Category Archives: Bipolar Disorder

The Empath: Extreme Sensitivity

ID-100126946A few years ago I wrote a guest post about Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity for the website Mental Health Talk.

It’s been interesting to read it back to myself. I realise I’ve changed my views slightly since then- mainly that I no longer see bipolar disorder as an illness:

“From here onwards in my blog I am going to use the term “Bipolar Disorder” only to describe behaviours that have been grouped accordingly by psychiatrists. So the term will henceforth appear in italics. I no longer believe I have Bipolar Disorder, but am a completely whole individual, 100% healthy, but who just requires a different lifestyle to maintain balance.”

From my blog post Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

I believe I was diagnosed as bipolar due to the fact that I am extremely sensitive and it is this which has caused major life challenges for me, coupled with reaction to chronic trauma throughout my infancy through to adulthood.

I definitely relate to Elaine Aron’s perception of the Highly Sensitive Person: somebody who is more sensitive to stimulation from environmental cues, as well as more easily overwhelmed. For more in depth discussion on this, please see my article Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity.

But I’ve also never felt that this fully describes the deeper extreme sensitivity that I feel. The only term I’ve ever found to explain this is Empath.


PeacockEmpaths: Energy Sensitivity.

My understanding of the term Empath is a person who is extremely sensitive to the emotions and energy of other people and the environment.

Being a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP, has never explained how I can become overwhelmed by somebody else’s sadness or joy. I don’t just imagine it, I feel it. It’s as if I can merge myself with them and actually feel the emotion they are going through.

Without an awareness of this, therefore no skills or training in managing this energy sensitivity, it is no wonder that I got diagnosed as having bipolar disorder as my emotions were all over the place!! I could take on suicidal depressions, raging anger, irritability- any emotion and it probably didn’t originate from me!

It is not just being around an angry person that may cause me to feel their anger- which I often experience as a very fearful defence. Anger or any emotions can hang around in the environment. For example- if work colleagues in a meeting have just had a heated discussion about an issue that has generated frustration and anger- the anger and intense emotions can hang about as a cloud of energy in the room. So when I enter the room I immediately feel the intensity and chaos of emotion- it’s like the molecules in the air change. That’s how it feels to me.

Learning to defend myself against these energies and protect myself is a massive ongoing project. A big part of this is clearing my energy so that I release any energy that does not belong to me. It’s kind of like an energetic shower! Since working on these skills, I have noticed a definite improvement in my mood changes and ability to remain balanced and peaceful.

In my opinion there are many people out there who experience energies in this way who have no idea that they are being affected massively by other people’s emotions. They turn up in doctor’s offices with depression and anxiety that could be cleared and managed on an energetic level. It is empowering to realise you can take back control of your emotional experiences, rather than experiencing your emotions as out of control and running away with you.

Empathy as a GiftID-10023748

Once on the road to managing and balancing energetic sensitivity, it is possible to use this skill in a way that helps other people. Being able to feel how somebody else is feeling, but also being able to clear it away when necessary, can help you relate to somebody else’s experience and help you develop as an effective counsellor.

But it can be taken further to a psychic level.

As well as experiencing the energy of other people, you may be able to read their aura. It is possible to get a sense of what they like, what is going on in their life, what they spend their time thinking about etc. You may receive visual images or words in your mind, or feel a sense of what they are like as a person.

This is not only possible with living people, but we also pick up on energy of beings in spirit. We may receive images/thoughts/feelings from spirits who may be trying to communicate with us, or again, they may leave an environment in a cloud of feeling, like anger or fear. Think of visiting an old haunted house- any feelings of the place being creepy and unnerving are completely valid, as the spirit is likely to be fearful or angry.

As well as more negative energies, we can also communicate with higher energies- those in spirit who are peaceful and loving, as well as guides, and angel energies. This is such a beautiful experience and so worth developing and spending time on. I’ll definitely write more this in future as it is an important part of my life now. There are many benefits to connecting with loved ones in spirit, as well as guides- you receive so much love and support, as well as guidance and wisdom. To know we are not alone and are always supported and championed is so comforting and uplifting!

We learn to control who we interact with through intention. I always have the intention to work with the higher energies only. This can lead us to become really great healers.

But again, if you have been picking up on the energies of spirits as well as the living- no wonder your emotions are rocked around tumultuously!

ButterflyIs an Empath born or made?

I don’t know for sure!

