Bipolar Bytes; Does the Terminology Change Anything?

How’s that for a play on words?  I was thinking Bipolar Bites, because well it does sometimes but I also am going to give it to you in little chunks, like a bite.

pseudo-quasi-Pacman icon

Or by giving good information I will help take a Bite out of Bipolar, or at least the stigma and misunderstanding  surrounding it.  Maybe there will be less shame attached to something that should never have been about shame in the first place.

A byte is a  digital measurement where typically  there are 8 Bits in a Byte, sometimes more, depending on how the measurement is being made.  

Keyschedule rc4
Keyschedule rc4 wahtever that has to do with a byte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, since I want to do one bit at a time, I guess we could call it Bipolar Bits..  Or I could play around with the 8 bit thing..  or I could just say it’s Bipolar Bytes  – because well, it does sometimes and that’s that.  I will have to think about it for awhile, I am sure it will develop itself along the way.

But whatever, let’s move on or we will be here all day.

I am aware that there is an ongoing debate about the terminology of either being or having bipolar disorder.  Any disorder actually.  So it kind of covers the spectrum of things that people have but aren’t…

I have Bipolar Disorder


I am Bipolar  Terminology changes the look?  I am vs I have, bipolar disorder

Which is it?

Let me ask you this:

DO you see me any differently then you normally do depending on the way I say it?

The outcry about the terminology to me is bordering on a matter of PC (political correctness, a topic I oh so love 🙄  )

To a point,  I do understand THE POINT of the argument.   I have bipolar disorder but it does not define me but if you say it that way YOU ARE BIPOLAR, then you are discounting all the other things I am.   Or at least it may seem that way.

It’s labeling.  It’s not fair.  And when you have bipolar disorder (or whatever other disorder, insert here)   and are so much more than the sum of its parts, you don’t want all the other parts to be discounted in the big picture of you.

Bipolar, Bipolar Label
If we speak of labels this is one of mine, but I am many more

But, ( like a big BUTT)…  is biting someone’s head off about their verbage really going to change things?  And is it really all that wrong to refer to someone as bipolar, and lastly,  doesn;t it fit in with the way we talk about things and how we refer to people in all other kinds of matters?

Let’s look at an example:

Person A

How are you today?

Person B

I am happy

Person C to Person A

How is Person B

Person A

Oh, person B is happy.

Simple, elementary example right there I know,  but there was no has, had, haves in it.  Person A did not say to Person C oh Person B  HAS HAPPINESS….  Person B IS happy.

That’s how we speak, that’s how we say it, not the definition of the whole of it.


I understand the fight to have the proper terminology used and I understand that the idea is that if people refer to it correctly, they will ..well refer to it correctly.

Bullshit is what I think,  How about that?

Is that a direct contradiction to my rant about the proper use of Mental Health / Mental Illness during Mental Health Awareness Month?  Well yes.. but I am Bipolar I can do that, it is in a way the nature of the beast, right?

That was  an apple, this is an orange.  A mission versus a step.  They are different.

People will think what they want to think unless they are shown something different.  If JoeBilly Bob over there thinks that having Bipolar Disorder, or being bipolar makes you a worthless piece of poo, not worth his ever-loving back woods ignorant attitude oh so precious consideration, then it doesn’t matter how you say it or make him say it.

What if backwoods ignorant JoeBilly Bob and Bipolar Betty ran into each other in a book store?

JoeBilly Bob

BB:  I didn’t know you could read

JBB:  I didn’t know they let you out unattended.

Bipolar, Girl with a lollipop
Bipolar Betty

BB:  Wanna get some coffee?

JBB:  ok

Well what will come of that my friends is that JoeBilly Bob will discover what a wonderful and special person Bipolar Betty is and how  bipolar is only a part of it, and Bipolar Betty will discover that JoeBilly Bob, backwoods ignorant as he seemed, has a PH.D in philosophy and graduated from Harvard Summa Cum Laude  or whatever it is and they will get married and live happily ve after…but that;s a story for another day.  The point is they showed each other their concepts were wrong and then  INSPIRED each other to change the way they viewed the world.  Get it?

I don’t give a monkey’s butt how you say it, I am bipolar, I have bipolar, whatever,  The bottom line is it is part of who I am, only a part and I am the one that has to know that and be comfortable with it.  This applies to everything in life I think, if the words people use to define you are not how you see yourself,  is it about the way they say it, or the way you see it?

