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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

Bipolar as identity theft

Hey friends.


Something that I struggle with having bipolar is the notion that I am a certain way bc I have bipolar. Like my brain is faulty and doesn’t run properly, but my characteristics (and to an extent my feelings) r me, and who I am and how I was made and who I’ve become. Like it’ll be like on a list of symptoms or so, bipolar people are typically creative, or energetic, or joyous, or charming, or emotional, and when I was diagnosed it was like, but they’re real big part of my personality, that’s who I am, not bc I’m ill or disordered. It was like they were stolen from me. And also, while it’s advantageous if people close to me understand that I have a rogue agent brain that causes me grief sometimes and doesn’t run properly, I don’t ever want people to be like, oh she’s exhibiting this characteristic or behaviour bc she’s bipolar, or look at how I am and be like, that’s her bipolar, bc it’s not, it’s still all, me. With the exception in this perhaps of sadness for no reason and lack of energy or ability to think clearly or much at all. But even then? Idk.


Any advice? Similar experiences? How you got through it? I've only been diagnosed 18 months or so.


thanks in advance Smiley Happy


@eth , @greenpea@Shaz51 , @Gazza75 , @silverspoon 


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Jenn4  Hey Jenn4 interesting topic and love the heading. For me my schizoaffective disorder is a identity thief. One example would be my word salad which has been there on and off since my diagnosis.  I looked it up this morning and the dictorionary term said a symptom of advanced schizophrenia .... imagine how pleased I was to read that. Wonderful ....


My mi is taking over my life. The person I used to be before my mi is fast disappearing and the meds I am taking are constantly playing a catch up game to keep me sane.I dont know what the answer is to be honest. Will be interested to hear others thoughts. Love greenpeaxxx


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Hey @greenpea  ❤️ Totally, I mean that's the other side, hey. Like, questioning yourself, what of my behaviour is me telling the story, and what is my brain being troppo? Totes, I also feel this tension. And meds too, totally! And yeah, also comparing how you used to be before illness and how you are now, I also do this. Idk!

What do you mean by mi?


Hang in there friend, faulty brains are hard work but you've got this, with a little help from your friends Smiley Happy 


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Can we tag in experts (moderators? Ur trained in mental health)? @nashy  @Lauz 


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

I'm super confused about people's titles and what they mean. what is a community manager? I don't feel so senior hahah @nashy , @Lauz 


Edit: I think I (mostly) worked it out 


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Also @greenpea , I reckon don't get overly hung up on the advanced symptom situation - brains are suuuper complicated and so poorly understood, even though we do know a lot and there are so many great doctors and academics who've studied them so hard, I don't think we'll ever understand them and their imperfections super well. So diagnoses and categories of symptoms and advanced symptoms are always just educated guess work, and absolutely everyone is different. Dont panic Smiley Happy 


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Jenn4  Hi Jenn4 mi meaning mental illness. I was talking with my psychiatrist and she said that uncontrolled schizoaffective disorder can cause permanent brain damage which has shown up on tests.  Put the fear of god into me as I need all the brain cells that I have lol.  I try not to panic but when i forget things which I should remember it does make me concerned. peaxSmiley Happy


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

Hi @Jenn4 ,


Thanks for the tag and your post.  Feel like I can relate to it quite a bit.  I have been trying to work it out for a similar time to you.  I'm sceptical about my diagnosis to be honest.  I definitely went through a manic episode and needed help.


For me, I have tried to keep up a steady exercise program and also eat as healthy as I can.  The main problem I have is feeling down about what the meds have done to my body.  Its probably caused more issues for me than my diagnosis.  I still talk to a psychologist who I found very helpful at the beginning, but, not so much any more.  Only my family and a few close friends know about my experience.


I think its very diffucult for people to really undserstand or comprehend some of the diffuculties and challenges it can throw at you.  I struggle to stay motivated, feel my energy levels aren't what they were and often feel faigued, drained and tired.  Work feels harder every day and so it goes. 


No real advice to offer Jen, maybe some suggestioins.


I find talking and learning here quite useful as people do have a deeper level of understanding than most medical professionals.  Book smart isn't really street smart.  Be kind to yourself.  Try not to overthink things.  For me I had to let go of the past and get on with life.  Find new hobbies, passions to stay busy.


This Re: what’s in your tool box ? thread might help you on the hard days.


Take care


Re: Bipolar as identity theft

@Shaz51  I have heard this about uncontrolled psycosis too. applies to psycosis in bipolar too. it is scary! how often do you get it? are you on any meds at the moment? we all forget things we should remember. it is hard and scary though. <3 


@Gazza75 no worries. so glad you can relate! healthy eating and excersice is good hey! i've been swimming a lot recently which i really like. not only is it relaxing and enjoyable and good fitness, but i find (once you get past getting in the cold water in winter (i swim in the river)) it's very low barrier, because if you don't feel like excersising you can just float and tread water and that's good too! and you don't get all hot and sweaty and hitting hard ground and don't have to wash smelly clothes haha. and i have really improved my freestyle, which i could never do the breathing for, which has given my confidence a real boost (took such a hard hit when i got diagnosed and had days where i couldn't get out of bed). and a new hobby as you say Smiley Happy hobbies and passions is good advice. i've also joined a concert band about a year ago and also really improved my playing since being out of practice since school, also giving me confidence. 


sucks about your body and the meds, i am just starting on meds that can wreck ur body at the wrong levels (maybe the same) but i trust my doctor. it's a risk but so is not being on meds, and i'd rather act than not. sorry about your experience though. but! can't change the past, like you say! just work with the present. Smiley Happy 


the forums are great hey! so thankful for them. i'm about to start group bipolar therapy in may, which i'm really looking forward to. maybe you'd benefit from it too? 


" I struggle to stay motivated, feel my energy levels aren't what they were and often feel faigued, drained and tired.  Work feels harder every day and so it goes. " i feel you. motivation can be a total kicker for me! which is the opposite of my actual personality when my brain is working. i get periods very much like this, but i'm not like it right now! the periods end, and we can work at making them not happen or not be as bad. things to do when they happen. 


Your friendly post is helpful. not overthinking things is always good advice. 


thanks for the post recommendation. 


also take care <3 




Re: Bipolar as identity theft


My husband was in anti depressants first for years 

Until the specialist added a anti anxiety meds which has help but he still has ups and downs everyday 

@Gazza75 , @greenpea 

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