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wundayatta's avatar

Does the twisted logic make any sense to mundanes?

Asked by wundayatta (58591points) February 5th, 2010

The emotional logic of a bipolar person is so convoluted. I’m lucky. I can see what I’m doing. Sometimes that helps, and sometimes I give in and do it the bipolar way. It is so much easier to give in. I’m depressed today and may get worse. I had been fighting it away for two days, but then, last night, something else happened, and today, I couldn’t stop it any more.

I don’t know if we’re worth fighting for. It happens over and over, and we’ll hurt our loved ones over and over, and maybe it would just be better to be done with it, and get dropped, and let us sink down and down. That’s looking more and more attractive today.

Then we only have ourselves to blame, and that’s the way we like it. We know we brought the sadness on ourselves, but that it had to happen sooner or later. This way, we control it. We take charge of our own unraveling.

It’s like seeing the freight train coming, closer and closer, and you don’t just stand there, but you run towards the train so it will be over sooner.

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40 Answers

syz's avatar

Mundanes? I feel like a Harry Potter character. Is that like “vanillas” in the BDSM world?

I can only speak for myself, but having never suffered from a serious mental illness, I have to admit that I have trouble understanding why sufferers behave as they do. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I understand completely that mental illness is a real and serious issue, and I wish only the best for those that struggle with problems from day to day. But in my heart of hearts, I find that my first response is often “Oh, for God’s sake, just suck it up and get over it!”. It shames me to feel that response, because intellectually I know that it’s so much more than a lack of willpower or fortitude. I guess I’m not as nice a person as I would like to think I am.

Please utilize every resource available to you for help, and I hope you feel better soon.

TheJoker's avatar

I have to disagree fundamentally with one part of your statement. “We know we brought the sadness on ourselves…” no-one chooses to become bi-polar, no-one chooses to be depressed or low in mood. We react to the shit around us & that makes us the way we are. If you have a crap life, you become depressed… simple as!

wundayatta's avatar

@TheJoker That may just be me. I always blame myself for letting it happen.

TheJoker's avatar

@wundayatta…. Hah, no, I can promise you you’re not alone there…. just catch me on a bad day :)
& I think I’ll pass on the most useless pearl of wisdom the world has ever heard, that my mum said to me the other day… “why dont you just try to cheer up?”

Just_Justine's avatar

If I had a choice I’d unravel. I wouldn’t give a sh**t. I would just give up. I have to hang in and you know why. At times like today, I am on the same page as you. I just think shit life is tough. It feels like I am walking up a hill with a rock on my back and seven pins in my eyeballs. Everything everyone has said to me seems to make me feel like they are getting at me in some way. You know paranoid. Or maybe I am not paranoid maybe they are. I’ve been at home the entire day waiting for a repair man. I feel like death. I just want to go to bed and sleep. I have a headache, and the people upstairs are walking with what sounds like ten ton clogs and it’s boring into my head. I hate noise when I am like this do you? Anyway, I keep saying to myself today is bad because I didn’t get my 300 hours sleep I seem to need to function. Which is irritating. I think though we are lucky, some people live with physical pain and are dying we can manage how we feel. I think. In a way syz you are right we can snap out of it, in a way. By doing something relaxing, or going to sleep. It helps. I swing in my thoughts though (ha ha bipolar) I get shit mad for having it. Then I just accept it, it depends. I have an illness but I refuse to be my illness. I feel like shit today too. Message me we can talk.

Just_Justine's avatar

@joker my mom used to say that to me, she died a few months ago I would do anything to hear her say that shit logic one more time

wundayatta's avatar

If I had a choice I’d unravel.

Yeah. Makes me feel like I’m hanging by my finger tips from the strut of the airplane. My fingers and arms are burning like hell. I know I can make it to when the plane lands, but just letting go and falling, falling, falling down, staring at the sun, and not knowing where the ground is…. that would be so much easier than hanging on. Yet still I hang on.

I’m not exactly sure why. I mean, there’s the family and all the people depending on me, but it seems like there’s something else—undefinable—that is very tenacious about life. About doing well. About pressuring me to do my best. Or even better. Sometimes I’d love to shoot that sucker!

TheJoker's avatar

@Just_Justine…. It is wierd the things you miss when someones gone. Bet it drove you mad when she used to say it too.

Just_Justine's avatar

@wundayatta loll, I am aloud to laugh coz I am bipolar too! I can just see you – feel you hanging on the tail of the plane, can I say I know? I just know. We hang on because human beings have the survival instinct, that is all. Besides if we did unravel we would ravel back together again. We always do it’s not the end of the world to lose it now and then is it?

Just_Justine's avatar

@TheJoker yeah gotta admit, I am crying about that! I probably needed a good cry. Our mothers are so precious, and they say the daftest things just to try and help. Sometimes the simple things in life are better. Like cheer up. Its just her saying she cares and has noticed.

