Four million (4,000,000!!!) people suffer with Bipolar disorder in the UK and it is the greatest killer of all psychiatric illnesses.
[ Source: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGDl6-lyfMY ]
Today was a day of trying to get an insight into what it feels like to have Bipolar disorder. I only had a brief introduction to it through my son. He tried but he could not accurately explain how he felt, which is not unusual. Often he would say things like “My brain is fried.” or “I am brain dead.”
I happened to chance upon The Bipolar Blogger Network and learnt a lot. Felt a lot of the angst and pain that they must suffer. Am truly sobered and shocked by the nature of the suffering that is bipolar. Of course, I cannot claim to have felt it the way they do but my compassion and admiration for them has grown many times over, through better understanding on my part and honest sharing on theirs. On depression – “It is like drowning. Except you can see everyone around you breathing.” I recognise that unsaid sentiment in my son’s eyes.
In ‘The people who want to help’ section, these 3 statements below were the most helpful ones for me at this time –
“Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.” – Stephen Fry
“With all the admiration and thanks that I can muster, this is a gesture of thanks aimed at our guardian angels, our caretakers: those understanding, non-judgmental, and gentle people who stick by those of us who are mentally ill regardless of how hard things get.” – Tear Lines
“Lastly – thank you! Whether you get it right or wrong, thank you for giving a shit. And you are loved for it by people who are good at extreme emotions.” – Blahpolar diaries
Here I would just like to repeat what I said at my son’s memorial service – You are never alone.