Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Crazy Jane

While I was in high school a few of my friends knew me as "Crazy Jane". I was proud of the fact that I was a free spirit. I acted wild and over the top. My favorite pastime was saying and doing weird things. I liked to shock people. I was not afraid to make it known that I would do whatever I wanted and not let anything get in my way. I had my share of getting into trouble at school but that did not change my behavior. I spent countless times in the vice-principal's office or the counseling center to be disciplined. To say that I was rebellious teenager would be a major understatement.

It is not uncommon for children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) to actually be exhibiting the early signs of bipolar disorder according to a journal article published in European Neuropsychopharmacology. Go figure! That pretty much explains my childhood behavior. After my diagnosis, everything made sense.

Since starting my blog, I have had a hard time trying to be politically correct. There are only so many ways you can say bipolar disorder, mental illness, and my condition. In my attempt to not be offensive, I have been careful to avoid using certain words. Before I knew that I had bipolar disorder, I would use words and phrases like crazy-head, whack-a-do, coo-coo-ka-choo, psycho, and maniac. I found those words fun and flattering whenever I described myself. Why do I have to change the way I talk because I have been diagnosed with a mental disorder? Why does everyone have to tiptoe around those words in the guise of trying not to offend anyone who has a mental illness? In some cases, those words are true descriptions of the behaviors exhibited by some of the people with a mental disorder. I admit, some of those descriptions fit me to a tee. 

In high school, I loved listening to music. I would crank up the CD player then sing and dance along. Now, I am known to sing and dance down the aisles of the grocery store. My moods affect the music that I choose. When I am happy, the music is upbeat. When I am feeling low, the songs I choose would make anyone within earshot become depressed.

Adam Lambert is one of my favorite performers. His music reflects many of my feelings. Before I found out that I had bipolar disorder I loved his song "Cuckoo". After I receiving my official diagnosis, the song has more meaning than it did before I found out that I had bipolar disorder. It describes my feelings during a manic phase. I consider it to be my personal anthem.
Truthfully, I will continue to use these "bad" words within the privacy of my own home. I may or may not use the words in my blogs. I cannot guarantee anything. Some words do not have a substitute and my adherence to rules cannot be trusted. Since childhood, I have always been a little ODD.

Work Cited
Goodwin, Guy M., et al. “ECNP Consensus Meeting. Bipolar Depression. Nice, March 2007.” European Neuropsychopharmacology 18 (2008): 535-549. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Jan. 2014.
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