I’m not bipolar, I’ve never taken lithium, never had a mania, but I have been clinically depressed for the last few years. But anyway…
Have you ever read “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jameson? It’s a memoir by a psychiatrist with bipolar disorder.
It pissed me off so much. This woman, a doctor, failed to recognize her own illness for years, and then, once she started treatment, stopped taking her pills as soon as they brought her out of a depression. I got really sick of hearing about how wonderful it was to be manic and I really got the feeling that she viewed anyone living without mania as living an incomplete life. By the end of the book I was just like, “Shut the fuck up and take your pills. Stop being so selfish, because your friends and family and coworkers have to deal with the reality of your manias while you’re enjoying the high too much to notice anything.” The hypocrisy of how she urged her patients to take the medications but thought she could deal without them just made me sick.
Your mileage may vary. This book just pushed several of my buttons in a major, major way.
This post is kind of pointless, except to say don’t be like Redfield Jameson and act like your manias are the best thing ever, because they aren’t.