My understanding is that we can be born highly sensitive. Due to that sensitivity we may be more likely to experience events and daily living (that other people cope with easily) as traumatic, or experience extreme trauma. Trauma would then increase our sensitivity as we are always ‘switched on’, scanning the environment for potential trouble so that we are able to control what we can in order to avoid any threat- for example, conflict. This is called hypervigilance. We are so tuned in to other people’s wellbeing, emotions, and our environment that we are basically practicing being even more sensitive without realising. We become so good at it that we enter the realms of being an empath.

So basically I think that Highly Sensitive People are born, and that trauma can create an empath from a Highly Sensitive Person.

This is just a theory that feels right to me.

To me it explains why I have found it so difficult to function in the world. Everybody else seems to get along with life so easily, whilst I have felt tossed about by every little thing in the environment. But knowing that I can have mastery over this energy sensitivity is so empowering. I can take back control and learn to use this as something positive in my life.

Being labelled as bipolar is so disempowering, that suddenly realising that actually you are experiencing energies as an empath can feel very exciting! Due to our sensitivity it could trigger a burst of positive high vibration energy, which is important to manage through your awareness of it, by staying grounded, and working on staying peaceful and centred. More on this in a future post!

It is easy to see being an empath as something quite special, which it is, but it does not mean we are in any way better than anybody else. Some people are good at carpentry, some at sport, we’re good at being empaths!

There is so much more to this topic which I’d like to explore in future!

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder and High Sensitivity – my guest blog post on Mental Health Talk.

Bipolar: Your Mood May Not Be Your Own – guest post on Mental Health Talk.

Absorbing Others’ Energy – a fascinating and very useful video by Ralph Smart.

You’re So Sensitive

Hypomania and Grounding

Depression and Grounding

Grounding for Emotional Wellbeing – a video featuring a meditation exercise to help you to ground yourself.

 

 

 

 

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Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

So today I’m finding it more of a challenge to feel positive.

Today I’m feeling the effects of the hot weather here in the UK. I’m extremely tired (probably through poor quality, broken sleep) and cranky and my energy feels low.

It is on days like this that I find my spiritual and positive intentions more difficult to achieve.

And I think that is very normal- even though I’ve spent portions of today letting my mind run with thoughts of: “why can’t I just get on with things?”, “why am I so lazy?”, “why am I so unmotivated”, “I feel so useless”.

Okay, so I really am just being very normal. I may have been brought up to believe I should always be grateful, and joyful and have a smile on my face, but this is totally unrealistic, and not a match to who I truly am.

It’s ok for me to feel fed up and frustrated with myself. It’s normal!

But I can feel better if I want to.

And that’s where my post from two days ago fits in (see Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder). I strongly recommend reading this first before continuing here.

At the end of the post I asked a few questions that I intended to answer in further posts. Well, here I am considering the question:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

To answer this a familiarity with The Emotional Guidance Scale as offered in Esther and Jerry Hicks book Ask and It Is Given.

emotionalguidancescale

As you can see, the scale lists different emotions and they are ordered as such that the emotions at the top of the scale are those that will feel good to us, and those at the bottom will feel bad.

There is a continuum implied whereby number 9: Pessimism will feel better to us emotionally than number 10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience. Number 1. Joy, will feel better to us than number 5. Optimism, which in turn will feel better than number 7. Contentment.

Of course, this is a much simplified perspective of our complex range of human emotion, and what feels good or bad to each person is going to vary.

You might argue that some people feel good when raging at other people, or harming them in some way- they get some kind of energy or kick out of it?! But this may only feel good to them in comparison with how they were feeling before- extremely guilty perhaps?

So too, I would add the emotion of shame to the bottom of the list, and peace to the top of the list. We can all tweak it in a way that speaks most accurately to ourselves.

Moving Around the Scale

So yesterday I shared the experience of mania as described by Abraham:

“If you didn’t eat for about a week and someone turned up with a pizza, we’d see mania.”

I love this!! Suddenly we have the most enthusiasm for pizza we’ve ever had in our lives.

Abraham is talking about pizza as us being in alignment to who we truly are, about being in alignment with Source energy. To us this may be being in the creative flow of writing a book or making art, or feeling a sense of peace, joy and being at one with the world, after a period of us somehow blocking this flow- perhaps due to feelings of unworthiness, lack of self-belief etc. So when we get back into this flow- wow!! It feels so good!

I know this feeling! Suddenly I feel I have purpose in my life again when I allow that stream of energy to flow. When I don’t block it with my beliefs of my own limitation. I feel free and alive and everything feels so right and the sense of euphoria can be so intoxicating!

