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Bipolar Loses Its Romance

pexels-photo-236229 (1)For years, I thought my mental illness was romantic. I felt I saw things clearer than people without mental illness. I felt I was somehow more real, more in touch with reality, more capable of feeling. I thought it made me more interesting.

When, a year or so ago, I tried again to take medication, I was worried it would make me bland, that it would take away the thrills I found within my highs and lows. I liked the waves of emotion, of not knowing when or where my next episode would happen. The intensity of both mania and depression was exciting. Within the past 6 months though, things have gone from entertaining to incredibly painful, and I no longer want to be this way, I no longer look down upon normal people. Now I am jealous of them.

Ready to explode and scream in a manic episode, pure pulsating energy, fixations (my house was so clean!). Thankfully I’m not much of a spender (although I’m sure I would be if I had the means). Oddly, my sex drive while manic is almost non-existent. Physically I do not feel much anything while manic. I used to cut while manic for this reason. Nothing is ever enough while manic, I’m never where I want to be. Take me out of my house, I need to return. Pull me away from the bar, I can’t stop thinking about it. Movement is THE ANSWER.

The agitation that comes with the mania, good lord the agitation. Don’t you DARE try to tell me to calm down, I AM CALM! Don’t touch me, don’t interrupt me, don’t tell me to turn my beloved music down because I can not bare the silence. Everything and everyone is a hindrance. Everything and everyone is attached to some sort of invisible string that is holding them back from moving at the damn proper pace of 349,570 miles an hour. Driving the speed limit literally pains me, every muscle tense and twitching. I feel like I’m foaming at the mouth and a scream is rising in my throat, must keep it down, must find something to make the scream go away, searching searching searching must keep moving.

Depression. The need to move has ceased. Now I feel too much. Touch hurts, both physically and mentally. I have nothing to say. I want my bed and my flat pillows (they must be flat and I must have two). I’m blank. My thoughts are not my own while this low. I need someone to think for me and put words and thoughts into proper sentences. I need this from my boyfriend, and when he can not give them to me I turn away from our relationship in silence.

At times like this, I am simply existing. The intensity of the mania has reversed itself into a black hole. I still am not where I want to be, I want to be somewhere else but I don’t want to put in the gallant effort to actually go there. I stare out my window for hours. I sit and stare until my bladder is screaming and it takes everything I have to walk, not crawl, to the bathroom. Everything hurts.

The detachment I feel during depression would be alarming, if I could acknowledge it. I want sex almost constantly, hoping that it will make me feel, but the only thing it makes me feel is disgusted with myself. I cry for no reason. Often I don’t realize I’m crying until I touch my face and feel the wetness. Anything makes me feel hopeless. Crumbs in my cleavage, lint on my shirt, dropping my book; little things like that are the end, because whats the point? WHAT’S THE DAMN POINT?

These are my symptoms now, like they’ve never been before, never have they lasted this long either. The romance is gone. I can’t stand myself, neither can the man I’ve been in love with for 10 years. Thankfully my son is young enough that he can’t really see this.

I fear this will not go away. I fear, during both mania and depression, the fear is everywhere.

Bipolar Loses Its Romance

Amber Pape

I was diagnosed with bipolar and depression at age 15. I am now 27. During these years, I have been in and out of treatment and am currently waiting to start therapy and medication with a new psychiatrist.

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APA Reference
Pape, A. (2018). Bipolar Loses Its Romance. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 15 Apr 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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