I AM NOT MANIC!!!
Sound familiar? Truth of it: The very part of the brain affected by illness, be it Bipolar or Schizophrenia, is the frontal lobe. The frontal brain also contains judgement and awareness functions. This is why we do not recognize when we are in the grips of mania. The very part of our brain that should guide us, relay what is ’real,’ and what is not real, is the area of illness. The Frontal Lobe in people with Bipolar, Schizophrenia and the spectrum between, this Frontal Lobe of the brain is where our illness rules. It’s where our disorders live. So, in our minds, what we see & hear, our reality is different. We may protest when anyone, family or medical professionals, tells us we are ill. We don’t see it.
There is a word for this lack of awareness: ANOSOGNOSIA. According to Trish Lockard on the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) blog: “Anosognosia is a symptom experienced by those with serious mental illness (SMI) in which a person cannot recognize that they have a mental illness. I am convinced that a broad familiarity within our society about this condition would be life-changing for people with SMI and their families. Awareness, I believe, would encourage people to offer empathy for those struggling with SMI, as opposed to the contempt or disgust many seem to exhibit.” 8/22/22 (emphasis ours)
I happen to know ANOSOGNOSIA intimately. I will argue night & day when manic. ’I’m not manic!’ I tell my husband. Who, by the way, always knows when I’m manic. You can imagine the lack of peace, growing chaos, in my home when I am having an episode! Probably the same as yours.
The reason we are so often argumentative and angry is that we feel marginalized, betrayed by our own minds. And ”you’re” rubbing it in our faces. That’s often our resistance to medication as well. We believe that we have special insights, that we have a higher vision. BTW there are also the hallucinations, visual and auditory. Depending on how deep we are, into psychosis, we truly believe what we are seeing and hearing. We feel we are ’special.’ We are able to see what others cannot. The problems caused by this behavior, I believe is distortion of realities. We live in a reality that others (saner) cannot access. What creates our new reality? What is psychosis?
More to come…