I think this has to be the fourth Bipolar Frequently Asked Questions that I have done here on Precarious Aquarius! I think it’s fun and informative for all because I try to research the questions asked that I don’t have personal experience with. As always, if you have a new or different question that has yet to be asked or you wanted more clarification about, feel free to comment below.
How is it for your partner when you go through mood swings?
I can’t speak for any of my past boyfriends, but to say it’s hard would be too simplistic and not accurate. I think every relationship has their ups and downs, but I’ll make a bullet list of some of the reasons my past relationships haven’t worked out that usually relate back to my illness:
- selfish. Yes I am very selfish in terms of my bipolar disorder. I need a certain amount of sleep, I lash out onto others when the mood strikes, and I need positive affirmation and a lot of attention. But the thing here is that I give tenfold what someone else gives me in the relationship; I cook, clean, do a lot of stuff for the person, write love notes, etc.
- childish. I was told this because my parents are still holding some of my mutual funds that I took out. They are holding on to the funds so I don’t gamble it away. I was seen as childish because my parents still pay insurance, medical bills, gas for my car, and I’ve never had to struggle financially as an adult due to them. I can’t really fight this. In some ways this is childish, but it’s not like they should’ve let me go hungry when I was at my worst. But I digress.
- mood swings are terrible/take things out on boyfriend. This is kinda a no brainer, but it doesn’t justify any of my past actions, words, or behaviors. I have been known to take things out on the other person because they didn’t agree with me or have the same opinion. I would get upset when they said something and not understand that everyone has their own opinions.
- immature. I was told this by an old boyfriend / now good friend of mine that part of my selfish ness was immature. To not rely on your partner and to think that it all falls down on my own shoulders is immature. I disagree with this because every time I try and rely on someone else, they push me away or don’t want me around, so what would be an incentive for me to want to rely on anyone when it only bites me in the ass later on when I decide to catch feelings for someone?
Like I said, I can speak for no one but myself, but I could see it being difficult to get into a relationship with me not knowing how I will react to an earnest, yet honest conversation or if one of us has a bad day at work. For whatever I lack in a relationship, like I lack emotional stability, I try to regain trust and commitment in other ways such as financial stability or being good “wifey material” i.e. cook, clean, take care of someone.
Do you function better with or without working/going to school?
I personally function better the more things I have going on in my life. I like to be a very schedule oriented person, but when I am just going to school and not working and living with my parents like I am now, I just waste the day away, my sleep schedule gets reversed and I waste my time.
I’ve posted various bipolar daily routine blogs on here, but my issue is that my schedule never stays that consistent. Usually my work schedule or school schedule changes, which makes it hard to stay on a schedule if everything about my day is shifting often.
I get very stressed out and worry a lot when I am chaotically busy, but at least I’m half ass-ing multiple things instead of avoiding everything at all. And I can’t say that’s entirely true because my illness sometimes allows me to put 160% into a project or activity and I’m not sure if its just my Aquarius coming out, but I tend to not follow through on projects, I never complete them, no matter how large or small.
So for example, in September when I quit gambling, I made the conscious decision to go back to school winter 2021 quarter and apply to UW Tacoma. Since my plan fell through when I didn’t get into UW Tacoma to the Bachelor’s of Social Work program, I was devastated. I think that decision has impacted my grades and my decision in leaving Diego. It resulted in me breaking down at work and getting ghosted from my job and taken off all my cases.
Now I tried to get my life back on track with applying to Washington State University’s online psychology program. But with everything in my life breaking at the seams, it seems harder and harder to put the train on the track for the uphill battle.
Now my mania begins to hit and I have all of this energy, but no drive to do any of it so I’m conflicted. I gotta force myself on a schedule and force myself to clean and force myself to do the hard things or else I’m not gonna get where I want to be in life.
Should those at a young age (minor) consider taking anti depressants if they are experiencing mental health issues?
This was asked to me by a very good friend of mine. He was worried about his nephew going on Prozac, an anti depressant that is almost the golden child in the mental health world. His nephew is just starting to go through puberty. My friend was worried about him being so young, with hormones and emotions racing, and questioning how things could have gotten to this point. He blamed the mother (my friend’s sister) for putting these body dysmorphic and worrisome thoughts in his head to make him “become” depressed.
Quick disclaimer, I am not a mental health professional and this is all based on personal opinion and experience.
However, if this were me and my child, I would seriously talk to their pediatrician about the benefits and costs of taking an anti depressant at such a young age. In my opinion, it’s like a diabetic taking insulin or taking blood pressure medication for dangerously high blood pressure; without it, you will surely die. Yes, some of the side effects of anti depressants is more depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, but if that is the case, immediately stop taking the medication, consult with your doctor and find something else to go on. But if you’re a diabetic and refuse to take insulin, your death mortality rate goes up exponentially than if you just get an adverse side effect from the medication.
To me, the subject is pretty black and white, but I can understand and respect there is a lot of gray when it comes to those you love because the subject is taboo and it is scary to discuss. I personally went on anti depressants at the age of 13 and started seeking therapy around that time. Did I blame it on my alcoholic, schizophrenic mother for raising me to be like her and her tendencies? Of course not.
It would be like blaming your parents for having brown eyes and black hair when your parents and their parents also had brown eyes and black hair. In other words; mental health is about the chemical balances and imbalances in your brain and body, it’s about your genetic makeup. Sure, some anxieties are situational based, but it is your body that creates the chemicals to go into fight or flight mode when experiencing anxiety. If you have too much adrenaline or too little, that’s not a toxic mother or father’s fault, even if they have the same anxious tendencies that you do; that’s purely genetic, not systemic or situational.
My friend also brought up the fact that his nephew is going through puberty and could essentially rub some dirt in it and get by. I found this a little offensive considering he has so many close people in his life that take mental health medication and does fine because of it. I think if you’re struggling in silence long enough, it’s going to come as a surprise to all when that person finally comes out and shares their struggles and hardships. But the most important part is to be supportive if the person wants to take medication or go to therapy or both. Life is fucking hard enough without support, especially from family.
Just because you personally are strong enough to conquer life without medication or certain aids doesn’t mean that others are as well equipped as you. And it doesn’t make the person any weaker for asking for help or seeking the guidance they need in order to succeed. I often say I would much rather listen to your story than to your eulogy. I don’t care who or what you are. You matter. You are beautiful. You are worthy and I love you.
So, if you have anyone you care about and has confided in you about taking medication to better their mental health, remember these things and don’t be a dick!
I think that’s all I have for tonight. Cheers, my friends. I love you.
Til next time,