Rob Fahrni

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I have a mental disorder

Brain in a jarI have Bipolar II Disorder.

So what is it? Well it’s a mental disorder that causes my brain to bounce between highs and lows.

”However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-blown mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder are called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania.” - WebMD

I can’t pinpoint when it started for me. I suspect it began after I had sudden death in 1985 at the ripe old age of 17. That was a very stressful time for me and I was treated for depression for a while after I left the hospital.

For years and years I would become depressed and not want to be around people and question why I was alive. I couldn’t bring myself to self terminate, due to my Christian upbringing that said it was a mortal sin, a sin that sent you straight to hell, but I sure wanted to have a crash and die or wish that someone would come along and kill me. I would isolate. I could not stand being around other people. Everything was negative.

Then, I’d get happy. So amazingly happy. I could do anything and do it really well — at least that’s what my brain told me. 😃

Those moments were great. I still enjoy them to this day but I know what’s happening. By knowing what’s happening I can curb my enthusiasm a little bit. Not be so loud and in your face about things. That’s helpful for my wife especially. She’s lived long enough with me bouncing off the walls. 😄

For the longest time I would try to figure out why I felt so good at times. Was it my diet? Was it the amount of sleep I got? Was it a combination of the two? It was extremely frustrating because I could never figure it out.

Thankfully at the age of 50 my doctor figured it out and sent me to see a psychiatrist who confirmed her diagnosis; Bipolar II Disorder.

At that time I was put on meds for my depression. We tried one that didn’t work but the second choice worked like a charm. I get down once in a while, but everyone does, the difference is I don’t believe I’m useless and I don’t want to be dead. I just get a little blue.

It’s nice not falling into that deep dark abyss any longer.

Some folks may think I’m sharing too much. I don’t. I’m not embarrassed by it. It’s a health condition like many others. I can’t help it but it’s treatable. In fact having folks know I have this condition can help them understand what may be going on with me at times. If I’m bouncing off the walls, taking at 5000MPH, and generally way over the top, I’m probably in a hypomanic episode. I love them, but they can be annoying for others.

Anywho, there it is. I’m not crazy or insane and I’m not a danger to others. My brain just does some strange stuff on occasion.

I have Bipolar II Disorder.