Bipolar Disorder- Embarrassment

Song of the Day: Neutron Star Collision by Muse

I think a major consequence of bipolar behaviour in my case has been shame and embarrassment after an episode, particularly after hypomania. For those of us who have low self esteem and confidence from past episodes anyway, any more shame and embarrassment just adds to the growing weight- love and approval of ourselves feels even further away!

The symptoms of bipolar are always talked about in such a clinical way online and in books. I prefer to look at the more human side, what it really feels like, how do these episodes really make us feel? What effect do they really have on our lives?

During Hypomania I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions that have caused me great embarrassment and even worse. Here are a few of my escapades:

– Booking myself onto an advanced horse riding trek, injuring my back through lack of fitness and having to halt the ride so I could return to the stables. I had been so out of control of the horse I was bloody terrified and knew that if I didn’t stop then, I was likely to get seriously injured. At least the fear shocked me into making a sensible decision. So embarrassed.

– Taking on a job at a school, then six weeks later depression hit and I found myself cowering in the toilets with sheer panic and terror at the thought of carrying on. I quit, walking out and not telling anyone. Got in trouble for that one- unsurprisingly. I was totally distraught though- there was absolutely no way I could continue in that job. I felt so ashamed.

– Having a major argument with my assistant manager at one job where I attempted to hit him a few times. Ran out in floods of tears, couldn’t believe what I’d done- one minute I was totally raging, then next totally ashamed. This wasn’t me, it was so out of character. Got the sack- devastated, depression followed.

Depression has it’s embarrassments too- much sobbing and crying at work; hardly able to walk around the supermarket due to psychomotor retardation (slowing of movements/thinking), standing still with panic in the middle of the supermarket barely aware of where I was or what I was supposed to be doing. All embarrassing.

Looking back the embarrassing moments in depression have been milder compared with the total shame I have felt as a consequence of hypomanic decisions. I’m so glad they’re over now, but I am learning to accept that the disorder has been the cause of this, not me myself- like being strongly influenced. It was not my fault. I may have hurt and angered people and for that I am sincerely sorry from the bottom of my heart. My regret comforts and reassures me that I am not a bad person- I’ve shown remorse. I’m just a perfectly imperfect human.

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3 thoughts on “Bipolar Disorder- Embarrassment

  1. Troy Alexander

    You say that these episodes are “over now”. Did they just go away, or did you finally find the right combo of meds/therapy? OR, were you just able to control it better w/ experience? I ask because I used to have more of these–especially manic. Then, lately, I have felt fine for over a year. An ill timed med change resulted in a sudden and drastic manic TO severe depression the last two days. Result was one particular person learning of my illness. I look up to and admire this person like no one else in the world, and mortified that this person has seen “the real me,” . . I know how this illness is viewed so I feel like I have lost my best friend

    Reply
  2. Dysfunctional Computer Tech

    I understand where you are coming from. I find myself living day by day, not knowing whether it will be a good or bad one. I too tried a school position before, at the most prestigious middle school in my state. I was their I.T. specialist. I lasted one year. The tech before me left me a mess to clean up when I first got there. I spent countless days getting to work at 3 a.m. and staying until 9 or 10 p.m. It took a year to completely break me down to the point that I didn’t want to be there anymore. The position I have now, my management know about my condition and are supportive of it. But, even the employees that don’t know about it can tell right away which side of the spectrum I am leaning towards. The medication helps (sometimes). I was told by my therapist’s office that they would not see me anymore because I missed too many appointments and have been written up many times at different jobs for showing up late. It’s so hard to get out of bed sometimes. I lack the physical energy to do anything but stare at the ceiling. Other times, I don’t sleep or if I do, I wake up at a very early hour and go to work. My company loves when I’m closer to the manic side of things, well the hypomanic rather. I get so much accomplished, I speak very well and I’m top of my game. The only thing I wish for is consistency. I realize that I will probably endure this for the rest of my life, just like my dad had to and my two first cousins but through constant self awareness, I feel like I’m getting better. I’m sorry for the rambling. I hope that you are able to find your balance or as close to it as possible so that you may be happy and have a fulfilling life!

    Reply
    1. rachelmiller1511 Post author

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I think it’s very commendable that you are managing to work! I’ve always struggled hugely with working environments/relationships. What you have described is similar to how I was when working in the past.

      Keep going! I hope you find some balance and consistency too!

      Reply

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