Even though I’m prone to melancholy, I love to laugh, and I especially love making other people laugh. Oftentimes, the best jokes stem from self-deprecation, and I’ll be the first person to make fun of myself.
I particularly enjoy making “crazy” and bipolar jokes. I typically don’t mind other people making jokes, as long as they are light-hearted and not hateful or malicious.
However, there is one thing I absolutely cannot stand people saying about my mental illness. I do not like it when people assign me a mood. My mom does this occasionally.
I’ll be in a really good mood and maybe acting a little goofy, and she’ll say, “Oh, you must be hypomanic.”
I’m pretty open about when I’m hypomanic, but I don’t like other people assuming I’m hypomanic just because I’m in a good mood. I have a friend who has done something similar.
I know it’s pretty nitpicky, but for some reason, people presuming I’m hypomanic because I’m energetic and happy triggers my temper.
It doesn’t happen very often, but I vividly remember going from a good mood to brooding when my mom did it several months ago.
I’m not sure why it irritates me so much, but it might have something to do with it coming across that these people think I have to be hypomanic to be in a good mood. It’s like people assuming a woman is on her period because she might be a little irritable.
Why can’t I be goofy and funny and quick-witted on my own? Does my illness always have something to do with my mood?
I can literally feel it when I’m hypomanic. Typically it starts with a short night of sleep, where I wake up before 4:00 wide awake.
My mood borders on euphoric and ideas are fast and clear. I have unfettered energy, and I feel like I constantly have to be moving.
It’s hard to describe what my head feels like during hypomania, but there’s a certain feeling that distinguishes hypomania from my other moods.
But I can be in a good mood without being hypomanic. Oftentimes, hypomania brings with an undercurrent of easily engendered irritability if things don’t go my way or if someone annoys me.
My truly good moods do not have the added bonus of irritability.
I guess I can’t blame people for getting the two confused, but I still think it’s wrong for people to tell me what mood I must be in.
Why can’t I be goofy and funny and quick-witted on my own? Does my illness always have to influence my mood?
Maybe it does. But I still implore people to be sensitive when discussing someone’s mood with them. Let them be the one to tell you how they are feeling.