[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
A Piece of My Mind
June 23/30, 2004

Normal Is a Place I Visit

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2924-2926. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2924

I live in a different world. I go through the same motions as others: I wake, relate, and work. But my life plays out in a different theater. The on-stage me is an illusion. The actor is friendly and outgoing, provides good patient care in a group practice, and successfully juggles the rigors of home and career as a single parent. She appears to live a hectic but happy life, and manages to do it with efficiency and grace.

I have bipolar disorder: manic depression. Normal is a place I visit, not one in which I am allowed to remain. I vacillate between recurrent depression and occasional episodes of exuberant, expansive hypomania. After 30 years of living with this illness I have become adept at hiding it. But it continues to be difficult to bear. The pain, fatigue, and loneliness are, at times, overwhelming.

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview