Is there such thing as thinking about your mental illness too much?
In the throes of depression I have had multiple people, diagnosed and not, tell me that maybe I think excessively about having bipolar.
Maybe it’s affecting me.
I meet that with mixed emotions.
One part of me asks, how can you think that, especially when you’re bipolar yourself?
You take medicine every day, don’t you?
I happen to take 10 pills a day. I don’t think I could ever forget the reason why I was swallowing them.
Plus, my moods still rule me, even after being diagnosed for almost six years. When I’m depressed, I know it’s my bipolar talking.
When I’m angry, there it is.
This could happen my whole life.
It’s hard to feel normal when you are so unbalanced.
So I take some offense.
But another part of me understands what these people are saying.
When you spend a lot of your time thinking about how much of a plight you are in, you tend to get bogged down in it.
As the song “The Good That Won’t Come Out” by Rilo Kiley says, “you say I choose sadness, that it never once has chosen me.”
Maybe they’re right.
I think of the movie Field of Dreams, when the voice in the cornfield tells Ray Kinsella “If you build it, they will come.”
But this isn’t baseball.
If we think too much about bipolar, is it going to keep us from reaching a plateau of recovery?
Are we depressing ourselves by engaging in our illness too much?
I want to say that we are doing much more than hurting ourselves by being active with the bipolar community and by being cognizant of our illness.
We are advocating, we are finding people we finally identify with, we are getting all of the negative out of our head.
It can be therapeutic to write, speak, and engage in other healthy self-expression in order to cope with mental illness.
And this may include thinking about having bipolar disorder.
All in all, I think that there needs to be a healthy balance for people in thinking about and identifying with a chronic illness and having other interests and avenues such as healthy relationships, hobbies, and studies.
I think we all know there are people out there that allow their illness to envelop them.
The problem is, they aren’t being active about their recovery in expressing themselves.
Instead, they are in a hole and they want to pull people down with them.
I will always be a part of the bipolar, mental illness, and chronic illness community, and no one’s opinion is going to keep me from doing what I love best, helping others learn about bipolar disorder.
However, I think that if someone is indicating to me that I’m dwelling on my illness, or if I see in myself that maybe I am thinking about my depression too much, that it’s time to just go be me, meditate, swim, do something calming and relaxing.
Everything bipolar is involved with balance. Keep balance with your advocacy, expression, and non-mental illness adventures, and you should be fine.
What do you think about what people have said? Do you think that if you think about mental illness too much, that it is a form of self-sabotage?
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Last reviewed: 4 Apr 2013