Tag Archives: Mania

Being Invalidated

Please be aware that some of the content may be triggering. Please take care 💚

“To invalidate means to cancel something or make it void, as if it never happened. In invalidate you see the word valid which means true or correct. When you invalidate something you are making it less true, less official, or less correct.” (vocabulary.com, March 2021).

The meaning above can be applied to things you experience. It can be caused by other people and events. It can make you question your thoughts, feelings, emotions, experiences and reactions. It can make you feel awful. And people sometimes don’t even realise they are doing this to you.

When you tell someone that what they feel isn’t justified or to just stop feeling that way, then you are invalidating the way they feel. You are telling them what they are feeling is not true and not correct. Yes, you may not have felt that way in that situation but everyone is different and that doesn’t mean that what that person is feeling is invalid.

It’s important we think before we speak. It’s what might feel like silly things that can have an effect on other people and cause them to feel invalidated and it can start when we are children. What we are saying may to us sound reassuring but it ccam invalidate the child. Saying to a child who is nervous about an exam that they shouldn’t be is invalidating. Instead saying you understand why they feel that way but you feel like they are well prepared so it should go well is acknowledging their feelings as valid while reassuring at the same time.

Some mental health professionals could also do with understanding the power of invalidation. Telling someone that what they are experiencing is minimal or not that bad can have lasting effects on everyone and especially those with a mental illness. It can cause them to deteriorate further. On my write ups from the psychiatrist appointments it would often say my self harm was superficial and it would make me try to cause myself more harm as I felt they weren’t taking me seriously. I’ve also heard of people with eating disorders who are told they are not thin enough being made sicker.

I know that although having a diagnosis can be a burden I felt it a validation for what I was/am experiencing. It made me feel that someone could see that something was wrong and I needed help. However this means professionals need to be careful about removing diagnoses from patients as it can add to invalidation. You are taking away the validation you gave them. There needs to be a conversation and careful explanation.

It is possible also to invalidate yourself as well. This is harder to stop doing, I know I do it a lot. It’s important for us to try and allow ourselves to experience our feelings and acknowledge them. This is easier said than done though.

So when speaking to anyone try to consider their feelings and not cancelling them out. We all need to think of how our words and actions impact on others.

Mania

Unedited. Trigger warning just in case.

Currently having experiences of some form of mania on a regular basis. It can be part of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as well as bipolar. Tonight it’s awful. I can’t keep still. My thoughts are racing. I’m irritable. I want quiet but I want noise. I want to move but I want to lay here. I want to do things. But I don’t. Nothing is keeping my attention long. Everything is either very amusing and causing me to try and make things seem funnier to everyone else or I’m apologising profusely for being a pain. I hate this. It’s exhausting but I can’t sleep. Typing is hard. Words are in my brain but typing them out they have extra letters or are spelt wrong or put together in a way that I thought made sense but doesn’t. Luckily autocorrect is a thing and I can still see where I’m making mistakes and change them as I go but it’s frustrating me. I know my writing is probably rubbish. My swearing barrier is also less of a thing though I’m trying to restrain myself from swearing here. I’ve been trying to calm all evening. Doing calming activities but it’s all rubbish and I feel rubbish and frustrated. Nothing works. I’m trying so hard. The mania I have now is linked to a course of steroids I’m on for a physical health issue. I’ve not had mania like this in years. I realise I’m using the term mania a lot and it’s not like with bipolar I don’t think. It doesn’t last solidly. It comes and goes. Normally my mood stabiliser keeps me more stable with dips into depression. I forgot how exhausting this is. And I’m not a teenager anymore. People don’t expect this. As a teenager it could be hidden as just a teenage thing to many. Just someone who was passionate and had lots of ideas and a screwed up sleep pattern. Now as an adult it’s not so easy. My mum notices it. She put it to good use this afternoon moving soil and emptying pots. She saw I couldn’t settle to anything or think for myself so she provided a little routine. It helped. I felt less frustrated. But it’s back and I will go to bed soon to try and keep a routine but I’m not hopeful. The scariest thing though isn’t being out of control (though I hate that feeling) but the thought that what goes up must come downand this applies to my mood too. I will crash. Its inevitable. And I know it will hurt.

My art from trying to calm myself.