But if we do block it again, maybe with a belief that this wonderful feeling can’t possibly last, and become scared of losing it- we then plummet into the lower energies and completely disconnect from Source energy, from who we truly are.

So, back to the question I posed earlier:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

Well, to me the answer seems to be to eat pizza more regularly, so we don’t get hungry.

I’m serious!

If pizza represents the actions that align us with who we truly are, with Source energy, then we won’t ever be completely disconnected.

Quite often for those of us labelled with bipolar disorder, our powerful flow of energy goes against the grain of society. We may love to do unconventional things with our creativity for example, but have been criticised for this- which encourages us to stop. Stopping equals being out of alignment with who we truly are, with Source energy. It may be very challenging for us to be who we really are!!

The energy of someone with bipolar disorder I see as a wild, powerful stallion running free. To be able to ride the horse or use it purposefully, the stallion needs some kind of taming and training. The energy is directed. (This is just an analogy and I’m all for horses being wild and free, it just makes sense to me this way!)

We can manage our own energy by learning to take ourselves up the emotional guidance scale. We need to “be ourselves”, allow our creativity etc. often, regularly! We need to feed our hunger for being in alignment with source energy, so that we don’t become ravenous with hunger for it!! If we do this then we will be able to stop and rest, rather than stay up for nights on end writing or creating in any other way. We won’t become so “high”, but our positivity will remain more stable and manageable. Our energy won’t increase so intensely that we want to clean our houses all night or be so manically optimistic that we make unwise decisions with our money. Just examples of course. No doubt you’ll have your own particular manic ways!!

Therefore we are much less likely to dip so low into depression. We will come to realise that we are never truly without Source energy expressing itself through us- we are always living as our true self. There is never any loss of connection with it- which is where depression comes from.

This all makes sense to me, but if it doesn’t make sense to you please feel free to comment and I will try and explain as best I can.

I do realise that these concepts are pretty “out there” in terms of modern-day psychiatry and societal understanding. If it resonates with you- great! If it doesn’t, that’s ok- just move onto whatever does! (Just please don’t tell me. )

The Emotional Guidance Scale

So, instead of us bouncing from a 1 to a 22 on the Emotional Guidance Scale, we can use it a bit more gently and learn what feels a bit better (not a million times better).

We can learn what brings us up from a 1 to a 2, or from a 7 to a 9.

These may be simple action steps such as taking a shower, or chatting to a friend. They may be more profound and involve creating or learning in some way.

I’m definitely still learning this, but over the last 18 years of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (and yes I am on medication and would never recommend coming off any you are taking without consulting your doctor), things have got easier.

I know I feel better when I go for a walk in the morning with my dog.

I know I feel better if I eat toast for breakfast rather than chocolate.

I know I feel better when my hair is freshly washed.

I know I feel better when I’m playing the flute.

I still have days where I’m lower down the scale, but I think I’m better at getting myself back up the scale again at a more gentle pace. So that means no spending loads of money on my credit card on beautiful things I don’t need- that puts me up to a 1, but only lasts for a short time!! Then I feel worse at the accumulation of debt, and have probably forgotten all about said beautiful things which are now crumpled up at the bottom of my wardrobe. Back down to 22 we go!

I think it’s all about us learning how to use our powerful energy in a way which feels good to us all the time. Not amazingly, overwhelmingly, euphorically good, but a more gentle, fulfilled, positive kind of good, which is way more manageable.

We need to keep asking ourselves “what feels better than this?”, even if it’s just a little bit better.

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation.

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction).

Resources

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Abraham Hicks on You Tube

Abraham Hicks- Just to Live Your Life With Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder- Abraham Hicks

Bipolar Depression and Suicidal Feelings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

From here onwards in my blog I am going to use the term “Bipolar Disorder” only to describe behaviours that have been grouped accordingly by psychiatrists. So the term will henceforth appear in italics. I no longer believe I have Bipolar Disorder, but am a completely whole individual, 100% healthy, but who just requires a different lifestyle to maintain balance.

My beliefs have been shaped after reading the books of Esther and Jerry Hicks, such as:

The Law of Attraction

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I have written on this topic before (What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation), so please forgive any repetition.

Esther Hicks “channels” a collective consciousness of higher intelligence and spiritual vibration known as Abraham.

I find the teachings of Abraham to be enlightening and greatly improve my perception of Bipolar Disorder and of myself.

