Are you really a bipolar hot mess or are you just happy to see me?


One of the things I educate people about in my role as a certified peer specialist is that we are all so much more than any diagnosis we may have been labeled with years ago. We talk about the importance of person first language to remember who we were before meeting the mental health system. We were brothers, friends, lovers, aunts and uncle long before.

prozac nation

These pictures in this blog entry represent images of what the mental health system morphed into, a means of dispensing powerful medications to people with different diagnoses. Was there truly a lot of scientific basis for any of this? Maybe, maybe not. Mental health is often imprecise, and sometimes it is pure guess work. People may believe that the medication has changed them in certain ways.

I have a friend who sometimes talks very fast when she says she is manic. I listen to her talking that way and I wonder what is this all about. Especially since i talk fairly slowly. I file the experience away and the next time we talk she may talk at half the previous speed, which makes for better conversation. It gives me the space to share my thoughts. Is all of this simply related to her diagnosis? it’s possible to be in a good mood without attributing this to mania.

I saw a WordPress blog entry about borderline personality disorder which it called one of the most over used and misunderstood diagnoses of all time. In movies and other media people with this diagnosis are very annoying. Their clinicians can’t wait to get away from them.

People with mental illness are often given several different diagnoses throughout our lives. This may result in our being prescribed a variety of medications. It could be like changing underwear. If you ask me about my diagnosis, I will explain I don’t have one. I work two different jobs, I have a close relationship and I enjoy may of the things as anyone else. My diagnosis is that I have a full and happy life. You may be a bipolar hot mess, but surely, I’m not.

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