Polarity III

At home again. Began Rapid-Cycling while working on a client’s computer, and nearly lost it – nearly enough that she noticed.  It was my great good fortune that she’s a friend, and well-familiar with mood disorders!  To have broken down in front of a “normal” person would have been beyond humiliating…

I’ve described a little about mood disorders, their causes and symptoms – what I haven’t described is the fall-out… the toll.

Imagine you had a bladder problem. Imagine you were at work, expected to be professional, and suddenly you became incontinent.  Imagine the embarrassment, the humiliation … a grown person unable to control himself in something that children learn to manage by 6 or 7, at the latest!

Well, they make diapers to handle such things. It doesn’t stop the problem, but it controls the outward effects and prevents public humiliation …  sadly, they don’t make ‘Depends’ for the mind.

The utter humiliation of a grown man bursting into tears for no apparent reason goes FAR beyond the embarrassment of incontinence, no offense intended to those who suffer from such a condition – but at the end of the day, for them, it’s an obviously physical problem.  People would understand.  That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be embarrassing, and it’s true that cruel-minded petty bastards would make jokes and jibes at the person’s expense, but, in the end, most would understand and deep deep down, would worry that the same thing could happen to themselves.

Bi-Polar II disorder, the source of my rapid-cycling, is also a physical problem.  But the VAST majority of people don’t know that, and it’s easier for most of them to just assume that I’m weak-minded, too cowardly to deal with life, or just plain “nuts”!  There are loads and loads of good people out there, and many would feel sympathy – but few will imagine, even in the deepest darkest corner of their minds that they, themselves, could ever just “lose it” like that. And the same cruel-minded petty bastards who’d make fun of a physical disability would have a field day at the expense of a guy who couldn’t keep his emotions in check!

So I’m at home. Even if I could concentrate on work, I can’t be around clients or colleagues in this condition – nor would they want me to:  I scoffed in my first ‘Polarity’ blog about people being afraid of the Mentally or Emotionally Ill … the truth is, while the fear is unfair, and adds to the burden someone like me must bear, it is both justified, and understandable: the sight of someone “losing it” is uncomfortable, and scary, because who knows what I might do next!  The mind is a mysterious thing, and everyone goes through stress at some point or another, if not continuously … and we’ve all been taught, from childhood, that people can have “nervous breakdowns”, or just “snap under pressure”, or “go crazy”…

Those things can happen, though it’s almost never like in the movies, and there is no category in the DSM-IV (the Big Book of Psych Disorders) that corresponds to “nervous breakdown”.

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~ by dourscot on January 5, 2012.

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