There is a discussion in one of the blogs I read about how people with depression tend to think it would be better to have bipolar disorder instead. “At least you have the highs and not just the lows”, they say. And the author of the post, who suffers from a pretty severe manic depression, reasonably goes against this view, and gives an insight of how bad it could get, and how it’s not to be taken lightly. And yes, I agree with this. After all, you can’t decide who has it worse in life, there’s no objective way to look at it, there are only opinions and options to explore. The following is my reply to the post (with a few adjustments in shape, not in content) :
I recognize that many times I’ve been jealous of people with manic depression. When I’ve been so low an anxious I feel I want to put my head into a hole with rotating knives, all I want is to make this feeling dissappear. It’s all what matters. You have experienced depression as part of your illness, so I probably don’t have you tell you how it feels. Although depression has a higher state of awareness than hypomania or mania, the thoughts that cross one’s head when depressed are for the most part irrational. Of course people with unipolar depression have no right to say they have it worse. I don’t think there’s one thing really worse than the other when it comes to how it impacts your life. Only you know that.
But it’s also worth to consider that, when drowning into depression, feeling like crap all day, all the time, and all in your mind is that nothing will ever get better, the ideal of just going manic and not think, just run accross the streets naked with no worries, extra confidence, energy, lack of memory, lack of self control, and all the things you have mentioned in your blog so far look VERY appealing in that moment. It’s actually similar to a suicide attempt. It’s not only about wanting to die, it’s also -and for the most part- about escaping. To go manic sounds like a great way to escape; their head, their lives, their everything. When thinking and feeling hurts, all you want to do is to stop it.
They are not thinking about the consequences, it’s just a potential way out. Probably if these depressed people actually experienced the manic episodes they wish for, even the euphoric ones, many of them would regret -if they manage to come back. The real thing sucks if you analyze it in a more rational state of mind and with all the facts. It can get really bad, not to mention if they are unlucky enough to get mixed episodes like you. Then they’d probably beg to be “just depressed” again.
Maybe when depressed people see their mood curve just lying there, so low, so dead, so impossible to reanimate, they would give anything to use a giant poking device to bring it back into life, even if that means going to the other side. It’s just a wish, and I know I don’t mean it when I say that I wish I had manic depression. Gosh, I don’t.
But, when remembering one of those very rare days when I wake up, not only not depressed, but like someone had stuck a dozen batteries in my guts, and they were all running and constantly releasing endorphins to make my brain happy, you can’t but cling to this state of mind. People like you and want to hang out with you, your language flows and you feel the prettiest and coolest thing ever. It’s understandable that one can wishfully think that if everyday was like this, and better, you just couldn’t possibly ask for more. You can never be TOO happy, can you?
Wait, you can. The good thing is that, wishes don’t turn into reality and you can’t get manic by trying too hard. You can pretend to become manic if you wish. I don’t think you will be too interested, or have the energy to do this though.
Oh, just don’t be such a retard telling someone with manic depression that you think they have it better. Save that for your little fantasies.