It is easy to think of yourself as a failure when you are extremely depressed. You get into a slump where you think you are nothing, but your illness. You live secluded from the rest of the world and dig yourself deeper into a hole where you feel worthless and unworthy of happiness. Because of these dark feelings, you are going to feel like a failure. You will feel like you have let your family and friends down and in reality you have let yourself down.
When you are manic, it is sometimes the opposite: You feel like you are wonderful and can do no wrong. You are positive and think of yourself as successful even if in reality you are not. What are considered delusions of grandeur can make you feel like you are special and nothing can knock you down.
However, when it comes to my manic episodes, I fear them. The repercussions are horrific and I almost would rather stay depressed rather than get manic and lose friends, spend money I don’t have, do crazy things I later regret, and basically end up in a spiral where even though things look wonderful, in reality they are only temporary.
When I get manic, I feel like a failure. The medicines very rarely work lately. Therefore, I am left with the hopeless feeling that things are going to spiral out of control quickly and there is nothing I can do. Before getting manic there are things I should be doing to take care of myself and because I don’t because I am so depressed, when I get manic those things are not set in place. For example, I should be exercising, eating right, taking time to relax, setting time each day to do something alone and enjoyable. It is easy to not do those things while in the funk of depression. However, if they were already in my routine, it would be easier to keep them going when I enter a manic episode. Chances are too that if I was doing them all along, they might even prevent me from getting manic in the first place.
Yes- I can feel like a failure when I am depressed or manic. However, all in all, I think people who battle bipolar disorder should not be viewed as failures. We are up against a lot and it is not an easy battle to endure day after day. So, if you are thinking that you are a failure, you are far from it. You are strong and can fight these battles. You can do it. Think positive! Stay true to yourself and know that even when you go through these cycles, you are a person just like anyone else. You make mistakes and that is okay. Learn to accept yourself with all your faults. Take it one step at a time and learn from each episode. Learn something that will help you through the next manic or depressed phase.
In answer to the question, “I have bipolar disorder, am I a failure?” I would have to say…
You are NOT a failure. You might feel like you are a failure sometimes, but you are a strong person who has endured a lot and will continue to fight an awful disease and that makes you a winner in my book.