The blog of photographer Kim Ayres


I watched a fascinating programme last night by Stephen Fry about BiPolar Disorder, or Manic Depression as it used to be known.

Somehow I feel like I’ve been conned.

How crap is it to experience the lows of depression, but without getting the highs of mania?


Anonymous said...

LOL kim....
I suppose in that way it sounds like you are missing out on a good thing....It kinda makes me think about divorce too.. you know..all of the friends my hubby and I have had over the last almost 20 years we are the only couple that is still married.

I hear all the down side to divorce but you know there sure is an upside...they get every other weekend all to themselves. LOL..they go out with their pals they sleep in if they want, they go here and there not being accountable to anyone else.

And then there is me, sure I am married have the family etc. but man when do I get a weekend off and to come and go as I please without having to figure out everyone else's needs ... with many things in life sometimes the grass looks greener on the other side ..maybe it is ..maybe it isn't.

SafeTinspector said...

Pretty shitty. You need to take up high-risk alternative sports.
Shark rodeo. Train surfing.
You'll get that high, and keep your depression

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Highs sometimes aren't all they're cracked up to be. People spend way too much - I walked in off the street and nearly bought a bookshop once on a high, I would have too if the woman who was selling it had less scruples and experience of a bipolar friend. I've done some damage to the coffers on ebay too. People drive too fast. People get libidinous and come onto people in toenail culingly embarrassing ways. People hallucinate in both fun and unsettling ways. People never sleep and the inevitable crash happens.

For some bipolar people true highs are few and far between and mixed states are more common. It's called dysphoria (as opposed to euphoria, when you can get your jollies) and the best way I can describe it is a very anxious high. It is when you have a low mood but high energy levels. What you're left with is an extremely agitated person who can't sit still often has to run up and down the stairs for hours to get any relief from that; is irritable in the extreme; physically can not stand to be in their own skin and want to crawl out of it and up the walls; appetite either increases enormously or disappears entirely; it fucks up their family; is confusing and bad for children to be around; stops you functioning properly or appropriately and is crap in every possible way.

Being truly high is like being on drugs for free. Thoughts and ideas and ambitions come thick and fast and if you can avoid stepping ovet he line into psychotic you can have an amazing time. I'm only imagining what drugs are like - I never took them because, laughably enough, I was too scared I'd trip some chemical tripwire in my brain and end up like my mother who is badly bipolar. But as everyone knows, irony's a bugger with some really wicked punchlines.

The high bit is the best and the people often identify their true selves with their high selves because who wants to admit the slobbering vacant person who hasn't showered for weeks (yes weeks) is what they're really like. That is the main reason bipolar people often shun the medicine that will often not control their lows but zombies up their brain and disallows highs too. It's like a thick blanket has been put round your brain - nothing much goes in, nothing of any value comes out.

Sorry to go on - this is just a bipolar person's view, should anyone be interested. For ten years I didn't talk about it to anyone because I grew up on a wee island where my mother was ostracized for a good deal of her teenage years and was "tainted" with having been in Craigy for ECT(Craig Dunane - the nuthouse on the mainland - think old Victorian institution/one flew over the cuckoos nest and you'll get close to it), but now I live in California where we "share" everything. I'm not mocking that, although once I did. There's a lot to be said for talking stuff out of your head and being relieved of it for a little while.

In the end then, highs can be great; but often they're dangerous and alarming for your family; more often than not, for some people, they are mixed states. It can be brilliant top-of-the-world stuff but the cost is high and all things considered you're not missing much.

Attila the Mom said...

Wow Sam, thanks for the explanations. And thanks for the link, Kim.

My oldest is in the process of being reevaluated right now, and the initial dx is Bipolar disorder. He's going through a really rough time.

We had the paramedics, police and fire department at our house last night (can't get an ambulance without the cops and the fire guys showing up in our little town).

He's ok, it was just a horrible rebounding from some new medication that made him completely irrational. When he's like this, he refuses to take his meds (which will make him feel better), and will stand in front of the house screaming his head off.

It's frightening for everyone, especially him.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I'm sorry about the terrible punctuation and grammar in my previous comment.

Sorry also if I've committed a f#*cklestop, Kim. It was a clumsy ill-thought out comment.

Attila, I'm sorry for your troubles - best of luck to you and your son.

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - strangely enough, I never yearn to be single.

SafeTinspector - I thought you were joking about Shark Rodeo, but I've just discovered there's a whole industry out there I knew nothing about!

Sam PCB - please don't apologise for your comments - you nearly always write a goodly amount which makes me feel a bit pampered.

I know that I'm guilty of postcard responses when I comment, but you give the full letter, and I really appreciate it.

Thank you for your insights into Bipolar disorder. I know when you've had direct experience of it my post must seem awfully glib.

I guess the point I was making is that when I feel so low, I yearn to feel high but can barely remember what it ever felt like.

Atilla - that can't be easy on anybody. I hope he finds a med combination that help soon.

SafeTinspector said...

....I wasn't joking?

SafeTinspector said...

Well, then. Would you like to learn about tentacle porn?

Kim Ayres said...

I looked up "tentacle porn" and really wished I hadn't

happykat said...

You've been robbed!

I like where Safety is going with this....have you tried skeet surfing? Naked fry cooking?

(I'm ignoring tentacle porn *shudder*)

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