Extremes of the spectrum
Regret. That’s a familiar sensation in the world of bipolar disorder. Unlike depression, bipolar is like a pendulum that swings a lot more than it's supposed to. When it swings up, you have mania. When it swings down, you have depression. And the worst part is, when you’re in one, you can’t remember the other. Mania is the feeling of ultimate confidence. When you’re in a manic episode, you can do anything, be anyone. You can do all the work in the world, buy anything you like, all without a care in the world. It's a dangerous level of freedom. It's also a feeling I think most of us would like to experience. But such freedom comes at a price. Real world consequences. And on the heels of that, depression. See, you would often come back to earth after a manic episode to find out that you spent your month’s earnings on a shopping spree, or that you got heavily drunk the previous night. Or you might have taken on a lot more work that you can handle, confident that everything would go your way. But the higher you fly, the harder your fall. And when the depression hits, you’re faced with the consequences of your manic self.
Often, people with bipolar disorder talk about ruining their relationships, or shutting out their loved ones during manic episodes. That leaves them alone when the depression hits. In a lot of ways, this is worse than people with just depression. But it’s also treatable. Mood stabilizers stop your brain from over swinging your mood pendulum. A common side effect can be fogginess, and maybe lack of creativity (your mania episodes are highly creative) but your life will be the better for it.
Unfortunately, bipolar disorder isn’t commonly diagnosed, particularly among children. They end up getting diagnosed with ADHD, which is wildly different. If you think you suffer from bipolar disorder, reach out to your loved ones. There are vast online communities on platforms such as medium, and professional help is always there for those who seek it. You’re not alone.