There is a darker side of bipolar which includes the three symptoms below. Everybody knows the symptoms exist, but there is a mystique about them. They hardly get talked about. Instead, they is swept under the rug.
Dysphoric Manic Episode
This is a symptom of bipolar which can be dangerous, aggressive and violent. It may also include physical assault and weapons. This is the sort of thing when Miss Timid gets super human strength and picks up a car.
I have experienced dysphoric manic episodes many times. I may have road rage and I will ride the bumper of the person who has ticked me off. When I was living alone in my twenties, I got mad quite a bit. I wanted to punch in walls or throw my T.V. out the window. I would get so mad that I would scream into a pillow. At the same time, I wanted to tear that pillow apart. When I went out to the mall, I had to swallow my dysphoric manic episode. If I did not, a sales clerk would be choked to death and I would get arrested.
One thing that helped me calm down from these strong types of mania in my twenties, was to pray. No, I am not kidding. I use this same coping mechanism now when the same thing happens today. I go to Jesus and let Him know what I am mad about and we talk about why I am mad. I ask Jesus to give me a calm and peaceful mind.
Psychosis in Bipolar
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 with psychotic features, mixed episodes and rapid cycling. This means that I can have delusions and hallucinations. I had my first delusion when I was about 6 or 7 in my bedroom. Not shortly after that, I hallucinated a mouse in the hallway. Since then, I have had hallucinations in all five senses. From having the sensation of toast crumbs in the back of my throat to feeling someone grabbing my foot to hearing a little girl’s voice in the master bedroom.
When I lived in my husband’s house, I had paranoid delusions that someone was down in the basement ready to shoot and kill me. I did not want to go down into the basement at night! Where I live now, the paranoid delusion is in the form of Russian spies hiding out in my closet ready to kill me.
It sounds hilarious or like I am stuck as a child. The sad thing is that It is real to me. My heart beat quickens, my cheeks get hot and my palms get sweaty. I hate it!
I have cognitive impairment due to some of the medicines I have taken over the years as well as the mental illness. This could mean memory lapses, forgetting appointments, being unable to remember information or brain fog. Cognitive impairment was one of the reasons I got so stressed out at my paralegal jobs. I could not remember something I did 15 minutes ago. And being able to answer the attorney’s questions right then and there was crucial.
Do these symptoms sound like you or someone you know? Why is it important for us in the mental health community to shed light on this to the general public? Please leave a comment below.