I am so tired today and part of the reason is because instead of going to bed last night at 9 O’Clock when I was really tired, I stayed up another hour and watched part two of a television show about Stephen Fry and manic depression (which is also known as bipolar).
The two-part series/program was really good and insightful into what it would be like to have bipolar. Stephen Fry talked to a lot of people (both famous and not famous) who live with bipolar which was really interesting and the latter episode (last night’s) concentrated a lot on his experiences. It was sad and moving and happy.
I have often thought that I wish I had bipolar because as a sufferer of ‘just’ depression (a unipolar disorder), I have a lot of ‘down’ moments but not the extreme ups. Although sometimes I have wondered! Because I have heard that some people can be really creative and productive when they’re manic and they can live on a lot less sleep than when they’re depressed, I’ve often wished I could have that as a payoff for all the depressing moments when I’ve needed heaps of sleep and can barely do anything and feel so low and hopeless that I just wish I wasn’t alive. When I think about it rationally, I know there is the worry of being a danger to yourself and others, as the excitement can interrupt your grip on reality and there is the danger of hearing and seeing things and being psychotic, which I think would actually be a whole lot scary and not so fun. Also, on the program they said that 20% of manic depressives commit suicide and being pregnant and having a child really really increases the risks of having a manic episode. That would suck.
I have often wondered about how I would feel if I went off my antidepressents – would the big downs return? Would I get new highs? I’ve always thought that when I wasn’t depressed I’m actually a really happy person – I find life exciting and fun and I love to laugh. Hmmmmm. So much thanks to Stephen Fry and the program. And to the parents who spoke about their 26-or-27-yr-old daughter who committed suicide (because she was so afraid of going to hospital or taking medication) because they wanted to try to help other people not go through what they had.
Hmmmmmm…… Life… goes…. on….
In the Sandman books, Dream’s sister Despair was one of my favourites of the Endless (yes, back on Neil Gaiman again) probably because I could relate to her so much. I could never understand why she needed to be a fat, naked woman and all the others were thin and clothed. In the book Endless Nights (which JT gave to me one birthday) each chapter is on a different Endless character and Despair’s is called 15 (or 14 or 16 or something) Portraits of Despair and it’s one of the most beautiful things I have seen/read.
I guess if you were bipolar you could relate to both Despair and Delirium.