Judi's avatar

It may be time for a medication adjustment.
Listen here, I had a bipolar husband who stopped fighting. The train hit and believe me, the devastation is still being felt 20 years later.
You never know how your actions will effect people. A mother NEVER recovers from the loss of a child. Friends are impacted in ways you would never believe. Even friends you thought were casual.
Loved ones live with guilt and the ‘If only I would haves” for a life time. Do you know how giving up would effect any children in your life??
Get, up, shake yourself off, get to your doctor and take control of this!! You have a brain disorder called bipolar. Don’t let it have you!!

Just_Justine's avatar

@Judi I’ve just come off meds, I just don’t want a whole stack of chemicals shoved into my brain. I might have made the wrong decision. I might not have. That remains to be seen. I am going to try omega therapy. I hate psychiatrists and I hate medication. I don’t know what to say, I know, and I am sorry bipolar impacted on your life. Or anyones life. I am very emotional right now so should probably stop right here

wundayatta's avatar

@Just_Justine? @Judi? I don’t know who I’m talking to. First, I don’t plan to leave my children with that kind of baggage. I’m just venting. It helps to get dramatically suicidal, I find. I don’t mean it really. I just use it to rage about the world, right now. The images that come up stun me. I can just feel it, floating down out of the sky, back first. I would be so relaxed. It would be perfect.

Meds suck. I hate my shaking fingers. I hate staring at those pills by my dinner plate every night. I dream of getting off and handling this on my own. And the shrinks aren’t magicians, either. They don’t know what will work. If meds were needles, bipolar people would be walking pin cushions.

Control is nice, but there are times when you have to give because you’ll make yourself worse if you believe you can control it. You fail, blame yourself for failing, and next thing you know you’re locked in some ward in a hospital, knitting doilies.

Judi's avatar

@Just_Justine ; If you can manage your illness without meds there is no problem. I read the question as @wundayatta contemplating suicide here. Maybe I misread it. The issue cuts close to the heart for me too. I raised three wounded children when their father shot himself in the head.
I agree meds can suck, but their better than dead.

Just_Justine's avatar

@wundayatta Omg! knitting dollies you so right. How I wish I was there. I would give anything to be there right now knitting dollies. You know wundayatta you realize I have been waiting nine hours for this aircon guy. I will murder him when he arrives, and I will blame my bipolar. Was it my bipolar ? or was it? He says he is coming at 8pm tonight. I am too mad to even think about this rationally. It’s humid and hot. Not helping. I need an unravelled holiday in the psych ward how about you? but sadly life goes on and on and on

Silhouette's avatar

Just so you know, everyone feels like that every now and then. It’s not unique to bipolar. The urge to end the suspense and let go when hanging on for dear life to the edge of a cliff is pretty normal.

Just_Justine's avatar

@judi I am so sorry what a terrible thing to happen. Here is a warm hug to you. @Silhouette yes it is normal but we feel physically ill every single day. We fight it every day, well those that are not on well controlled meds so I am told

Silhouette's avatar

@Just_Justine I wasn’t trying to minimize your pain, I am fully versed on the bi polar. I just thought it might help you to know that particular feeling is nothing you should medicate.

Just_Justine's avatar

@judi very wise words, and that is why I am choosing not to stay on meds. Sorry I kind of took over wundayatta;s question :)

wundayatta's avatar

@Silhouette I don’t remember feeling like I wanted to let go before I got sick. I felt like I could handle things well enough. In fact, I had confidence that I was good at handling things. I was never like this. I feel tired in my muscles and my bones. I feel like maybe it isn’t worth it. I never felt that before. Never. In fact, I was one of those people who told depressed people to “just get better” before I was given the dubious pleasure of bipolarity.

It’s weird, because I remember my old confidence, and I feel like that person is inside me. But he’s locked in this glass prison cell. I can see him yelling and kicking, but I can’t hear him, and I don’t see the doorway into that cell. Oh God. I can see him so clearly—even though the glass is a little old and yellowed as if burnt by some invisible sun.

I can remember a few days ago, I was thinking people cared about me and were interested in what I had to say. Now, I am certain it was all an illusion.

@Just_Justine You know, I’ve never been hospitalized. I’ve heard a lot about it from my group. I don’t think I would find it relaxing. There’s only one thing I find relaxing and freeing, and I’m not going to have that. I’m just going to clench up my stomach and my back until I die.

Just_Justine's avatar

@wundayatta well only once, in March when it all came to a crescendo. I thought I was depressed so did my doc. Only to find I had this tropical disease. At first I found it a great idea as now I had an answer a real “thingy” with a name. Of course I didn’t believe him. I guess now I do. I also feel like you in that glass cage thing. I was so fab before all this. Oh well. Its dark here now and I always prefer night, so I am calming down.