Insisting someone refer to you a certain way – is trying to control them, the way they feel and see and understand the world,  when if you are ok with who you are and have a good understanding of what you have and what defines you,  or in a nutshell, worry about your own feelings thoughts and views of the world, you will find that it doesn;t make a difference what they say or how they say it.

I know who and what I am and how I got this way (ok… mostly )  I was somebody with hopes and dreams and messed up emotional shit way before I ever got that definition attached to my person.

I am going to throw this out there to for consideration.  Bipolar affects so many areas of my life that if it was not a part of me… well,  it is not the entirety of who I am but it most certainly has a big part in the defining of me.

Let’s take the infamous statement of philosopher Rene Descartes;

I think, therefore I am

Without going into the intricacies of the problematic nature of that statement,( maybe another day). let’s use different language.

I have bipolar disorder, therefore I am bipolar…

I am also smart, funny, pretty, good enough, witty, happy, joyful, sad, lovely, loving, reckless, fun, messy, strange, hungry as heck at the moment  and gosh darn it…  should I go on?

The only time I ever got bent by someone saying – Lizzie is Bipolar  was  when I myself was afraid that it was all that defined me.  I was trying to convince myself, as much as anyone, when I insisted on the “proper” diction

Call it,  whatever you want because I am the one who has to know, and  ones that matter know that Bipolar Disorder is only a small – ok maybe big,- part of who I am but it is not WHO I AM  in my entirety and they typically will say;  my bipolar friend ..or they may say Lizzie has bipolar.   However  they say it is fine with me.

Say what you want,  but…

Don’t mistreat me (or those that have any condition or difference or disorder or…)  or judge me or discount me because of the fact that bipolar is a factor in my life.  Then I will take someone to task.

Because no matter how you want to twist the language, adjective ,verb, noun…  first and foremost I am human, we all are.  That’s the condition we all have.  I wouldn’t be bipolar – have bipolar,  if I wasn’t human.

That, my friends is what really and truly defines us all.


We all have the Human Condition, therefore,

We are Human.

We are all human
We are all Human

38 thoughts on “Bipolar Bytes; Does the Terminology Change Anything?

    1. I AM, I HAVE I WILL…did I miss any?
      Thanks SIster… (can I get an AMEN?)
      I kinda just noticed though that joeBilly Bob and Bipolar Betty…welll of COURSE JoeBilly Bob is gonna marry her… not good examples do you think? In fact,m I hope I didn;t help contribute to a few more labels for that guy… 😕

    1. Thanks.. I never thought about it til I had to and then it was because someone else said that I was doing a disservice by not referring to it correctly… I have it I am it.. who cares how you say doesn’t change who I am. Or what I deal with. However I understand the point and hope to not offend those that need to have it said however they need to.

  1. The only thing I disagreed with in your entire statement is this:

    “Good Enough”

    You my friend are this instead:


    I think sometimes labels are just that, what we use to ignorantly try to put people in boxes that we don’t understand. My eldest sister was born with Downs Syndrome. It defined her limitations in some ways certainly. It did not define the entirety of who she was though. The label she most often wore? “Retard” or “Retarded”. This was sometimes said cruelly by children and even adults, but it was also a label applied by education and medical communities.

    My mother fought against it for many years. My sister, when someone called her Retard simply would not answer, she would tell them her name ‘Candy’ instead.

    1. Why thank you… they need a beaming emoticon.. why don;t they have a beaming emoticon? Bravo to your sister for ignoring them and letting them know her name… we learn the most profound lessons from those that would never turn in kind what others do to them don’t you think? ANd Bravo to your mom .. the thing is I am learning,,, the amount of ignorance and judgmental attitudes out there… that get passed on to the next generation and so on… I am only recently realizing how great of a job my parents did on teaching tolerance.. they just did it.. I never heard a prejudicial word against anyone until I was beyond being unduly influenced ..they never criticized my choices based on unfounded principles or misconceptions about others. I look at things from a middle ground and make my own assessment..they gave me the tools to do that without giving me the extreme opinions one way or another.. and so I see that we all are the same.. yet different because and I also see that going up against generations of learned prejudice… well, the odds aren;t really in my favor. But..I gotta try. I am extremely opinionated on certain subjects but I don;t see the point in stirring the pot more then needs to get people thinking but as I get older I find I want to make some noise and,,, where was I going… sigh..

