PA Vol. 45: Let’s Talk About Bipolar

Today, no fancy introduction. We’re talking bipolar disorder and what you can do to help someone who suffers from it.

Speed: So, I’m fucking pissed. I’m livid. I’m ready to kick some ass and take some names.

Drizzle: Did something happen with the new living situation?

Speed: Gingawd told you, eh? But, yeah. I’m pissed, bruh. It went into the shitter quick as fuck. Lady Speed and I, we were all supposed to go sign the lease and do final walkthroughs and all that. But, then, they fuck around, close on us, and tell us when we go up there that we can’t even move in yet.

I swear, if I were drinking still, I’d need a couple Jack and Cokes. I’ll be real with you. But, yeah. Everything is packed up, we’re all ready to move out, our kids are registered in daycares and schools in the area. If this falls through? I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do. They haven’t been on top of their shit, while we’ve been out here busting our asses to stay on top of our’s. Meanwhile, my reunion is coming up.

Drizzle: Fuck my high school.

Speed: I know, I know. But, the reunion’s coming up and I’m going. I don’t care about what happened in high school like that. I just feel the need to see some folks. Most of my follies, they’re common knowledge. Either that, or they’ve been made into “Rejected” pieces for the site. I’ll be honest, though. I’m slightly uneasy about being in the same place as a lot of the folks I went to school with. It’s some shit, on top of this, that may make a person relapse and have some episodes.

Drizzle: Well, drinking is a dragon. Alcoholism is a dragon. Gotta keep killing it.

Speed: Not talking about alcohol abuse, really. I’m more so talking my whole issue with being bipolar.

Drizzle: Well, we did my issues. Let’s talk yours. We did drinking, let’s do bipolar. Ready to PA?

Speed: Might as well. See, being bipolar, especially undiagnosed, in high school? It’s weird as fuck! Especially if you’re untreated, like, at all. You’re flighty, kinda prone to dramatic outbursts, unable to fully emote properly. You remember Craig from Degrassi?

Drizzle: Eh.

Speed: Well, I was kind of like him. But, you know, Black and stuff. But, I still had a similar plight. I was creative, but unstable as fuck. I wrote songs about women–hi, Ms. Pink Jacket–during manic episodes.

I know, Canadian teen drama-steeped fuckery. But, still. That’s how it was.

Drizzle: Tweed. So, everyone’s heard the terms “manic,” “depressive,” and “bipolar.” But, what really, in your experiences, goes down in a manic state? Like, what causes it?

Speed: It’s all about triggers, in terms of causes. Triggers can be anything. Doesn’t always have to be drugs or booze, though they usually tend to not help all that much. However, it’s always up to the person to know what can trigger an episode. Even then, you can’t be afraid of everything. Just cognizant of what can fuck you up. Why? Well, fear makes it worse since anxiety is sometimes comobid with bipolar.

You’ve got to acknowledge what fucks you up. You’ve got to acknowledge what you can do to stop being fucked up by it, even if that means getting on meds.

Drizzle: So, what happens during a manic episode, generally speaking?

Speed: I wrote a piece for DJBooth about one of my manic episodes. But, I personally feel unstoppable, but aggy as fuck a lot of the times. Kind of like an anxiety attack rolled into being high off coke rolled into a bit of an anger attack. It’s pretty volatile. I don’t have them as often with the meds. But, the risk is always there. For me, since I’m cycling bipolar as well, the risk is always there that my mood can change at a literal drop of a hat.

So, that’s manic. Depressive, you’ve seen me in both. You’ve lived with me for a couple years. But, yeah, you know my depressive state, too. I don’t feel like being around anyone. Like, at all. There’s a risk of self-harm and suicide ideation. When I was in a depressive state, I’d drink a lot more than just at a party, so there was self-medication.

Drizzle: I feel that. Now, I ask because I’ve got fam who’re bipolar.

Speed: Were they recently diagnosed and you’re trying to know what to “expect” from someone who may have the disorder?

Drizzle: From the outside looking in, I want to know “how do you help that?” And, nah. They’ve been hiding it for years.

