Have you ever felt extremely worthless that you think the world could do just fine without you? Have you ever felt so empty that as if the littlest enthusiasm for anything that you like was sucked out of you? Can you remember the single most painful time in your existence that almost made you wish you were never born? Now, if you could just relive that moment, feel every teardrop, endure that same heartache. Right after that I want you to think of the days when you were at your highest. Try to remember the times when you were so flippant and giddy over something that you feel so passionate about. I want you to once again hear your screams when your favorite basketball team won the finals. Remember the times when you were so excited about a single project that might just change your life. Thoughts rapidly racing through your mind as you picture every moment of it. Try your hardest to see yourself going through each of those emotions one by one in almost every single day of your life. It’s not easy, is it? It kinda sucks.
I have been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 disorder with rapid cycling for half a year now. If you took what I wrote above seriously, you already had a good peek into my mind. Some people might call me manic-depressive while others would just describe me as “may konti- konti” or “may sayad” after hearing about my case.
Our country has almost zero knowledge of the dozens of psychiatric disorders that a lot of us Filipinos experience. Very few of us here in the Philippines are diagnosed and are getting proper medication. The rest are just being branded as sumpungin, napaka batugan, walang pangarap, walang hilig matulog ng maaga, hindi mapakali, papansin, masyadong masayahin, kiti-kiti or other traits that seem relatively normal. This is because most psychiatric disorders have symptoms that normal people experience on a lesser level and frequency. See, I am just like you. Only most of the time, depression and mania are no longer a choice for me but a regular company that I have to stick with as they come one after the other. So please don't tell me to try to control my emotions. It's like telling a diabetic to control his blood sugar level.
I have thought long and hard before making this post because I am afraid. I’m afraid that I don’t know that much for me to write in behalf of everyone living with bipolar disorder. I’m afraid that the readers might not take me seriously (save your jokes for the next posts guys). I’m afraid that people just won’t care.
I googled Bipolar Philippines and found very few pages that would help Filipino bipolar patients like me. Living with bipolar disorder is hard enough for anyone, making others understand makes it even harder. This is the only way I know to raise awareness about bipolar disorder in the Philippines. I would soon be making a new blog entirely dedicated to this cause.