  2. I guess the conclusion you came to says it all…we are all humans dealing with different issues….It is strange however that one will say ‘he is bipolar’ and yet another disease….one doesn’t say “he is cancer’….so it appears even if unknowingly it is said, one with bipolar feels defined by their disorder with such an attitude….Diane

      1. It’s very ..alliterate 🙂 thank you so very much … I do not know why I keep having to pull you from my spambox.. sorry your comments were delayed.. I am making a mental note of it to.. well ok I am writing it down 😉 to check daily now..

  3. Very Good Lizzie! I love the way you said that!
    And I really want to see Bipolar Betty and JoeBilly Bob get together! Oh the stories you could tell!! And I also love your new look! What cute pictures! And I love the new colors and layout too! Very nicely done Cyberdaughter! 😀

    1. yay! you really think JoeBilly Bob and Bipolar Betty should have their own series? lol The adventures of.. oh boy.. thanks for the compliment I have been artsy fartsing..kinda out in another realm of… madenes.. lol cept I am not mad.. like grrr mad.. why they call it madness is beyond me… any ideas?

      1. Why don’t you write up a summer series featuring a romance between Bipolar Betty and JoeBilly Bob! I would love to see that! In fact, I find myself looking forward to it already! 😀

  4. Not leaving a link here…will post it to the inbox.
    Kudos, Lizzie. You are right. Call what you will, you are far more than any one tag.
    Much love,

  5. How can you do a disservice to it if you are doing what you need to do. It annoys me when people tell me I am doing my illness a disservice by not doing A, B or C. I then tend to give them a disservice with some nasty words.

    1. I hear you Kate., and really doing a disservice well damn its my ilness too and I am ok with that aspect of it.. i mean its not kike its gonna magically ..go away…ever. Hope you are doing well.. ❤

      1. Doing OK thanks. Been getting out a lot which is so different for me and low and behold, nothing bad happened 🙂
        Your illness is yours, no one else’s. You handle it brilliantly. 🙂

      2. thank you and I am glad to hear you are venturing and enjoying it… gives you some new focus no?

        I do know that IZ got very tired of the illness handling me thinking it was going to tell me how MY life was gonna be.. i almost caved… I am glad I didn;t…

  6. I just say “I’m bi-polar” or “I have mental illness”. I’ll use the word “crazy” for myself but if anyone else uses it, I want to kick the shit out of them and tell the judge I’m unfit for trial.

    1. I stopped caring how anyone says it..when I realized it doesnt matter as long as they arent being dicks about it. Curious ..did you end up on this post from my home page? I was debating if I need to kerp the slider with current posts or my favs..
      Todays is below the slider ..and I would love to know what you think about it.
      Called “the time has come the walrus said..”

      1. let me be clear…you, me, other crazy people? we can say whatever we want. But people who are clueless and hateful and stigmatizing towards us crazy people, screw them

        thanks for writing this my dear lunatic friends

  7. I’m a bit bipolar as well, although I’ve never gotten official treatment for it. It’s kind of strange how it comes and goes, but I’ve realized that diet and paying strong attention to my thoughts as they are occuring really has gone a long way. I’ve noticed in your previous posts that you seem to be exploring the same thing! Sending some hugs and power your way! all the power in the whole fuckin world!!! 😀

    1. I am very much looking at it as being able to manage from a place of self awareness and a certain amount of sef control..I have my days when I say this is crap but then i have days it comes back and kicks my ass and proves it’s real…I am a horrible sugar holic and have just started cutting back on sugar, i take vitamin b and some other dietary things but I am firmly in the whatever works for the individual – not antimeds but anti over medicating I have learned a lot about my triggers and signs of impending shifts.. and I think there is a lot of power in the way the brain works.. I appreciat4e your support and kind words …and send them back to you as well 🙂

      1. It’s definitely essential to understand the brain! The frontal lobe is a beast that needs feedin! Exercise has been super fundamental for me…if I can just go exert energy for 30 minutes I always feel good afterwards. I take vitamin b as well! Plus Aloe Vera and some random goodies….in the very least I grab some placebo like benefits lol. Thanks for the thoughtful response!

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