This is part 1 of a 2-part episode. In this episode I interview Erin, a woman who was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder 20 years ago after 5 years of cycling manic and depressive episodes. I split this episode into two parts because her story was so interesting and full of information that it ran almost two hours. The first half, which I’ve posted today, focuses mainly on Mania and the second half, which I will post tomorrow, focuses mainly on depression, diagnosis, and living with bipolar disorder long term. For a preview of tomorrow’s half of this episode listen until the end – After I thank you for listening and direct you on how to engage with this topic, I post a preview of the next episode.
What you will find if you scroll down on this page:
- Quotes from this episode
- Links to resources on bipolar disorder
- Where to listen to this show
- How to engage with me and help share these stories with new listeners!
Reasons you will enjoy this show:
- If you have someone in your family who is diagnosed bipolar 1 and want to understand more about this disorder.
- If you have concerns about some of your own cycling behavior or that of someone you are close to.
- If you want to help remove the stigma from mental health disorders
- If you are fascinated with what the human brain is capable of.
- If you are writing a character who has bipolar 1 disorder.
- If you love learning about experiences that are different than your own.
Or click on the play button at the top of this post.
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Resources on the topic of Mental Illness and Bipolar:
Quotes From This Episode:
“To be manic, to be psychotic, to be in that realm. When I was in the realm I felt so good so amazing. I remember thinking all the time, like, I can move mountains.”
“I remember, during my first manic episode, I remember thinking that I felt like I was going to spontaneously combust and I don’t think that people can really do that but I felt like I was going to, like I felt like my head was just going to explode.”
“I think that there have been cultures that completely embraced the quote unquote crazy person, the person that’s in touch with the gods and I definitely experienced that. In this culture though, it’s not looked upon so well. So in a way that influences how I look upon it too. You know maybe if I was in a different culture I would be like a medicine woman or a shaman woman but in this culture I’m a crazy woman, I’m a psychotic person.”
“During the mania and the psychosis I would kind of collect a band of strangers, like random people, that I’d be hanging out with, you know? People that were going to be in my band! And maybe I had, like, moved and suddenly I was hanging out with a bunch of people that, you know, once the mania ends I’m like what, what am I doing, like why am I hanging out with these people; and then I just walk away, basically.”
“If you ask me right now would I trade this my life right now where I feel, I feel steady and calm and able to lead a quote unquote normal life, do I want this or do I want to be in touch with the Gods? I honestly want this. I want to be ok.”
“Sure it can feel great, for a while, when it’s happening but, you know, it’s not stable, it’s not steady, it’s not, it’s not comfortable. I pretty much always felt like I was not in my body, like, I was just somewhere else. And I do not like the things that happened when I was psychotic and manic.”
“I think I picked up on the stigma and the way I navigated it was that I didn’t talk about it. I went to group meetings for a while where I could be bipolar there, I could say “hi I’m bipolar,” um, but as far as in the rest of my life I didn’t talk about it. I was really ashamed.”