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.
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.