People who have Bipolar Disorder often have a hard time sleeping.
It's not unusual for someone unmedicated with this disorder to be up for two or three days straight because their mind and body simply won't let them sleep.
At the end of my first date with Sara, she moved in with me. Until that night, we'd only spoken on the phone a few times. By the time the ice in my soda had melted, I'd fallen in love.
There are common misconceptions surrounding what to expect when you have a friend or partner with bipolar disorder.
Of course, everyone suffers and deals with bipolar differently, and there are many different types on the spectrum, with Type 1 and 2 being most common.
From a distance, I'd seen how much energy it took Nyla to keep her episodes under control: weekly doctor's visits, blood tests, complicated regimens of medications.
And yet for all their problems, my bipolar buddies had always kept things interesting.
Take my friend Jerome, hired one summer to drive a van full of rich and annoying European teenagers across the country. I didn't hear Sara's story until later, but it didn't have many funny parts.
Somewhere in the Midwest, without telling the kids or his employer or anyone else where he was going, he simply got out at a gas station and walked away. Her condition was rooted in a childhood depression that began when her father died suddenly of stomach cancer. Then came her diagnosis, and years of experimenting with different psychiatric drugs until her doctors found the magic combination.Type 1 bipolar disorder means you have more extreme mood swings with longer periods of mania. Of course, neither type is necessarily ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than another and everyone with the disorder will have experience what they deem to be the ‘worst part’ of the disorder at some point or another.However, while everyone with the disorder knows what to expect, those close to them may not be as familiar with how they might act during a time of mania or depression.While other disorders, such as depression and anxiety, may work in cycles or waves, Bipolar Disorder requires constant, vigilant management.The disorder is typically managed by daily medication and talk therapy.Sara was twenty-seven, and what people used to call a wag: smart, quick-witted, encyclopedic.