Yes, Virginia. There are positives to living with Bipolar Disorder. A new study by Lancaster University has captured the views of people who report some highly-valued, positive experiences while living with the condition. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read an article that, for once, actually calls out some of the positives – and yes there are some – about this serious mental illness.
I do not believe I could have accomplished all I have without BP, and if there were an Off switch I wouldn’t press it. Without BP, my senses wouldn’t have been acute enough nor my cognition rapid enough to have realized all I have professionally. I’ve held the high-functioning professional job, at times found studying for the higher level qualifications simple and added impressive accomplishments to my resume. Bipolar has in many ways enhanced my life.
Of course, there is the flip side to mania. Depression is awful. But depression can enrich the human experience. Even through all of the misery it causes, depression can help fine-tune one’s sense of empathy.
Medication – that is a whole topic unto itself. But there are some BPs who have found the proper cocktail and are living fulfilling lives.
Yes, Bipolar is a serious and it should not be treated lightly. Personal relationships suffer, suicide rates increase and drug and alcohol addiction is more prevalent. Just take a look at the statistics on a wonderful infographic Candida Abrahmson included in one of her posts. But not everything about Bipolar has to be evil. Not every person with BP is a quivering wreck in an alleyway or in a prison cell for a heinous crime. There are some of us who have benefited.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were more press about the positive aspects and accomplishments we BPs have made instead of all of the bad behavior, pain and misery and how Bipolar is being used as an accessory du jour.