Bipolar - it's like that..?

I don't know if it's the change of seasons, the change
of meds or the lack of anything better to do that
has me thinking about bipolarity more these days...

maybe it's all those MBA types
on the news every night, clucking about The Market and how The Fundamentals
Are Strong that started me wondering
about the fundamentals of bp.

like this one.

if you do an image search for bipolar,
you run into
this a lot.

it makes me uneasy. cancel that - it creeps me out. 

my experience of bipolar is nothing like this.
my life is not now and never has been this simple.
this cut and dried.
this digital.

what do these images say about how doctors,
nurses, social workers and other professionals
see bipolar people?

what do
these images tell people wondering
if they should seek help?

what do they say to we, the diagnosed?
is this how we see ourselves?
is this how others see us?

it seems to be "the look". you find them on all kinds
of sites, from institutes to health boards to bipolar
bloggers - so clearly these images have some kind
of currency, some form of approval.

so why do they creep me out?

they creep me out because they are too easy.
too simple. too dramatic. they don't represent
the 95% of  my bipolar life that takes place
between these extremes.

because if you think love is a many splendoured thing,
you really ought to have a bipolar day sometime.

does these images harken back to the idea
of manic depression?

maybe. there is some nostalgia for that term
and i feel that sometimes too. it's very clear.
it's very simple, to the point of graphic.
it gives people a ballpark understanding
with great economy.

but the bipolar experience was not that simple then,
and it is not that simple now. it is incredibly complex
and infinitely variable.

how i feel is affected by everything from lighting
to ambient sound to my prescribed
and when i last took some.

and then there's "other people"- their presence or absence, the words they do or do not say.

i'm not saying there's a bipolar exclusive on any of this,
but i am saying i'm bipolar, all of the above can rock
my world and none of this is in these pictures.

if this too sad/too happy dichotomy is the working
image of bipolar, what are the implications for
how this 'disorder' will be treated?  

if this is a disorder expressed through behaviours
and/or moods that are
too sad/too happy,
how do we define successful treatment?

am i defined only by my extremes?
when does feeling good
turn into too happy?
how do i know when i'm too sad?

if i'm not too happy or too sad,

am i OK?

would i be the last to know?


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