Evaluating Emotions and Experiences: Could I Be Bipolar?

evaluatePeople often wonder whether the notion of bipolar moods really applies to their experiences. They compare what they have heard about bipolar (crazy person running berserk) and their life which is never that intense and wonder whether the doctor (or whoever else raised the idea) is just making a wild suggestion about the problem that they have. After all, it is often not the intensity of their other emotions that brings them in for help it is the depression that they can’t deal with. Here are some ideas that I may share with someone to give them a sense of what the emotional intensity of bipolar can feel like, all the while knowing that everyone’s experience is a bit different, so that they can think about this new possibility…
Have you ever see a homeless person, bedraggled, slumped against a building wall, with corrugated cardboard as a semblance of shelter, and your heart suddenly is heavy and your state of mind goes from the apex of contentment to a deep despondency resulting from this brief experience of witnessing the terrible effects of a society lacking compassion for those much less fortunate?
Have you ever had the experience of a sudden upwelling of joyous emotion when you see a beautiful flower gracing the monotonous grey of a city sidewalk, you marvel at the moment with the happiness akin to a young child – delighting in nature’s splendor? And, seemingly no one else in your company is as enchanted by the moment of marvelous wonderment as you are.
Have you ever suddenly, out of nowhere, without warning, felt that you were consumed by the spirit of a poltergeist, and found you simply could not stop yourself from blowing up in a moment of wild rage at someone who offended or slighted you? Only to come back to yourself moments later, asking yourself why you had such a powerful emotional reaction to something you now see as being a minor irritation? Then apologized and wanted those who were the audience to your wrath to simply forget about it and move on, and felt humiliated when those affected by your passing storm are still trying to cope with the aftermath, not understanding what is the big deal,”Get over it already! Everything s fine now” ? You find yourself impatient , asking everyone to please let it go – but they won’t .
Have you ever felt suddenly tremendously bored by someone you are talking to and lost all track of the conversation, your mind wandering elsewhere, and started to feel trapped by the person you are with? Becoming impatient, agitation starting to crawl into your mind, wanting to run away, but feeling that social tact doesn’t allow you to escape as quickly as you would like, finding any excuse to slip away – knowing you’ll never come back to that person and the sense of dreariness you felt being with them?
Have you ever felt yourself becoming terribly restless with someone’s slow, calculated speech and their hesitant hemming and hawing, their taking seemingly forever to get to the point? And found yourself unable to contain yourself any longer and interrupted them in order to finish their sentences, knowing exactly what they re going to say?
Have you ever had the experience of the wind blowing hair in your face and desperately wished the wind would stop blowing, and cursed the wind ? Or  found someone’s chewing sounds becoming distractingly loud, so that you can’t concentrate on anything else but the now overwhelmingly annoying sound of chewing – all the while knowing that it is not quite reasonable to feel so agitated by a simple sound? Or felt that the sound of someone’s breathing suddenly made you feel that you were trapped with Darth Vader?
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by the thoughts passing by in your mind so very quickly , one after another, sometimes disparate thoughts that may or may not have any sequitur connection to each other , that you wished you could simply physically remove your brain and wash it off in a sudsy solution and put it back in – just wanting to clean off all the accumulated debris of the cacophony of those run thoughts ?

Or, have you ever felt like you wished you could grab any of those thoughts out of your mind and imagine physically wrestling with it in effort to attempt to subdue if not quiet the thoughts ?
Have you ever sat on a metro or a bus, or simply anywhere for that matter, and your eyes are glancing everywhere, and with every image that captures your visual attention, there is a related thought – but that you are simply darting all over the environment surrounding you, filling up with disparate images with their respective associated thoughts, and it becomes simultaneously an amazingly enriching and exciting experience, lifting your mood to an ebullient state if not outright exuberance, then also a tsunami of overstimulation and you fear agitation could kick in at any moment ?
Have you ever lost felt it difficult to focus on a particular task unless you are also engaged in doing other tasks at the same time ?
Have you ever become angry at someone when they tell you to “calm down ” when clearly you feel quite calm, and that it is they who are getting agitated in your presence?
Are you ever concerned that others become overwhelmed in your presence ? Your jouie de vivre , your fabulous sense of humor and your facile ability to light up a room and spontaneously entertain the masses are qualities that can grate on other people?
Have you ever become agitated for no apparent reason – just s really bad mood , and absolutely everything annoys you – sounds are too loud , the faucet running disrupts your sense of equilibrium and ability to focus, colors are too saturated, smells are too pungent, tastes are too prominent, and you re feeling increasingly bereft of yourself – wanting to break something  hurl an expletive at your partner or friend, or have fantasies of throwing a refrigerator out of a 14th floor window and receive great immediate satisfaction from watching it explode onto a million pieces once it hits the ground? Then, once that fantasy is achieved on your mind’s eye, you feel relieved ??
Or , Have you ever felt so agitated that you’ve entertained violent fantasies, or violent thoughts and images intrude in your thinking with no apparent trigger, and you may feel a but frightened, worried that you could lose impulse control and actually act on the intrusive image ?
Have you ever felt so bored and restless that nothing can capture your interest and hold it ?
Have you ever gotten ….