Just_Justine's avatar

ps does clenching your stomach and back kill one?

wundayatta's avatar

@Just_Justine no, it’s just a lot of discomfort that lasts until you die—although you can die of stress. It certainly takes years off your life.

zephyr826's avatar

Speaking as a “mundane”, the logic does make sense, even though the thoughts are not mine. I can’t imagine living with the kind of pain that you are in. It must seem easy to let yourself fall, to throw yourself into the abyss that opens up before you. However, from what I understand meager though my knowledge may be about bi-polar disorder, this will pass. Hold on until the feeling eases. To quote Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night./ Rage Rage against the dying of the light.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Mundanes? I use ‘randoms’ and ‘normals’
Sometimes with people that have bipolar there is no logic but I try to be understanding – when I was in college, I was friends with the people involved in running the Icarus Project at NYU
they taught me quite a lot

jackm's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t really understand what you mean by let go, my definition must be different. I think I may be the opposite of you. Sometimes I feel like I am holding on to things for no reason. I have to constantly force my self to let go, to realize that I have no control over things.

People constantly stress about things, as do I, and the only thing that makes me stop is to realize that something is going to happen. Something always happens. I force my self to stop worrying about what I am going to do to make something happen, because whether I do something or not, something happens. If I am worried about school, I stop and think it doesn’t matter. If I am worried about friends, I stop and think it doesn’t matter. If I am worried about paying for school, I stop and think it doesn’t matter. All of those things will have an end, and my planning has nothing to do with it.

Am I using a different definition than you? What do you think?

Just_Justine's avatar

@zephyr826 aww I loved that, I’m going to keep that close to my heart thanks

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Judi‘s comments are worth accepting.

None of the ups and downs are your fault and I am sure your loved ones would much rather have you around, doing the best you can do for yourself. Never give it to the disease! Never give up on yourself. Bipolar disorder is rough, I’ve seen plenty of it in my family and in people I’ve seen professionally, working with a psychiatrist.

Many of us here will show respect and support you and all others with mental disorders. You are valuable because you are. That is true without any conditions attached.

Please do not ever give up on you!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@wundayatta I’m not biploar (just depressive), but I have some understanding of what you mean. It’s like a house of cards, juggling or the “straws on the camels back”. I can handle just so much, even on heavy meds. Too many stressors and the whole thing collapses to zero. Not just back to the point where you can handle it. Zero. This is a pattern that may be common to both bipolar and Aspergers Syndrome (which I have).

When I’m dealing with self-imposed stressors, I’m pretty good at measuring how much I can handle. If the stressors are externally imposed, all bets are off. Even if some of the combination of stressors are self imposed, I cannot remove them quickly enough to avoid the collapse. A house of cards, no matter how conservatively constructed, can only take a certain amount of external load before failure.

Does this resonate at your frequency?

Just_Justine's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land so true so true….. brilliant

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Just_Justine Thank you ma’am. I was groping in the dark, not knowing the similarities.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am bipolar, and I understand your emotional upheaval fully. I recognize that convoluted logic very well, because I have it rolling around in my own head at times.

I am also very lucky, because I my meds work. I take them religiously, for my life depends on it. I was off meds once, and it was not by my choice. The result was horrific visual and audio hallucinations. I was also actively suicidal. I have been deep inside that black pit where there is no light.

I am alive today, because I found the strength to pick up that phone that seems to weigh 500 pounds and call for help. I was hospitalized to get stabilized and got hooked into the mental health system where I live.

My life today is utterly different. I see a therapist every other week and tell her everything. I see a psychiatrist once a month, and I’m honest with him, too. I believe it is important to keep them informed of my state so that they can make the right decisions for my care.

I exercise by walking and find that it helps my mood tremendously. I practice self-care to the best of my ability. I can always judge my mental state by whether or not I’m brushing my teeth: when I’m getting depressed, brushing is the first thing to go. I try to keep my apartment clean. It’s not spotless, but I keep the stuff picked up off the floor.

I’m sorry that some people choose to go off their medication. I’ve experienced that, and it never works. For those who choose that, ask yourself a simple question, “If you were diabetic, would you go off insulin?”

I’m sorry that we who suffer from mental illness tend to blame ourselves as was pointed out in the explanation above. As was stated in one of the answers, we didn’t ask to get sick. I don’t know why we blame ourselves. Maybe it has to do with the fact that mental illness is not readily visible to the eye. There’s nothing physically indicative of it, and it therefore seems like it’s something that should be controllable.

At least here in the States, I believe part of why mental illness is misunderstood is cultural. For better or worse, we expect people to “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get on with life” when bad things happen. The majority don’t understand that there are times when the brain of a sufferer won’t allow that.

