But you look alright...

Sunday November 20, 2016

Isn't it fun experiencing a mental health difficulty? (Not.)

I'm bipolar, whatever that means, so I know what it feels like and I suspect you all do too.

I experience the low moods - in my case a lot of the time despite Moodscope/medications/psychotherapy/whatever else you want to try, and it's not a lot of fun...

I also experience episodes of elevated mood which at times CAN seem like fun but in reality aren't.

I know the statistics on the prognosis of people with a label of bipolar. I know for example that the suicide rate is higher than in the general population and that's really comforting to know (sorry about the sarcasm) and I know that the life expectancy is lower than in the general population, also a great fact to live with!

I know that all ill health conditions are challenging and often can have life changing consequences but I do feel mental health difficulties can be particularly challenging - I'm biased of course.

Part of the problem with dealing with the consequences of it all is other peoples' perceptions of mental health difficulties, after all, we usually "look alright".

This was brought home to me recently when my very supportive wife was sharing her perception with me that she felt I wasn't pulling my weight in the gardening department of our domestic division of labour issue. She was probably right, but I hate gardening and usually find any excuse to get out of it. Anyway the point is that she said that if I'd had had a stroke she would understand better. Hmmm, I had to think about that for a while. Anyway, I concluded that I didn't want to have a stroke to get out of my share of the gardening so I found some motivation from somewhere and have done a little... aren't leaves a pain at this time of year?

I'm lucky, I still have a wife and family. I'm vaguely aware of the statistics about the prevalence of singledom in people who experience mental health difficulties, but I don't want to think about that at the moment.

Hope you all can keep safe, one way or another.

A Moodscope member.

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