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Shippy's avatar

Do you feel the need to explain yourself?

Asked by Shippy (9870points) April 3rd, 2012

Because I am not “normal” meaning I either function very well at times, then at other times I literally cannot function, I am finding more and more I am having to explain myself. Its beginning to become tiring and I am getting this feeling again, like last year, that I want to hermitlike myself, and give life a miss. It’s just too much dammed hard work and too much explaining. (I am depressed and have bipolar).

An example would be where were you for two days? Well I was so down I couldn’t get out of bed, but really? Do I need to say this to people? I really am trying to get out there and be with people and no I don’t have funds for a psychiatrist at the moment.

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17 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I would think you only need to explain this to people you have let down or who are close to you emotionally. If people were expecting you to do something for them/with them and you couldn’t because of your depression then no, don’t explain. Similarly, do let those who love and care for you know how you are feeling.

I hope you can get some help soon. It sounds like you really do need to speak to a professional and hopefully get some treatment.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

As adults, we don’t have to explain every move we make.

People sometimes think they’re entitled to ask us personal questions and we only have to answer if it’s any of their business.

Problems come when people feel that have to justify everything they do. Unless you are specifically responsible to do that for someone, you decide how much anyone needs to know about you.

Cruiser's avatar

I would challenge you to define and justify your definition of “normal”. If you live your life as you see fit, you are normal. If you see and feel life as you see it as defined by your expectations and understanding of what life should be for you then you are normal. If you see things in life that challenge these beliefs of yours then IMO you are normal. If you see other people in life as different than you….guess what they are and you are still normal.

If you like to color outside of the lines of life and do things differently than who you perceive as normal…then you are not normal and IMO that is a good place to be. Normal to me is a beyond boring place to be. Again what is normal and who is this governing authority that defined what is normal??

Live your life as you see fit and no explanation needed.

JLeslie's avatar

Some of it depends on how old you are. If you are adult, able to function enough to support and take care of yourself, then I think you don’t have to explain yourself all the time to everyone who asks. Most likely the people who are asking questions care about you, and are worried about you, but from your perspective the questions probably feel intrusive, annoying, and not empathetic to your current state. Possibly feel judgemental just in the asking.

If you are married, I think you must communicate with your spouse.

If you are under 18, then yes, you have to explain yourself, you don’t have the life experience to really understand what is going on with you, and how the outside world functions.

lonelydragon's avatar

I would think you only need to explain if you didn’t keep a prior commitment to someone because of it. Even then, your relationship with the person determines how much you reveal. If it’s a trusted friend or family member, you can tell them how you’re feeling. Otherwise, just say you weren’t able to participate in the social outing due to personal reasons. Most people won’t ask you to elaborate.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m bipolar, too, and I spent most of my life since I became bipolar not explaining things in the real world while talking about it ad nauseum in the virtual world. I highly recommend “explaining,” because I find that I am explaining to myself as well as to others. It helps me figure out what is me and what is the disorder.

As to relationships with other people—well, I guess you have to explain what you need to explain in order for them to understand. Most people have no clue. They think all kinds of shit about us—mostly that if we really wanted to, we could “snap” out of it. We’re just being lazy and indulging ourselves.

So, when necessary, I find myself explaining that bipolar is a problem with brain chemistry. It’s not a character problem. Of course, I much prefer the character problem explanation when I am sick, because that allows me to feel worse about myself. Even though I can’t help it, I feel like I should be able to help it. Therefore there is something wrong with my character, and I must be even more worthless than I thought.

It’s time to start thinking about killing myself. Or if not that, at least leaving home and living as a homeless person until I die. That way, I suffer more before I die.

I have a group I go to that is full of bipolar people. We can talk about this shit there and everyone understands. That really helps take the edge off being forced to talk to people who don’t understand and need constant explanations.

It’s even better to get better and not need to explain your behavior. But that can take a long time.

The other thing about being around other crazy people is that you can take pride in your behavior. We’re different. So the fuck, what? You know what I mean? Whose business is it? All people are different. If we happened to be depressed more, so what? It’s the way we fucking are and it’s none of your business to judge me. It makes us smarter and more creative. It makes us more interesting. We make big contributions, so get off your fucking high horse and show some empathy instead of the cavernous insides of your hairy nostrils!

Now piss off. I’m going to have a beer with people who are truly crazy!

God, how I wish I could say that some time!

Keep_on_running's avatar

I tihnk @JLeslie picks up a good point, as a child you’re much more watched over, but as you grow up and enter adulthood, you realise you don’t need to explain yourself to everyone, most people aren’t your parents or people of authority.

You have the right to respond with as much or little personal information as you want when people ask you a question. As long as it’s respectful and appropriate, it’s up to you.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta I “so” hear you and so identify.

Shippy's avatar

@Cruiser Yes of course, and I know you used that rhetorically, but we are all expected to behave in functional routine kinds of ways and this is where I fall over. In routine like functional minds.

redhen4's avatar

If I have someone coming to the house, I feel the need to explain WHY they cannot COME INSIDE THE HOUSE. Because the house is dirty. I blame it on the boys (dogs) but it is either: I HATE HOUSEWORK, or I’m depressed or just lazy.

I too, am bipolar, and I struggle with knowing if I’m just that lazy (I’ve been told this most of my life and it is ingrained in my thinking), or the depression or the bipolar. I just know there are times when I actually do think/want to get up out of the chair and do something, and feel immobilized. And there are times I just DO things.

But I don’t feel I can explain that to people, especially if I can’t understand it myself and I feel like I’m just making lame excuses.l So I just don’t let them inside if at all possible.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’ve never felt a particular need to explain myself but I do have a strong tendency to try and explain others.

Keep_on_running's avatar

* Ba dum tsk *

Berserker's avatar

My behavior does sometimes make people raise their eyebrows, sometimes I get questioned. Most people do get the ’‘leave me alone’’ vibe I equip myself with. But even without that, I’ve never really felt the need to explain myself. I don’t hurt people or tread on them, so I don’t feel I owe a damn thing to anyone. I don’t think I have any big problem, but I do like being alone, maybe a little too much, and some people seem to get put off or insulted by this, at least to as far as I can guess. But anyways I’ve always been this way and I can’t change it. Sometimes it does bother me, and some of it I can’t really help, because I’m pretty shy. But overall I’ve lived with it and continue to do so, and I’m not about to explain to people why I’m the way I am, if they think it’s weird or are bothered.

wait shit, I just explained something, well damnit

Only138's avatar

No Inner need to explain myself either. I am content spending time with family, friends, or totally by myself. Happiness on a weekend day can consist of being totally submerged in a movie, Drunk off my ass with my pals, visiting with my family, or totally engrossed in a video game for hours. I enjoy having company, but also love my solitude.

Rock2's avatar

I believe that there is some psychiartric free help avaliable.

Jeruba's avatar

“Where were you for two days?”

Depending on who asks and how flippant or respectful you want to be:
—“Why, did you miss me?”
—“Nice of you to be concerned. I’m fine.”
—“Taking a little breather.”
—“Needed some down time.”
—“Had a touch of something.”
—“Two days? No kidding.”

likipie's avatar

If it’s difficult to continue explaining yourself, just try changing the subject. Example:

My friend: “Eat your pizza, you need food.”
Me: “I’m not hungry. Hey, you wanna walk down to the beach with me later?”

Voila! Subject changed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s worth a try.

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