For those of you who don’t know or fully understand how OCD works I will explain. OCD manifests itself in thoughts first and it’s these thoughts that cause the compulsions. For example, the thought or rather concern that the door is unlocked and someone may break in might cross your mind. Most people would be able to dismiss this thought with confidence, knowing that the door is locked, but for people with OCD this is much harder to do. Their brain latches on to this thought and replays it over and over creating anxiety, so they go and check the door just to be sure that it is indeed locked. It is so, they go back to whatever it is they were doing, but the thought comes back, like a boomerang it circles around again, almost like a vulture. They again become anxious to the point where they need to check the door again, and the cycle continues. This may seem like a small problem, however we must remember that at some point this person will need to leave their house, and the thoughts don’t just go away at this point, they may even become stronger, leaving the person to either deal with the extreme anxiety, making it difficult to leave their house, or in extreme cases impossible. And what’s more is that people with OCD typically struggle with a wide array of these, what are called, intrusive thoughts. These thoughts are all compounded and all take up their own individual time. They also take up space in your mind as well. The intrusive thoughts jumble concentration and play tricks on you and even target your worst fears. Lastly, it is important to remember that OCD is only diagnosed when it interferes with daily functioning, for example when you’re regularly late for school or when your grades are slipping because you don’t have time for homework or even worse your fired from your job due to OCD’s interference.
When you’re bipolar and you have OCD you tend to overthink things. And then I say things I mean everything. Every action, every word, every facial expression anyone around you makes is over analyzed and broken down. It’s twisted and contorted until what they meant and the meaning behind it is gone and it represents only what the illness tells you it means. So, an ignored text message sent to a friend in your mind means that: they hate you, they never want to speak to you again, or that you’re annoying them. In reality an ignored text probably just means that they’re busy or they merely just forgot to respond. The bipolar mind, the OCD mind, twists each action, word, and facial expression by putting them on repeat in your brain until your brain comes up with the worst case scenario and tells you that that’s the only scenario that makes logical sense.
When you’re manic music is more electric, food tastes better, people are more interesting, and you feel everything more! This is how many people would describe being in love, but in reality this doesn’t happen when you’re in love, but it does when you’re manic. As I lay awake at night unable to sleep and put my brain to rest I notice these things. The music I’m listening to is more infectious and it’s as if I am living and breathing with the beat of the music. The more I think about it, everything is just that much more everything when you’re manic! Every emotion is punctuated! Everything you come in contact with people, music, food, TV shows, everything is better when you’re manic. This is why it feels so good! It’s as if you’re living in an extra saturated world funny becomes hilarious and good becomes great! Depression is the polar opposite of mania. Depression is like living in a world where the volume has been turned down or even muted. It’s like living in a black and white movie. All the joy, all the happiness is sucked out of you and what are you left with except fear, self-doubt, pain and anguish, anger, self loathing, and hopelessness. When you’re depressed you can be in a room filled with the people closest you and feel completely and utterly alone. That’s what depression is. It’s lonely. Depression is one of those emotions or maybe rather states of mind that you can’t share with anyone unlike joy which is infectious. Depression is like you’re own personal hell; each torture device shaped and conjured up to target your specific weaknesses.