Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Poles

In case you guys didn't know, I've got bipolar disorder.

If you want a basic sum up of being bipolar, well...

It's having two extremes in mood with little middle ground. And honestly, the extremes I depicted in the pic aren't at all extreme enough.

You may think that there's no way something bad can come from being really happy. You'd be wrong. The euphoria half is far FAR more radical than shown above and can be quite dangerous. You spend WAY too much money and make really REALLY poor decisions*... -.-

*Trust me... >_>;

Then there's the other extreme.

The one that always last far longer than the deliriously peppy side.

The side where Mr. Depress rides on your back slowly weighing you down.

But bipolar isn't impossible to work with. Some medications can go a long way to handle it. They help to build bridges over that crack and thus give you a stabler middle ground.

Still though, they can't do everything alone.

You still need to monitor your mood and beware of possible triggers to know* when you may be having/on the verge of having an episode. Then you can take steps to manage and/or prevent them.

*After all, knowing is half the battle.

However, it can be difficult to take those steps, especially with a depressive episode and during this time* of year.

*That is, if you're in the winter season. So all you peeps in the southern hemisphere... enjoy your summer! D:

If you're like me, you have trouble reaching out. Not because you're anti-social but rather because you always feel like you'd just be bothering other people with your petty crap*. And so you do nothing but sit on it. By yourself†.

*Mind you, it is in no way "petty crap". You're just seeing it that way.

Getting a puppy can help a lot though. :)

Doing nothing creates a pretty vicious downward spiral too.

• You feel bad.

• Which makes you withdraw.

• Which makes you feel worse.

• Which makes you withdraw more...

But, though you may want to, you don't.

Instead, hopefully, you realize what's going on and do something to fight it. Whether it's calling somebody, going outside, having a quick bit of exercise, or even venting your scrambled thoughts and feelings by writing them out. Any and/or all these can help. So really, just do something.

Because remember, these episodes, whether manic or depressive, are serious business*.

*Srs bsns. ._.

For those who may be wondering, I personally have been diagnosed and suffer from Bipolar I.


  1. But, though you may want to, you don't.

    Instead, hopefully, you remind yourself of the things you have accomplished. Like starting a neat comic-ish blog thing and having kept it running. And although there might not have been a whole lot of comments on every single entry, there are loads of people all over the world who appreciate your work. That accounts for something, I guess.

    While you're at it, you also remind yourself of people who are dear to you. And who you are dear to. Calling those people, going out with them doing stuff - well, that might be the single most important thing to do.

    Whatever, I'm not really able to squeeze my scrambled thoughts into a more or less short and sensible text today.
    Bottom line: your list of things to do in order to overcome this vicious downward spiral could have been written by me. The exact things I would think of in this situation. Although I cannot really tell the Tale of Two Poles. Suffering gross sleep deprivation causes similar symptoms, I guess.

    Real bottom line: Keep up the fine work. There are people like me who really appreciate it. Thank you.

  2. @anonymous agreed.

    btw, i live in Brazil, southerm emisphere and summer somtimes is just too hot!
    i would like to see snow too... never seen it..

  3. Everything in this strip is just so, so true... I'm pretty sure I'm bipolar, and god it's just horrible some days. It feels like I almost can't control myself, you know? And I was diagnosed with depression back in 2004 (at nine years old!), and it's only gotten worse since my girlfriend passed away.. ._.;
    On top of that, I'm schizophrenic and have sleeping problems (insomnia, night terrors, sleep apnea...). When I don't get enough sleep, my bipolar acts up, no amount of medication can take the voices away, and I'm just stressed all the f***ing time, and my doctors are worried about my blood pressure...

    But you know what? I have a positive outlook on life. Things are looking up for me- I'm getting a car, a job, and I know I'm getting into my top choice of college.
    You're right about the whole keeping track of your emotions thing- if I wasn't doing that, then I would probably be in a very bad position right now.
    Um, on with the point.
    I find it kind of inspiring that I read your stuff, because you know exactly what I'm going through. I hope you get many more readers, and I know for sure I'll be reading for years to come. Keep up the supermegafoxyawesomehot work, and remember that when you find yourself in times of trouble (mother Mary comes to me), your readers are always here to support you!

  4. Hey! I wanted to thank you for this comic because I've been going through exactly this.
    I was diagnosed as bipolar 7 years ago and although I've gotten better at dealing with the manic episodes, it's a lot harder to deal with the depression. Yesterday it was really hard, so reading this today was nice.
    I like your sillier comics but its really cool to see something I can relate to, especially when I'm feeling so miserable.
    Thanks man! c:

  5. Whoa! This sounds sooooo familiar. Maybe I should see a therapist like my best friend told me to. Very encouraging ^_^

  6. Working through any kind of mental illness is an ongoing battle and removing the stigma from having a mental illness is something of great importance. I loved your post because you're willingly speaking out about the disorder and in a more empowering way. It may be helpful to others to know that its okay to have bipolar disorder... there is nothing to be ashamed of.
    You might be interested in Bring Change 2 Mind. You should check it out.

    If you know much on the subject (for further discussion - just a suggestion) maybe talk about the differences between Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2 and with or without rapid cycling.

  7. Hi! I'm likely bipolar too because I had clinical depressions, clinical anxieties, hypomanias and even a few manias in the past. I wasn't diagnosed as being bipolar because the psychotherapist I'm going too said that putting the "mania-depressia" label on me will not have any implications on my treatment, so he didn't do it. Possibly as opposed to you (if I understood you correctly), I have had extended where I'm mostly OK and not depressed or hypomanic or anything, just being "normal", happy and mostly in control.

    I've recently published an essay titled "Dealing with Hypomanias" with a lot of good advice based on my experience. I especially recommend that you read the book "Feeling Good" and possibly also consult a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist.

    Lately, I haven't had too many hypomanias, which may be attributed to either the progress in my treatment, or the fact that I stopped taking my multi-vitamin pills (because I started having difficulties swallowing them, not because they made me feel bad) and am still on medication (or both). On the down side, I've been having very little physical energy, and also have some irritability, but both are not as bad as being in a hypomania/euphoria.

    Anyway, I enjoy reading your comic/blog and hope you feel better in time.

  8. My mom had bipolar disorder. She really got pretty upset at times, and it really just killed me that she'd get so upset or start crying for no apparent reason sometimes. She had a very rough life, and passed away after she fell into a hypoglycemic coma in her sleep and my dad didn't recognize in time to save her. We kept her on life support for 17 days, but she was essentially gone, so we took her off. I hope you know that you are never, ever alone, and that you are a very funny guy. Best wishes.