Bipolar disorder results in a 10 year reduction in lifespan. 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder commit suicide.
Women are 3x as likely to have bipolar disorder than men.
Patients with bipolar disorder are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD, and influenza.
When you’re manic, you think you can do anything. You could jump off a building and leave without a scratch. You could screw a thousand guys without protection and never get an STI. You could spend $100 you don’t have and still be able to buy groceries.
Mania is a small piece of time when people with BD don’t have to think about the fact that they are dying, or that they are more likely to die.
It took me a long time to learn this, but
I am dying.
Mentally, I am deteriorating. With every swing, white matter isn’t advancing. Grey matter is reducing. I’m off pills, on pills, changing dosages on pills, in the lab getting six vials of blood taken, getting a B12 shot straight in the arm, sitting in an uncomfortable chair that belongs in a hotel lobby and paying someone to listen to me.
And for what? To ease the pain. To ease the pain of dying.
I sometimes compare bipolar disorder to terminal disease. You cannot cure it, it cannot be eradicated, but you can only be given things to cope and to ease the pain of existing.
Find more photos of me and others here
How do I ease my pain? It’s not through 200mg of Lamictal, which gave me aphasia. It’s not through klonopin, which just makes me want to sleep for eternity. It’s certainly not Latuda, which makes me love nothing at all. I ease it by having hope that somehow, I am going to do something great with the time I have been giving.
I want to go nowhere. Fast.
I want to speed down lonely highways with rolling hills on either side. I want to pack up and explore an entirely new part of the country on a whim (which I did, by the way). I want passion, I want existence, I want to do something that takes the air right out of my lungs.
I am dying. But I have cheated death.
Here comes the sun.