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When Other People Don’t GET Your Illness

lady drI had a doctor’s appointment today. This doctor treats my body, she isn’t one of those that trips around my beautifully bipolar mind trying to figure out what the hell is going on and how the hell to fix it.

She brought up my medications, asking if there were any changes, and I told her that my Effexor XR dosage had been increased. I told her that I planned on talking to my psychiatrist (the guy who does trip around my beautifully bipolar mind) on Wednesday about switching to something else. All I am experiencing is side effects with no real help for my anxiety. I talked to her about the anxiety-ridden situations I had encountered since last month when I saw her. She listened and, much like my therapist, applauded me for the way I handled them. She told me that even people without anxiety disorder would have experienced stress in those situations.

She told me it was a “good thing to feel,” and while I understand her sentiment (I don’t want to be a walking zombie either), I’m not quite sure she gets it.

Panic attacks for me are stretched out minutes in which I am sure something terrible is about to happen, where time has no end. It isn’t always that I will die. Sometimes it is that I will run someone over. Sometimes it is that I will suffocate. Sometimes it is that I will be squished to death. I experience symptoms many people who have panic attacks experience – shaking, sweating, upset stomach, trouble speaking, labored breathing, etc, etc.

And while I want to feel, perhaps I don’t want to feel as deeply as I do, but I think I can stand up here on my little soapbox and speak for many of us who live with bipolar disorder and say that we sometimes live life in the extremes. Sometimes it isn’t just a bad day, but the worst day ever and we literally want to die. And some days aren’t just good, we are fireworks in the sky. What I am trying to say is that I do feel. I feel a lot.

And sometimes I wish I didn’t.

I know there is no magic pill. There is no potion or wishes on shooting stars to make my mind “right,” but there has to be something out there that makes this life a little bit easier, because it shouldn’t have to be this hard.

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When Other People Don’t GET Your Illness

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2014). When Other People Don’t GET Your Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Dec 2014
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