Rev. Dr. Scott Peddie

Conjectures of an Eclectic Christian

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I often have people ask me what it’s like to live with Bipolar Disorder; It’s hard to explain the feelings that accompany a catastrophic low or the euphoria that signals hypomania.

In my opinion, the most realistic summary is written by Psychiatry Professor, Kay Redfield-Jamison, in her book An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness’.  Her understanding arises not just from her academic credentials, but is as deeply felt as only someone who has lived with Bipolar Disorder can articulate. Jamison makes this observation:

“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.” 

One thought on “Living With Bipolar Disorder

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