I’ve been watching numerous You Tube videos of Esther channeling Abraham; one in particular caught my attention, and the following paragraphs are basically my notes on it! See the link below for the video:

This particular video contains Abraham’s definition of Bipolar Disorder:

“Powerful energy coming forth into a physical body, with strong current flowing the day you hit the ground. In other words: powerful energy flowing through you. Born into an environment of unusual control.”

This resonates so strongly with me!! Yes, I do have strong energy! Yes I was brought up in an environment of unusual control, notably with very strict, rigid parenting and schooling (an old fashioned Roman Catholic School who still used mild corporal punishment- smacking). I was not allowed to be myself!! I had so much energy to dance, draw, sing, explore, learn, and strong emotions too- but I wasn’t allowed to make a mess, or a noise, or get in the way with dancing, or get muddy, or be angry!! Like many children of course!

But when you see it from the point of view of having strong current flowing through you- well, I see it like a bouncy ball having been trapped in a box once given momentum: it would just keep bouncing from wall to wall to wall. We have all this energy, but walls are put up in every direction.

So when we can’t express this strong current, we get frustrated and angry and bounce off one wall, then if we can’t express the anger due to disapproval and punishment, we bounce over to depression. Our true self is never allowed to be expressed. Being our true self is described by Abraham as being in alignment with Divine Source energy- we are flowing with all that is right and natural.

The way in which mania fits in is described, amusingly, in the video by Abraham:

“If you didn’t eat for about a week and someone turned up with a pizza, we’d see mania.”

It makes so much sense!!

If we haven’t been able to express ourselves as we truly are, with this strong current of energy, in a way that feels natural and flowing and in alignment with Source, then we are literally starving ourselves!

So when we finally allow ourselves some creativity- it feels amazing!! We have all this enthusiasm bubbling up inside us- loads of positive energy which is in alignment with source…..so off we go, ravenous with hunger for being in alignment!!

But then when we start fearing that the wonderful feelings will not last, or we feel unworthy of the gifts we have or just scared that we’re out of control- that is enough to send us spiralling down into depression.

To feel that the experiences and strong, strong emotions and reactions I have lived with are actually completely natural is so freeing. I no longer feel that something is WRONG with me!

So how do we reduce all this bouncing around and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

What does it feel like to be connected with Source energy and be in alignment?

Why have we been labelled with the diagnosis Bipolar Disorder?

I’m going to answer these questions in further posts!!

 

Related Posts

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation.

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction).

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

 

 

 

 

Grounding for Emotional Wellbeing

Related Posts

Depression and Grounding

Hypomania and Grounding

External Sites

Why Grounding is Difficult for Highly Sensitive People

 

 

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Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Perspective for 2013

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People- My guest post on Mental Health Talk

What is Bipolar Disorder: Abraham Hicks- A Conversation

 

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: a conversation.

Last night I came across an intriguing video on You Tube about Bipolar Disorder. It is a channeled message from spirit.

For those of you familiar with Esther and Jerry Hicks you will know that they channel the messages of a collective consciousness known as Abraham (I will refer to them in plural). You can read more about Abraham and Esther and Jerry Hicks here.

Esther herself calls Abraham “infinite intelligence,” and to Jerry they are “the purest form of love I’ve ever experienced.”

Should you not have 20mins to spare to watch the video, Abraham talks about “Bipolar symptoms” not Bipolar Disorder- thereby freeing us from a label.

Instead they acknowledge that it is a scale from deepest despair to utmost joy and unconditional love, and that those with the ability to feel such a broad spectrum of emotions are thus able to experience exactly what they do not want, in order to create a life full of joy. We are capable of feeling such pure joy and passion and love that others are not. In essence, by creating such beautiful emotions, we raise our vibration and therefore add this wonderful vibration to the world! A form of healing for the earth- this is our purpose. Our purpose is not that we do such and such as a career, but that we do whatever it is we love and that causes us great joy! This is not selfish at all. We are blessed with such a task as we raise the vibration of others around us.

“So many of you struggle to believe that such infinite joy is your birthright and your ultimate purpose. 

You are not to blame for your past struggles, your difficult childhoods, the traumas you have experienced. They have been planned by you before incarnation to fulfil a particular purpose in your spiritual growth. But what is so important, and this cannot be stressed enough, is that you do not hang on to these past pains. They have served their purpose, but are in the past. You are FREE beloved ones, to create the life you dream of.

Each one of you is so loved and so worthy. If you have experienced so little love and worthiness in the past, know that the time is NOW for you to open your hearts and experience the love we have for every single one of you. Allow yourself to surrender and receive this love. You are worthy. You are loved. You are safe.”

