• Hannah Fidelman

Belittling Bi Polar Disorder

My brother liked to live life fast. As a kid, I always thought the way he tornadoed into things was the way things happened in the real world. When he missed family dinners, when he missed holidays, when he stood me up on my tenth birthday and then my eleventh. Things didn’t move in straight lines for him, only circles.

Josh, my big brother, is my hero. Through my prepubescent eyes I watched as he would fly through walls, a face full of color and eyes brimming with excitement. And then those same eyes wouldn’t see him for days, locked in a dark, silent room. He would turn into a shell of the brother I knew. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, I couldn’t understand how he could go from ruling the world to hiding from it.

It took doctors a decade to give him the correct diagnosis of bi polar disorder. Bi polar disorder is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in someone’s everyday life. From their mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to do regular tasks. Some symptoms of BPD are racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, a sense of euphoria, being restless or impulsive etc. Bi polar disorder affects over 2.3 million people today. However, it does not get the recognition or severity it deserves. We have normalized the word and desensitized ourselves to the struggles these people face on a daily basis.

Society needs to realize that using bi polar in a casual setting to describe someone who is having a bad day is detrimental to those actually experiencing bi polar disorder. America, as a community, is failing to represent BPD properly. Whether it be movies/ TV shows underplaying their characters who have bi polar or authority figures and common people not cracking down and making it known that bi polar is not trendy.

It is not fair that my brother and countless others must live with this ordeal with little support and recognition. There needs to be more done to help people with bi polar disorder, we can not throw drugs at them and expect them to be prepared. My brother spent most of his life not understanding why he had sudden bursts of emotions, why he would feel like partying and loving life one minute and then wanting to kill himself the next. That is a heavy burden to bear, how many more kids need to be tortured by this disorder before we take it more seriously?

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