I wish that I could explain to you exactly what Manic Depression/bipolar disorder looks and feels like. It would make it so much easier to diagnose and treat people. But each person experiences it differently. When I was first diagnosed I read a book that described several peoples experiences with Manic depressive episodes. It helped me so much. I could see myself through their actions. It helped give validity to my diagnosis and let me know that I wasn’t alone. I wish I still had it but after 20 years and several moves the book is long gone. So all I can offer is to let you see what “My” Manic Depression looks like.
Depression for me is way easier to recognize than Mania. Its when I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything. When I avoid seeing people at all costs. When leaving my room is too much for me. When doing everyday normal things like laundry, dishes, or grocery shopping seem completely-bring you-to-your-knees overwhelming. When I have to convince myself that my kids do in fact need me or that they would at least be messed up by my death. When it’s hard to come up with reasons not to hurt myself.
Guilt is like the free gift that comes with your lovely depression. Guilt over not being able to do those normal things. Guilt over not being there for my kids. Guilt over letting people down. Guilt over putting too much on my husband. This just adds to the lovely cycle of depression.
I did a couple pieces of art about a year ago, when I was depressed that I think will help you visualize what my depression looks like.
I actually get sad seeing this one because I remember feeling trapped. That was me, hardly able to leave the house.