If I may make a suggestion, be kind to yourself. One thing I try is to make a joke of the crazy things my brain tellls me about myself. I let the thought happen, like “you’re worthless,” and then I purposefully laugh out loud and respond with “there goes my brain again. Remember it’s for entertainment purposes only.”

Also, try to live one day at a time. Do something good for yourself today. Just one thing. A simple thing. Even if it’s just brushing your teeth.

Best of luck to you.


ninjacolin's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence said: “None of the ups and downs are your fault.”

This is true from my perspective too. I believe you will always do according to what you’re aware of as an option. The only thing that can stop you from one train pardon the pun of thought is an intervening thought.

@wundayatta, I want to know if your “down” times are rationally or irrationally induced.

Do you know what I mean by those terms? A headache, for example, is what i would call irrationally induced pain. Guilt tripping yourself is rationally induced pain. One is caused by thoughts and thought processes while the other is more of a direct physical/chemical problem alone.

In your experience, are your down times caused or perpetuated by bad thoughts?

wundayatta's avatar

@ninjacolin Lately the changes are situational. It’s just that my reactions to the situations are much stronger. This particular situation is one that throws even mundane people for a significant loop. It’s grieving for me. Right now I’m in the anger phase.

@hawaii_jake Also, try to live one day at a time Check out my name: Wundayatta. I chose that name for exactly the reason you describe. I want to live my life wundayatta time. My old name? Daloon. The lunatic. I’m not that person any more. But this is the first major setback I’ve had since I changed. And yet, I think I’m still responding more as wundayatta than daloon.

@stranger_in_a_strange_land My crystal is definitely vibrating. ;)

@zephyr826 Letting go? For me that is just stopping trying. I can’t fight it any more.

ninjacolin's avatar

I like wundayatta.

“The” logic always makes sense, @wundayatta. It’s a very specific fallacy actually. It’s called Rationalizing. Study this idea. Understand it a little better than you currently do.

Twisted logic is still logical. It’s just not the best logic.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@wundayatta What bipolars call “mundanes”, we aspies refer to as “NTs” (neurotypicals). Often our convoluted (by NT standards) logic will arrive at the same solution, but using different navigational waypoints. Sometimes this process will arrive at a better conclusion, but it is hard to explain to NTs how the conclusion was reached. I understand that Einstein and Tesla had this problem.
An NT will go from A to D by way of B and C. Our minds might bypass B, touch on C and then explore the possiblities of N. Q, S, W and maybe some Greek and Sanskrit along the way, before coming to D as a provisional conclusion along with many alternatives should D fail. This, IMHO, is what NTs refer to as our “twisted logic”.

wundayatta's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Thank you for the explanation. I didn’t know what to say, so I chose a word that, for me, comes from the science fiction world. It was probably an unfortunate choice, and neuro-typical sounds a teensy bit less insulting. Unless you actually like being normal. I can’t imagine that, but then, I wouldn’t know.

The thing about that word choice is that my word memory is getting progressively worse, the longer I’m on Lithium. There’s always a debate about whether it’s age or the med, but I’m very sure it’s the Lithium. And while it might be giving me life in one way, it is taking it away in the other. In any case, it’s a piss poor excuse for a med, since it only reduces mania. It doesn’t help much with depression. Seems like my other meds aren’t doing their job either, so basically my energy and memory get to die so I don’t get happy, and my whole system dies anyway. This morning was a very bad morning. Fortunately, I’m in a different place now.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@wundayatta I feel the same way about my meds (Paxil and Valium). They don’t seem to do much, but when I tried to come off the Valium all hell broke loose. Anxiety morphs into paranoia, I don’t trust my social judgement. I don’t know if I’m overreacting (or underreacting). I’m afraid to assert my legitimate rights, not wanting to be thought a bully. In the process, I’m probably letting certain people use me like a doormat.

wundayatta's avatar

What’s funny is that I give people who are like us much more latitude. I feel like I know what they’re going through, so when they lash out at me, it doesn’t bother me the way it would from someone else. Oddly though, they don’t lash out. Maybe it’s about this implicit awareness that we understand, so there’s no need to act it out. I don’t overreact or under-react because everyone knows my reactions are awry. At my last meeting I found myself nearly crying from irritation at what someone said (NT, sister of the person in trouble).

I’m never able to achieve that level of comfort with other people. It’s as if they are working by some set of rules that weren’t published. I know them, but I don’t know them. This is especially true with women. I can never find the right balance—too strong usually. Too weak as well. Although I must understand enough because I have a wife, and I give good advice about relationships. I wish I could take my own advice.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

If I hadn’t been married to an angel, I’d have had no clue at all about relationships. Now that she’s gone I don’t care whether people understand me F2F or not. Just no motivation.

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