As promised, this is week two of mental health Monday (they will be every two weeks, especially as I appear to be cracking through a book every week for the reading challenge). Here I go into a little more depth about cyclothymia in general (not too much as I’m no expert only an informed sufferer) and talk more about my experiences with this mood disorder, and a little bit of history around my diagnosis etc. FYI there’s a lot of misunderstanding about dysphoria – some refer to it as a manic episode with overtones of depression, others refer to it as a high-anxiety depressive episode, as well as a myriad other descriptions of what it might be. When I refer to it, and this is in accordance with my diagnosis description, I speak of a persisting mood of excessive aggravation arising from nothing and impossible to shake, one that easily becomes or provokes a downward spiral into depression (which I did not touch on here as I will in the vlog concentrating on depression). That is only my personal experience of dysphoria. Others may have different ones. I do not presume or pretend to be the last word on dysphoria.
I do touch on some very personal stuff, not with regards to life events but definitely relating to how this disorder has impacted my life and how it feels. I wanted to be very clear on what having this is actually like, as from the outside a lot of these disorders can be invisible. And in their visible manifestations can make people determined not to see them. Which is just as bad, really. Don’t call my disease nonexistent when you can’t see it and then ignore it out of embarrassment when you can. Basically: don’t be a dick.
I’m interested in using honesty to smash prejudices and truth to override assumptions. I know it’ll only be effective where there’s room for it to be, but the people in this world who believe what they want in the face of overwhelming evidence are frankly ignorant beyond saving and I have no interest in them. Mainly I hope these vlogs find people who need to see them and to realise that there is nothing wrong with being mentally ill, and that they are not alone, and there are ways to improve and recover even if you have been chronically ill with MI.
In other, more sentimental language: there’s always hope.