Me, Myself, and Mania //True life of an Artist
Me, Myself, and Mania
This film, by far, is the most difficult to create. In my life, I have only told a few people that I have a mental illness. I was always ashamed of my illness. People are judged for just about everything. My skin color, my height, my gender...and now here is something else! Something else, I did not get to chose. Along with the judgment, I didn't want people’s opinion to change about me. I never wanted to pitied or viewed in a negative light. We all want to be loved for our true selves and to be accepted. I felt that if I were to share my secret, then I would be an outcast.
I was born with Manic Depression, or Bipolar, a mood disorder. It's something you are born with and it cannot be cured, only treated. With this illness, you experience extreme emotions. It's a never ending rollercoaster! Mania is a very elevated feeling. Not happiness. It brings feelings that you can conquer the world, take on anything, to the point where it's ridiculous. The need for sleep is very small. I usually sleep about 2-4 hours a night during a manic swing. You also will experience serious irritability and the slightest thing can set you to go off. Then there are the racing thoughts. This is, in my opinion, the worst part of mania. It's as if your mind will never shut up. Your mind races through thoughts and makes focus and concentration very difficult.It can be so intense that I actually experience physical pain in my head and feels like I cannot contain the thoughts and my mind will explode. Rushed speech with connecting thoughts is very common. Decision making is extremely difficult as you cannot calm the mind to make a good choice.
On the depressive side, it’s very different. The feeling of hopelessness and that life will never get better is overwhelming. Absolutely no motivation to do anything. Lack of desire is very strong. Whatever typical brings happiness is no longer effective. All I want to do is sleep. I'll sleep during the day and go to bed at earlier times. I tend to push people away during my depressive lows. I do not leave the house, make social visits and so on. It’s almost impossible to get through the basic daily tasks. In addition, eating habits are garbage. I tend to overeat to cope with my lows. As you might have guessed, this state is accompanied with suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Mania and Depression then cycle. Guess what? I have no control over which state I get to experience. Triggers will set off a cycle and all I can do is hold on tight for the ride. There is no voting here. You do not get to choose whether to be manic or depressive. It affects everything. My ability to work, my relationships with my loved ones, and my physical health. I would not wish this upon anyone. I am not currently in treatment, but I need to be. I’m in the process of returning to therapy and possibly medication. I’ve been in a depressive state for a long time now, several months in fact. It has greatly affected my ability to cope and function. I am grateful that I have my art to help me deal with my emotions. Many manic depressives wind up turning to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.
It is my intent that this video will open your eyes to this disorder. I am now a part of the mental health conversation and I hope to bring light to this mind prison of an illness. If you know someone who is manic depressive, please be there for them. It may be very difficult for them to cope with their illness. Be supportive, get educated and don’t take offense when we drop off the face of the earth. We are crawled up in a fetal position, in the same pj's for three days, wondering if we could give up being a human and trade our life for the cat’s.
Thanks for listening.
See you in a future video!
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