Like many beautiful things, being beautifully bipolar comes with a cost. Today I am going to go over some of the physical things that we may experience, or at least – what I have experienced – living with this invisible illness. I am going to talk about the way bipolar disorder demands attention.
No matter what you do, I feel strongly that your weight will be affected. On one of the first medications I was put on – I gained twenty pounds in less than six weeks. Surprise! It can, of course, go the other way and make you shed some pounds. But for some people that can also be a problem. There a couple reasons this happens. Our glucose level may get messed with or it can simply allow our appetite to get out of control. If you have tried to lose weight you know hard it is and I do too.
Some medications can cause acne. I know. My face is covered, in part, by blemishes. I am thirty eight. This kind of stuff should be way in my past. I see a dermatologist and it is getting slightly better but the marks it leaves behind are embarrassing. Crap the whole thing is embarrassing. I am a grown woman! Some medications cause rashes, like Lamictal can do.
I am currently taking a medication that makes my mouth produce extra saliva. At night, I drool, a lot. I can’t help this at all.
Since I began taking psychiatric medications I have experienced tremors. Depends on the medication and dose, but there is always a shake in my hands. Sometimes I want to paint my nails and I can’t. My mom will do it for me sometimes and I appreciate it. Ultra fine motor skills are a thing of the past.
Our sleeping patterns are not that of a “normal” person. I sleep about eleven hours. I have also been able to stay up all night with just couple hours of sleep. This just depends on what type of episode you may be in. For me, depression leads me to sleep a lot and mania requires little shut eye to function.
Another side effect people do not like to talk about it is constipation. This leads to bloating and discomfort to boot. I do not feel beautiful when I am dealing with this.
All these things are, really, in addition to our mood disorder. We still have to deal with the mental illness. We have to deal with the up and down cycle of episodes. I never know who I am going to be when I wake up in the morning and how I will feel by nightfall. I know a lot of us live this way. It is hard, but being beautiful comes with a price, I guess.