A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
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,
Fiala SJ. Normal Is a Place I Visit. JAMA. 2004;291(24):2924-2926. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2924