Friday, March 11, 2011

Understanding of the Illness

My father was bipolar and passed away before I received my diagnosis and I wish I had gotten to know him better. He walked miles in the shoes that would one day be passed to me. I didn't want them! I would love to return them! But now that I have them I want to run with them!

I know now that he felt the same way I do about many of life's obstacles but it's sometimes difficult to express yourself in a manner which other people can understand. Having good questions to ask is always a fantastic place to start. Here are a few that I came up with which may help you get to know your bipolar friend a little better. I'm sure they'd love to have someone understand them on a deeper level who doesn't suffer from the illness.

      1. How would you describe a typical depressive or manic day? What kinds of “symptoms” do you associate with each?
      2. Which side of the illness do you prefer, the manic or the depressive and why?
      3. Of course there are times you wish that you didn't have this illness but are there any times that you're glad that you have bipolar?
      4. What's the most difficult thing about the bipolar illness for you?
      5. Since finding out you have bipolar are there any people in your life who have treated you differently due the stigma that is associated with the illness?
      6. What are some personal traits that a person with bipolar experiences yet are not usually attributed to the illness?
      7. Has the diagnosis changed your perception of self?

Walking a mile in my shoes is never something I'd wish on anyone but I do wish that people would understand that I'm not crazy I just have to manage the symptoms of life a little differently than other people.

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