And after sex, when I thought we'd both enjoyed ourselves, sometimes S would burst into tears. " I'd whisper, to which she'd cryptically reply, "I feel overwhelmed."Sara's life was a constant battle against entropy.While most of us are bored by too much routine, Sara was obsessive about hers, and as her boyfriend, I found myself joining her in it.This is partially thanks to the ubiquity of advertisements for medications like Abilify and Zyprexa, and partially due to diagnoses, which have doubled over the last decade.
It's easy to confuse love with mania, Jamison says. Most of us may have been unhappy enough at one time or another to recognize a fit of depression, but the other half of the disease (the mania that leads to everything from religious fervor to shopaholism to insatiable libido) is much harder to fathom.
For instance, hypomania, which is a mild form of mania characterized by enviable productivity, can lead to what is called a "mixed state," in which the bipolar individual is both miserable and energetic enough to do something about it.
"An illness that is unique in conferring advantage and pleasure," writes Dr.
Kay Jamison in one of the most famous memoirs of bipolar illness, An Unquiet Mind. The popular caricature of the disease -- people swinging rapidly between happiness and sadness -- isn't the whole story.
It took her all day to clean the bathroom, and when she was done, she would begin all over again. " she'd say, as if these predictable tasks were the only options.
Our relationship became defined by obsessive routine, something that might normally have made me feel antsy and restless.You could compile an entire book of quotes comparing love to madness.But of all the psychological issues in the DSM-IV, only one really resembles the experience of love.I, who have never liked TV, started watching hours of it with her every night.Infatuated with cleaning products, Sara taught me the joys of repetitive household maintenance.Everyone from disgraced New York Times reporter Jayson Blair to Debra La Fave, the high-school teacher convicted of seducing her fourteen-year-old student, has employed the bipolar defense.