I don’t see myself in there at all – Media and mental illness


My husband sat me down to watch a movie about a guy with bipolar disorder, something about a silver-lining. Yeah, I know it was a big movie and the time and someone won something for it somewhere. Still, I realised my husband knew little about the distinction between bipolar II and bipolar I. Essentially, I don’t walk around in garbage bags and I don’t live with my parents.

I have Bipolar Disorder II (BPD II). So what does that mean exactly? Well, I’m not entirely sure. Having said that, I know that I can ‘come across as a little left of centre‘ and I know that I have moments of deluded grandiose and times when I wish I wouldn’t wake up…and everything in between.

Firstly the grandiose can on occasions result in the most peculiar behaviour, not of the garbage bag wearing variety, more of the kind where I believe I can do anything and that I must be a genius of some sort, since everything I think at the time is utterly astounding (at least I think so) and demonstrates an incredibly high intellect. Fortunately my friends are beyond being fooled and they know that when I begin to ramble on about a hydrogen collider and such, it usually means I’m on the way to becoming unwell…again. I am actually relatively bright, and there is a time, just before I become really unwell when my science background and training does appear to kick in and I sound very bright and actually make a lot of sense.

During these times (which I will call the lead up to mania) I actually feel like I am the person I am supposed to be in the world. There are very few other times where I feel so ‘at home’. This lead up to mania is the time that I miss most now that I am medicated.

Anyway, while in Silver Linings I did see some of myself, that person didn’t have to work (I do or I don’t eat), they lived at home with their parents (I’m too busy being a parent) and, well, to be honest, I didn’t watch the rest…but perhaps I should.



2 responses »

  1. I LOVE what you wrote!!! I really truly feel brilliant when I’m having my grandiose ideas, and now when I’m not grandiose I look at those ideas and I still think they’re pretty good, it’s just that I don’t have the mojo to follow through on all of them. I DO feel kind of bad for all the people who have to filter my brilliant ideas (family members mostly) – what do they think when I call them with my latest grand idea? But one of my grand ideas was “I want to be a writer” and it turns out that I really CAN write (I always suspected that I could) and I want to follow that up more and more and more!! If only I had more time and more focused energy. I spend a lot of time trying to get focused. Ah well. This is a rant but something about your post really touched me. To make a short story long, I want to say THANK YOU.

    • Thanks so much for your feedback. As you can guess I also find it tough to keep the flow going and to keep my mojo – the ups and downs make it difficult and the first thing I tend to do when I’m unwell is disconnect from technology. I was pleasantly surprised to return to your comment. Thanks heaps, be well. Sam

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