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.