“It’s not my fault the world is in slow motion.”
“You are such a spaz!”
Pick any one of my friends and they’ve all said that to me. Multiple times in my life.
I’ve always had a quick mouth to match my fast mind. Chronic hypo-mania lives in a body built on speed. You walk fast, think fast, move fast and your speech can be one major indication of potentially having a mental illness like Bipolar II.
Often times your rapid speech can be mistaken for ADD or ADHD, and a lot of psychiatrists might throw that diagnosis out there before Bipolar II. As a culture, we tend to over-diagnose children with ADD or ADHD, and it can be harmful when a person may be suffering with Bipolar II ’cause there is a HUGE difference.
For example: Speech. When it comes to speech as an attribute of mania, it can be overwhelming to speak to someone with Bipolar II. You may get cut off as they try to get their ideas out of their mouth as fast as the ideas enter their brain, and it can be frustrating. You may have trouble following their line of reasoning as the conversation may seem to go off topic when really, in their mind, they are telling a story that is moving through the channels of their brain and eventually will circle back to the point.
It takes patience and understanding because rushed speech in a manic high is quite impossible to slow down — unless a person is stuck in a psych ward and meds are pumped through their veins more frequently then the words that can burst out of their mouth.
When I worked in psych wards, I could always use speech as an indicator of mania. Patients whirled in the ward till the pills started popping. The wild speech turned into a lethargic language that I had a hard time understanding.
“What? I can’t understand you.”
I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. It was terrible to witness first hand. Drool and a lazy lip and tongue followed any attempt of speech. It was sad and extremely frustrating. I had no trouble understanding that patient when they were first admitted. Their speech may have been livel,y but at least that meant they were alive and able to communicate with free will.
Speech is fundamental to being human. Communication is key to understanding the world we live in; when you take that away from someone with a mental illness, you take away a piece of their right to be a human being.
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Last reviewed: 21 Aug 2012