Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Confession Time

I was recently impressed and inspired by a post from Rachele of The Nearsighted Owl, about her hubby and his struggle with Bipolar Disorder (which you can read here). It stood out to me for multiple reasons. For one, her integrity and dedication to her partner during a time when a lot of people would turn and flee. I know personally the hardship of living with someone with bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed about two years ago with bipolar disorder and histrionic personality disorder, and I know firsthand of the infinite patience it has taken my husband and family to put up with me. I was inspired by Rachele's post to share my personal story. I feel like I'm guilty of only posting things I assume others want to read and look at, like fashion or decor, and hiding the more personal (and realistic) aspects of my life.

For those unfamiliar with bipolar disorder and histrionic personality disorder, here is how they are defined by Wikipedia:

Bipolar disorder or bipolar affective disorder (historically known as manic-depressive disorder) is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder in which people experience disruptive mood swings. These encompass a frenzied state known as mania (or hypomania) usually alternated with symptoms of depression. Bipolar disorder is defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking, including an excessive need for approval and inappropriately seductive behavior, usually beginning in early adulthood. These individuals are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious.

At my best, I'm energetic, motivated, and cheerful. I play with my girls, I clean like crazy, I make things, and I feel confident and attractive. I'm organized and content. At my worst, I'm tired and irritable. I'm easily agitated. I have very little patience for the silly things toddlers do and the normal level of fussiness for my baby. I can't find the energy or motivation to even do basic chores. I usually just want to lay on the couch watching TV and then the guilt of not doing anything productive makes me feel worse. If we have to go somewhere I usually make us late because I end up changing my clothes 20 times and still feel ugly in the end. I have bouts where I feel so angry about nothing in particular that I shake uncontrollably.

Having bipolar disorder makes it difficult for me to cope with my symptoms of histrionic personality disorder, specifically when I'm feeling "ugly." If we go out with a group of friends, I feel like I need to be the most attractive girl in the group. Sometimes I feel like if we go out and I look bad or I'm not the best-dressed in the group I won't have a good time. I used the think I was just vain and obviously felt guilty about it, but now I realize it's a compulsion. I'm working with a therapist to overcome compulsions like that and others. I've gone through several different regiments of medications to help battle my symptoms, but haven't found one that works for me yet.

I'm glad we are coming to a point in time where personality disorders and mental health are being looked at in a less negative light. I'm not "crazy." If a person has the flu, they go to the doctor, and they get better. I'm striving every day to get better. If any of you readers have any similar experiences to mine, want to offer advice (or ask for it!) please don't hesitate to email me! I'd love to hear what you have to say.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. It's so good to read these stories because you find out that so many others are like you. I've had severe anxiety for many years and have finally come to terms with the fact I have to take medication for it. The last few years have been so much better. I hope you can find something that works for you!
    BTW- I LOVE your new blog design. It's absolutely beautiful!

  2. It's a good thing that society finally starts to acknowledge mental health problems as 'normal health issues'. I hope you find a way to deal with your problems soon - one of my best friends has depressions and it's not easy for family and friends either, especially since she refuses to talk about it and admit that she needs help.

  3. Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life. That must have been difficult! I really hope all the best for you, your family, and your road to recovery :)



    Southern (California) Belle