Our RIGHTNESS

Abraham talks of Bipolar as having experienced ourselves as ultimately WRONG throughout our lives from childhood.

Our true selves experienced as children are criticised, put down, belittled. We are taught that our beliefs or imaginations or passions are strange and we may be bullied by peers or parents, so that we cause little fear for them. If we are gifted (as many bestowed with the Bipolar title often are), parents may be threatened by our talents and our power.

Children have just as much power as adults, but adults like to push it down, to make themselves RIGHT, as they were also made WRONG in their own childhoods.

Children can become a tool to be used. This is so sad and such a betrayal.

Despite their own spiritual power, children are so vulnerable as they need the love and care of their parents to survive. This love and care may be denied by the parents when they feel threatened and fearful of our true selves.

Parents may even feel jealousy and contempt. They may feel bitter at having to give up their own freedom to have us, and bewildered as to why they don’t enjoy parenthood- in fact they may hate it. The seething contempt of a bitter mother can be projected onto her child and cause what feels like a soul murder. That is how I experienced the rejection of myself as a child. I felt like nothing. I felt evil and bad. I felt shamed and worthless, except when I became mother’s pet and made her feel good, or served some useful purpose.

I myself have found this a very challenging concept to understand, and learn to forgive my own parents for ( a process I am still working on).

To allow the beautiful power of our true selves back into our lives, when ultimately displaying it as a child has caused abuse and abandonment, is very scary. It is okay to be scared by this though and to go ahead with creating our joy anyway. It is uncomfortable at first, maybe even painful, maybe even excrutiating. But we know in our hearts that this is where our joy lives.

Follow that intuition to joy. Trust yourself- something we have been taught not to do.

How does being WRONG relate to Bipolar symptoms?

When we follow our creative passions- we are experiencing a high vibration of energy. We feel determined and focused on what we want. Often this driven energy is labelled as hypomania.

But as what we want and the joy that accompanies it begins to come to fruition, the pain associated with expressing our true selves freely as children may come crashing back. This is WRONG, we are being WRONG. We believe that we must suppress our joy to remain safe. Our false selves (the repressed self- the passions and creativity we stifle to make others feel better about themselves) have been labelled RIGHT by others during childhood. We have a habit of believing this. It is safe. We haven’t been so abused as this false self. Abraham observes that we would rather be RIGHT than be our magnificent true selves.

But ultimately we are in charge of what is RIGHT for us!

We need to allow ourselves to be scared and jump into our own RIGHTNESS- not that dictated to us by others.

You will know when you reach your RIGHTNESS- it will feel natural, bring you joy, fulfilment and contentment. You will fall in love with your own life again. You will wake up with a spring in your step and excited to create some more joy, because now you can see where it lies and that you are deserving and worthy.

What about Mania and Psychosis?

Bipolar symptoms are all about balance. The ends of the spectrum are so extreme that the mind can become out of control and help may be required to bring back stability.

Know that this is a journey and learning to balance the extremes is all part of a life such as this.

What is most important for people with Bipolar symptoms?

What is most important for anybody? You are all the same!

Peace. Inner peace. Unconditional love and compassion for yourself. Forgiveness and an ability to focus on joy, creating joy. Joy is life force! With life force you can create more joy- more life force! Just learn to control this in whichever way works for you- this may be a trail and error experiment.

Focus, Joy and Pleasure.

Those with Bipolar symptoms are excellent at FOCUSING- as expressed by Abraham in the video. They are very skilled at creating the joyful life force, then using it to create more and more- it is learning to ground and contain that high vibration of energy that is important in overcoming any lack of control and remembering that you are not WRONG for expressing your true self and your true joy.

Of course staying away from any chemical substances is always advised, but is particularly important for you in maintaining control.

Other past times that will lower the vibration of your experience are meaningless sex (with no love)/pornography/becoming obsessed with ANYTHING! For some this may be exercise, for other work. Learn the fine art of balance. Seeking pleasure through these experiences is different from JOY. Joy comes from the heart. Pleasure comes from the lower senses and is a satisfaction of some more primitive desire. JOY always creates! Pleasure does not.

JOY CREATES.

PLEASURE DOES NOT.

Joy will create a warmth in your heart and an inner fulfillment. It is spiritual upliftment.

Pleasure will satisfy only a physical or lower psychological desire.

Controlling the Joy

When experiencing the bliss of divine life force coursing through us in our joyful state, it is very easy to become ungrounded.

