see in real life. You often see in movies people that are super manic. I remember an episode of "Shameless" where Ian stole a baby. A lot of times, people in the real world don't experience those extreme highs. This is what Bipolar II disorder is like.

People might think it's not as bad as Bipolar I disorder because it is called Bipolar II. It is equally as hard to deal with. Anyone who suffers from bipolar disorder and lives their daily life is strong. Very strong. I don't experience the "steal my lover's baby" type of mania. However, I do experience the "I feel great, I should stop taking my meds because I could conquer the world" and the "let's go get tons of spontaneous tattoos and four credit cards" type of mania. The mania I experience is actually called "hypomania". It may not be as pronounced but that doesn't mean it's easy to deal with. Sure mania seems fun, but just wait until it's over and you see the damage you've done.

On the other side, the depression is all too real. Bipolar I and Bipolar II experience depression to the same degree. When I'm down, I'm down and there's no bringing me up. I can't just stop being negative or think of something else. I physically can't. It is a chemical imbalance in my brain. This is what I wish people realized. Medications don't fix it all but they're necessary for my stability.

Finally, the psychosis. This doesn't always happen when you're bipolar, but it definitely can. I'm talking hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. That kind of psychosis. I have only experienced it twice but it's scary. I heard voices and thought I could tell what people were thinking. I was also convinced they could tell what I was thinking. It's really terrifying.

If anyone you know thinks they may be bipolar, tell them to go talk to someone before it's too late. It's better to find out sooner than later and get treated. I wouldn't normally share all this information, I do not want anyone to feel bad for me, but my last article on mental health helped a lot of people. I am not sharing this information for pity or for people to tell me how hard my life is. My life is hard but so is everyone else's. My life is also wonderful and beautiful. I wouldn't change it for anything. Just because I suffer from bipolar disorder doesn't mean I can't function. I can't imagine living without it.

Cover Image Credit: Bipolar Disorder

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5 Reasons Car Naps Are The Best

All naps are great, but there are plenty of reasons why car naps are the best of all.

There's no such thing as a bad nap. Still, some naps are better than others. When ranking naps, there's no doubt that car naps are the best of all. Here are five things that make them so great.

1. They don't waste time

You either sleep or sit there and do nothing, so sleeping isn't technically a waste of time. Yes, you could find something productive to do during the ride, but chances are high that you probably won't.

2. The trip seems shorter

Would you rather stare out the window for hours or take a nap and wake up at your destination? The choice seems clear to me.

3. There is the nice motion of the car

I mean, it is basically like a cradle that rocks you to sleep.

4. The sound puts you to sleep

The low hum of the car on the road will have you asleep in seconds.

5. You wake up refreshed for your next adventure

When you finally arrive at wherever you are heading, you are wide awake and ready for whatever is ahead!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm A Survivor Of Trauma

Nobody held my hand when I was struggling so I had to support myself .

This post goes off of the one I wrote two weeks ago about trauma recovery. (Catch it here if you haven't seen it already!) In short, I discussed what it's like to suffer from and work through unresolved childhood trauma, but I've yet to talk about what happens afterward.

There isn't exactly a "happily ever after" because my story isn't finished and I'm still healing a little bit everyday. I don't know enough about life and psychology yet to say this for sure, but I'm starting to think recovery is a lifelong process. I don't know if there's even such a thing as 100% healed or if each day is a new battle. To tell the truth, I don't think that would be too bad. Everyone is a work-in-progress in their own way, but the glass isn't half empty. The fact that I've reached a point where trauma doesn't control my life is progress. The fact that I see a future for myself is progress. The fact that I can write candidly about most of what happened to me is progress.

I still get triggered when I'm sitting in a chair and somebody stands in front of me because I think I'm going to get hurt. That one doesn't come up as frequently because I'm usually sitting at a desk (bless!) but it used to be awkward for me when it happened.

I still struggle sometimes in social situations trying to figure out if people are joking or suddenly hate me over harmless remarks about my stress eating habits. (I lose my appetite.) It kills the moment, but I'm trying my best to patch up the cracks.

Trust is also not my strong suit, so I'm very reserved for good reason. It got me into a lot of trouble in the past, but I'm in a safer place now and it's time to take off the safety wheels.

I've come to realize I should stop feeling ashamed of things I can't control. It's not fair to beat myself up for reacting in a perfectly normal way to something bad that happened to me that was also completely out of my control. If there's one thing I learned from my dad, it's that we can't control how people react to us.

Some people will like you, some people will hate you, some people will love you, and some will bully you. The thing is it isn't up to you to decide who does what. You can't make people like something any more than you can a dog grow a pair of wings. (Just call me the 21st century Shakespeare already.) Sometimes the people who love or hate you leave marks that you just can't rub off. It's up to you whether you live in shame or hold you head high that you survived. That's right. Survived. I wouldn't have these wounds if I wasn't alive so they're a sign that I was stronger than the people who put them there.

My name is Jasminder Bains and I am a trauma survivor. Nobody held my hand when I was struggling so I had to support myself and I came out a little gnarled. There are pieces of myself I may never get back but I can honor them and gain closure. I am enough.

Cover Image Credit: Jasminder Bains

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