Bipolar depression is not just a case of the blues caused by some bad circumstances. Bipolar depression is mind-numbing, spirit-crushing misery that can be severe enough to make you want to end your life so the pain will stop.
I have survived several suicide attempts over the years. In 1998, shortly after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I overdosed on Depakote twice. Both times I almost died. One of those times I asked the ER doctor if I was going to die, and said it was a distinct possibility because I had overdosed on a drug that was very hard on my liver. In 2001, I ran the car in the garage and tried to kill myself that way. I realized that I didn’t really want to die, so I drove myself to the hospital and got help. In 2011, I got hit with the worst bout of bipolar depression I had endured in years, and I again ran the car in the garage and again I found enough of a will to live to get myself to the hospital. While I was in the hospital, I wrote this:
As you can see, I was in a tremendous amount of emotional pain.
In 2014, I again had a serious depressive episode that required hospitalization.
I’ve had several really bad bouts of depression over the years, but I also frequently have to deal with less severe episodes of depression that make it difficult for me to function and enjoy life. Sometimes I will go days without shaving or showering. It can be hard just to get out of bed. On depressed days, I usually do my best to fight through it and find something fun to do that will help lift me out of the depression. I might go to the mall or to one of the antique shops in town. Or I might watch a funny movie. Anything to help me feel better.
I made this video today while I was hiking in the wilderness near Eagle River, Alaska. I hope you enjoy it and I hope that what I have to say brings some understanding to the issue of bipolar depression.