You can read more about grounding here.

Depression

Depression results when we shame ourselves for our joy at being WRONG. We shame ourselves for our joy because our parents or friends don’t have joy- therefore it is WRONG. The denial of our true selves is further abandonment- an experience so distressing to a young child that it is excruciatingly painful and traumatising. The true self experiences this soul murder all over again.

It is a trigger to re-traumatisation.

No wonder we feel so horrendous!

We are abandoning ourselves in favour of being RIGHT by other people’s standards, but also re-experiencing the abuse of our childhoods: total rejection and betrayal.

Summing up

To me, the explanation of Bipolar symptoms from Abraham was something I could most certainly relate to. I remained slightly dissatisfied as to the lack of detail gone into about the experience of psychosis and also the lack of acknowledgement of the deep suffering bipolar symptoms can cause. But I love spiritual/energetic explanations- they feel much more RIGHT (!) to me than the clinical ones, and help me to see that this is what I planned for my life and that there are positive sides to experiencing such extreme emotions too.

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Depression & Grounding

Hypomania & Grounding

Mental Health Issue v Spiritual Crisis: Guest post by Katie Mottram

Forward-thinking Psychiatry

Resources

About Abraham Hicks

About Jerry & Esther Hicks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Receiving a Diagnosis

ID-10021637A Positive Psychiatrist Consultation

As I’ve recently moved to a new area I have just seen a psychiatrist here for the first time. I couldn’t believe it when he spent a whole hour and 40 minutes with me- way more time than I’ve ever spent with a mental healthcare professional before.

He was an extremely good listener and would ask my opinion about things regularly during the session, which was so refreshing. I felt like a human-being! It’s hard to believe I’ve not felt this way before with other psychiatrists. He pretty much re-diagnosed me and confirmed Bipolar II, but also threw Borderline Personality Disorder traits into the mix, which I’ve suspected for years.

For more on Borderline Personality Disorder click here.

Borderline Personality Disorder

The Borderline Personality trait aspect of the diagnosis has had a mixed effect on me. I feel a huge sense of relief in that there is a reason I struggle all the time with various aspects of life, not just during bipolar episodes. It explains so much and has helped my understanding of my behaviour and intense emotions.ID-10035460

On the other hand, Borderline Personality  Disorder (BPD) has a stigma attached. My psychiatrist assured me that this is much more true of the past, and that views and opinions are changing. My own reading on the disorder has instilled in me a view that BPD patients are difficult to treat, manipulative, prone to attention seeking, rage and aggression. All sounds lovely! But like I said, the psychiatrist was quick to dispute this.

The parts of the Disorder which apply to me are (unfortunately) episodes of rage (a few in my lifetime), difficulty maintaining friendships (not so much with romantic relationships), emotional reactivity and hypersensitivity, dissociation, impulsivity, binge eating and compulsive spending to a smaller degree, and a difficult childhood.

You can read more about my experiences with binge eating here, anger/rage here, and hypersensitivity here.

Even when I don’t appear to be having a bipolar episode, I am prone to quicker changes in mood that only last an hour or two, maybe a day. For the psychiatrist to have picked up on this made me relieved. At last an explanation for why I just can’t hold down a job, and why I struggle being around people and with friendships in general.

The Positive Side of High Sensitivity

Monarch ButterflyLast night I came upon a website- Eggshell Therapy– which painted a picture of emotional intensity and giftedness, and that when not handled well in early years by parents, or when the child is experiences trauma, can develop into BPD/Bipolar in later years.

It was refreshing to see that actually the problems I’ve been experiencing have a more positive side and that emotional intensity can be a gift. The website author points out many aspects of giftedness including high creativity, high intuition, high empathy, as well as a high capacity for spiritual experience and rapture- music, art, beauty can have a “profound emotional impact on you”. Also inter- and intra-personal giftedness: an ability to understand the emotions and motivations of the self and others.

I would highly recommend reading the website. It really gave me a lift to think that even though I find my high intensity challenging, it also has many gifts with it. All the articles on the site were very helpful and the following pages particularly so:

Emotional Intensity

The Gifts of Being Intense

Sensitivity and Childhood Trauma

Emotionally Unstable (Borderline) Personality Disorder

This is the best way I’ve found of receiving a diagnosis: it’s great to have acknowledgment that there is a genuine cause for difficulties experienced, but also to acknowledge anything positive that may come from being so sensitive.

Related Posts

Highly Intuitive People

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

High Sensitivity