Speed: I’m not trying to pry, of course. But, the best you can do is support them, but still call them out on their bullshit and try to edge them to treat themselves with shit outside of sex, booze, drugs, etc. You know, like, actual psychological help. You can’t force them to do it, unless you call the cops or something. Lady Speed tried years ago when we first started dating. Because of the stigmas surrounding bipolar and my own ignorance, I was like “fuck outta here with that bullshit.” I knew she was trying to help, but still. Can’t force someone into it. But, it’s different for everyone.

Drizzle: Now, see. I’m good at calling people out on their bullshit. But, you know that some people refuse to take their meds and shit. Coincidentally, this person, they go into a complete slow spiral. So, you kinda see it coming. But, it turns into “What To Expect When You’re Expecting Crazy.”

Speed: Well, that’s good in a bad way. You kind of know what to expect. It’s still bad because, you know, it’s still a bipolar episode. You know better how to combat them not taking their meds and whatnot. I know that, for me, if I don’t take my Latuda–that’s one of the big meds for bipolar these days–I almost instantly go into a cycling manic/depressive state. Like, within a couple hours, a day max.

But, again, there’s different shit for each person who’s bipolar. I’m only speaking from my experience.

Drizzle: So, should I lock someone into a room?

Speed: No, bruh. Unless they’re in danger of hurting themselves or others or doing a lot of property damage. Then? Maybe keeping themselves away from themselves isn’t that bad of an idea. I remember once, I had that happen to me. It helped. But, that was a one-time thing. Sometimes, it may backfire. I’d say try to get them to a place, mentally and physically, they can get help if they’re untreated. If they’re ready to hurt themselves, of course. If they’re just yelling and shit, maybe just try to talk them off the ledge.

The locking them in a room could cause problems, though. Be aware of that shit. Mental illness is a two-headed dragon and one of those dragons may have alcoholism and/or alcohol abusing tendencies hardwired into its DNA. I still refuse to call alcoholism and abuse of alcohol the same exact thing. But, that’s just me. Anyway, check on them and help them.

Drizzle: So, call them out on their bullshit, right? I’m just asking because, say, this person may start going on senseless social media rants–

Speed: Is this person me?

Drizzle: Stop being self-focused. It’s not you. But yeah. They go on rants and call out their friends. What should a Drizzle do then? I need steps, Goddammit!

Speed: You can’t have every one of them grit their teeth.

Drizzle: So, no Gurren Lagann?

Speed: Depends on the Simon you’re dealing with.

That could be more of an in the moment fix. But, it won’t help them in the long run, most the time. Remember, Simon became badass because he snapped out of his funk entirely and realize he was flawed but still capable of awesome shit. It was not just because Kamina punched the everlasting fuck out of him that one time. Besides, Kamina died after a couple episodes.

Drizzle: The life of awesome incarnate is short.

Speed: So, we’re about to die?

Drizzle: No. Our episode eight ain’t here yet. Though, we are facing oppression. Anyway, back to bipolar and psychosis.

Speed: Not exactly the same thing.

Drizzle: Sidenote, me and Gingawd have a PA we did on our own.

Speed: No Speed?

Drizzle: Anyway, I’ll send it to you soon. But, is it okay to “break” the bipolar folk? Like, break their brains with mean facts. Like, pushing them off the edge and say “be a fucking adult?!”

Speed: I can take that–

Drizzle: No, you can’t–

Speed: You’re right. But, it could have a detrimental effect. Besides, I know I’m more Simon than Kamina most the time. It’s confusing, I’ll admit. You can’t handle us with kid gloves, but you can’t always dick punch everyone all the same time–

Drizzle: Aww, but it’s so satisfying. So, no mind breakage–

Speed: Our minds are fucked up as is without breaking them again. Instead of breaking, let’s rebuild.

Drizzle: But, to rebuild, you need to break the old mold.

Speed: But, that’s different than just straight brain bleaching motherfuckers.

Drizzle: And no cops. Cops don’t really need a reason to blast you. Unless you’re a white dude spazzing. Then, they’ll try to not kill you. And don’t say “not all cops,” Speed. Don’t fucking say it.

Speed: Well, fuck all that. Instead of cops, let’s just drive mofos to the hospital if shit’s that deep–

Drizzle: I remember that–

Speed: I know you do. So, remember. Don’t break them, rebuild them, support them, and don’t fucking break them!

Speed on the Beat

Whatever you need to know about me, you can find out on Dad of two, cat dad (of two), mental health advocate, Team Support Dope Music in All Its Forms.

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