After my initial diagnosis, this was the toughest question I had to work on figuring out for myself. In terms of my personality, who I am, what I do or say, how I treat others…I kept coming back to the same issue – where does manic me stop and real me begin?
To be sure, our character is defined by the choices we make and the faithful traits we develop over time. As much as bipolar disorder can affect and influence these things, there is a point that the disorder, left untreated, may manifest itself to such a degree that you cannot reckon with the person in their bipolar state of mind. This may be a point where you must consciously choose to separate the effects of the disorder from who you know the person to be. There was a time when I acted considerably out of character while off my medication, and this was a direct result of not taking my medication. While choosing not to take my medication may reflect negatively on my character some, ultimately, I could not fully control my thoughts, actions and behaviors under the influence of such a disorder. My bipolar disorder caused me to act in some crazy ways, but had I been in my right mind, I would never have considered acting out in such manner. The choices I make while I’m taking my medication and in my right mind tell me that my true character is determined by what I do when I am stable.
Article excerpt from BipolarBrave.com