My beloved bipolar husband and I were in the kitchen talking yesterday about psychology, evolution and both of our mental disorders and we realized that most people have a distorted view of bipolar.
It seems like people think bipolars are either depressed, violent or histrionic, (overly melodramatic).
Yes, bipolars are occasionally depressed, perhaps more often than they're manic because it seems like doctors are far more concerned with controlling manias than helping bipolars out of depression. I suppose, unless it's gotten to the point of suicide.
Are bipolars violent? Well, if a violent person has bipolar, then yes, but that's comparable to saying people are violent when they're drunk. If the drunk person is a violent person, yes they might be violent when they're drunk, but most people I've met are NOT violent. Therefore, most people I've met are not violent when they are drunk. Most bipolars I've met are not violent. Actually, considering I've only ever met one bipolar who was inclined toward violence,
I've met a lot more people WITHOUT bipolar that were violent.
Histronic. Your word of the day. My family is unfortunately absolutely riddled with histronic people. It's awful and extremely unpleasant.
They are terribly unpleasant to be around. I don't share any information I don't need to because anything you tell them becomes drama fuel. If you don't tell them things, they make up their own ideas and use THAT for drama fuel.
As an Aspie that likes the truth, growing up in a predominantly histronic family was terrible.
I don't go to family events anymore and if I did get the chance to move out of state, I would without regret.
My husband is not histronic. We both hate drama and prize simplicity and honesty when it comes to human interactions. It's one of the many reasons I love him so very much.
One of my great aunts, who was also bipolar, was histronic, and yes, her bipolar manias really drew that out of her, however, that was a piece of her core personality, it was not caused by bipolar itself.
I think the worst part about this strongly held misconception is that people in the medical field seem to think this way to.
The MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment a nicely thorough study of violence's relationship to mental disorder found "A diagnisis of a major mental disorder -- especially a diagnosis of schizophrenia -- was associated with a lower rate of violence than a diagnosis of a personality or adjustment disorder."
Despite this, when my husband was diagnosed, they seemed very concerned that he was going to hurt someone while he was manic, despite the fact that he'd gone through 27 years of non-violence, wandering through life all undiagnosed and unmedicated.
I'm not going to say he wouldn't hurt a fly, because the idea that flies get their poop hands all over his food drives him nuts, however, while we were at the children's museum the other day, we found a cricket.
A poor little thing on the top floor where there is no plants, or anything aside from cars.
Starvation, being squished, or freezing to death over the winter were the options for this little guy's fate had he stayed where we found him.
My bipolar husband gingerly picked him up and we took him home so he can live out the rest of his life in our warm house, being spoiled with oatmeal and fruit pieces.
|Our new pet for the next few months|