Bipolar Denial

I think I might be in denial, ok I know I’m not 100% in denial, but I’m close. I get this when I am well. I don’t believe that I am actually ill. I know I am, if I sit and really think about it, its not normal to end up with 20+ stitches when you feel down, its not normal to spend all the money you have, to hallucinate, engage in risky behaviours, or decorate your entire house in a matter of days when feeling up. My logical brain knows this, but does not want to accept it, at the moment it can’t fully believe it.

This makes it hard to keep taking my meds. I am still taking them. But in the past I have been a total nightmare for stopping them, then becoming unwell again. I KNOW all of this, but honestly can’t believe it. I am starting to try to excuse past behaviour. Surely everyone has weeks where they are full of energy, and go on spending sprees. Surely anyone who has been through what I’ve been through in life, would feel incredibly depressed at times? Maybe they got my diagnosis wrong, my husband keeps assuring me this is not the case, but I still wonder.

Bipolar can be a bit of a difficult one to treat, at least in my experience. The ups are easier to stop then the downs, but when I’m up I won’t seek out help until its gone quite far. When I’m down it takes a lot of energy to even ring up for an appointment, let alone get to one. I’m quite a proud person, and asking for help is particularly difficult, I should be able to cope alone. I’m also adept at faking it, I can’t fake it for long, its exhausting, but whilst seeing the Dr my default reaction is to sit there and smile and say its not actually that bad. Talk about unhelpful. The downs can be trickier to treat, anti-depressants are a no no, they can just push you up to manic. I know of one that is safe to take. Its all a bit of a balancing act, and being in denial, stopping meds, and causing an episode, is not helpful. But as I understand it, a fairly common issue.


The problem for me is the periods of wellness between episodes, also being on meds makes me more normal, I feel ok, so how can I really be ill? It’s a strange place to be, knowing you are sick, but not believing it. Talk about conflicted.


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3 Comments Add yours

  1. datum says:

    I’ve been mood cycling for 14 years and have had a bipolar dx for a decade and I still go through phases of being like “okay, I know I get weird sometimes, but there’s no way I’m actually bipolar, right?” And then I stop taking my meds. It’s awful awful awful. The potential danger of denial is super real– good luck!


  2. It took me a year to accept that this was real for me. Sometimes I still wonder, but my meds are working and I know what happened when I wasn’t on them so I just keep taking them. Why fix something that’s not broken right? I would hate to fall off the wagon again, not worth the risk. We feel normal on our meds because the meds are balancing the chemicals in our brain. They are supposed to make us feel normal. The denial is very common you just have to remind yourself that the meds are what is making you feel better.


    1. Thanks! I was diagnosed 10 years ago, and yet, I still get this. It’s just the weirdness of knowing I’m ill but not fully believing it! I find the memory of how bad things go fades, which just feeds the thinking I’m ok. Glad things are going well for you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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