My First Episode of Mania

That’s correct. You read that right. “Mania,” you’re thinking…”isn’t that a Bipolar thing?” Yep. It is. I just received a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder a couple of weeks ago. My first manic episode ever in my life, just after I turned 40 years old, is now in partial remission. What does all that mumbo-jumbo mean? It means that I have been depressed most of my adult life and we thought it was a really weird unipolar depression (which you treat completely differently than bipolar depression, by the way) that accompanied my PTSD. I still have the chronic PTSD, but now I have this new, and quite devastating, diagnosis of Bipolar 1 Disorder. It is not a new condition, mind you. Simply a new diagnosis. Bipolar Disorder doesn’t mean that I switch moods from moment to moment. No. Bipolar is a slow progression through mania, euthymia (“normal”), and depression cycles that, untreated, can last at least three months. This is not a fast thing. Nobody snaps their fingers like a parlor trick to make me snap into a different mood. That’s not Bipolar. I want to clear this up because people who don’t understand or have been misinformed think that those with Bipolar are unstable that way. Unstable? Yes, a person with Bipolar can definitely be unstable. Changing moods at the drop of a hat, though? No. That’s a different disorder, which we won’t go into right now.

I guess that means I got the mad creative writer gene, then, huh? Does this doom me to success? It sure doesn’t feel like it right now. That’s okay, though. It is what it is. Not new, just different. I don’t know what it is about 2020, but I think we could’ve reasonably skipped this whole year for our own collective global health, don’t you?

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