There exists such a thing as a man of no worth; an individual who lies helplessly in the face of danger, who silently stares at the obstacles that stand in his way, and who would never conceive of changing himself to be able to face these hurdles. Instead, he merely contemplates his own miseries and sulk. I know for a fact that people like these live and breathe in the same earth we do. How? Because I am, to a personally terrifying degree, the sort of man I had just described.
Bipolarity is a fascinating mental disorder. For a month or so, we could observe a person entranced by his own work, bathing in the joys of the world, blissfully ignoring all the problems that pass him by. Then, some time after happy days, we would see the same person in a strikingly different state: he would be morose, complete with slumped shoulders, abandoning all responsibilities and dismissive of any opportunity which comes his way. All the while he would ponder on the worth of his existence, doubting that it has value in any shape or form. Perhaps extending his depressing path to the realm of suicide. Such persons are truly “wonders” of nature.
But are either states—the blissful and miserable—of our hypothetical subject permanent? To this question I can contentedly declare that no, that neither of the polarities are forever there to stay. They are, in a manner of speaking, ever-present fluctuations of a human’s psyche. That is to say that although a bipolar individual will undoubtably switch his modes of thought, outlook on life, et cetera repeatedly, said alterations do not reflect a concrete picture of his personality. His happiness, anger, sadness are all as fleeting as any other man’s, albeit somewhat more chaotically.
The bipolar is simply another anomaly in an endless spectrum of oddities. His case is not as debilitating as the schizophrenic’s, the psychopathic’s, or most of his compatriots in psychological aberrations. Rather he is someone who can—and should—be treated as any other functional human. Yet why should it be so? Because his disorder could very well be a blessing disguise.
A bipolar man is the two sides of the coin. The head exuding brilliance, tirelessness, joy, amongst other positive attributes. Whilst the tail illustrates a painting of seemingly inescapable sorrows, apathy, and at times even rage. Every while or so (we could not yet determine concretely when, why, or how) the coin is flipped and his persona will be that of the face looking up. Though it may sound as if the bipolar’s characteristics are decided by fifty-fifty odds, this does not necessarily mean that he has to be content with the aforementioned probability. In a manner of speaking, we can ‘tip’ the weight of the coin, thanks to the advances made by psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, and all those involved in finding a method for controlling bipolarity.
Then how could we readjust the weight of the coin? There are a multitude of ways to do so. Therapy first comes to mind. Hours spent at the therapist’s office may just sufficiently illuminate when and why the coin is flipped, and therefore how to affect the flip itself. Medicine is of course another method, and possibly a much more effective approach for those plagued by more severe variations of bipolarity. I personally favor serotonin boosters (happy pills, for simplicity’s sake) as well as mood regulators. They are not the most “presentable” of tools, yet they have managed to carry me out of my darkest pits—and prevent me from falling into most of them. After all, psychological disorders are more often than not caused by abnormalities in our brain structure, and the most direct way to “correct them would be by playing on their turf. I.e. fight chemistry with chemistry.
But so far, to my knowledge anyways, it remains impossible to completely cure one’s self of bipolarity. It is a quirk which people like myself must simply contend with. Though if I said that I want to be “cured,” then I would be lying. It is not that I particularly enjoy the occasional torrents of depressions, rather that I have luckily discovered bipolarity to be quite the delightful surprise.
We have talked about the two sides of the bipolarity coin, and how we can adjust its weight to benefit the bipolar. This means that we can control the brighter perks of bipolarity. And these benefits come in various, pleasant shapes. For some, it pours into them a sense of unending bliss. For myself, it allows energy and focus I thought I did not have to course through my veins—not that I suddenly transform into a superhero mind you, but a thoroughly enhanced version of my “normal” self.
When the coin lands with its head pointing skyward, I turn into a kind of machine; one which produces endlessly what it is required to. I would write, read, stay on the futsal pitch until I have to be dragged away from it. These things are mere glimpses into what the ‘head’ can do to a bipolar. I cannot speak for others, but I’ll be damned if I have to relinquish this doubled-edged sword of a gift.
For the bipolar man, the solution to his problems likely lies not in a cure, but in an effective control mechanism. With it, he can silence the voices who scream that he is nothing. As such turning up the empowering hymns that thrust him into action, productivity, and ultimately, self-fulfillment.
Bipolarity is not plainly a curse nor a blessing. It is simultaneously both. And as with any other object that can be used for harm or aid, it can be employed for the latter purpose. Not completely of course, though to an extent unavailable to those without the necessary control mechanisms. And perhaps, when one can control this tumultuous gift, he can surpass the abilities of those unburdened with mental illnesses of any kind.