One of the things you always hear about Bipolar Disorder is “moody”. The disease is labeled as a ‘mood disorder’, it is often characterized by excessive ‘mood swings’, and people who are moody tend to be labeled as bipolar by their friends and enemies.
But boy do I hate this descriptor.
Mood swings are part of the game with bipolar, no doubt. But it tends to be more with the severity of the change then the frequency of it. It is easy for me to go from bouncing off the walls silly to seething angry in a relatively short period of time, with or without impetus. But I’m not likely to go back and forth a bunch of times. The extremes are generally what define the disease.
Now, there is something called rapid cycling, which I have experienced. And that is defined as four cycles, manic or depressive, within one year. They say that some people can experience four cycles in one day, and I simply don’t believe that. That sounds like a moody person, not a bipolar person. If a person is cycling that quickly there is certainly an issue there, but I don’t think it is bipolar, or depression.
People often use the term ‘moody’ as a synonym for irritable. And they aren’t the same thing; I don’t know why we do that. Irritable is a very common trait for bipolars. I know that I am up above normal when I am very irritable. I don’t understand why people can’t keep up with my mind. I don’t understand why I can’t keep up with my mind. I want to express everything I know to anyone who will listen but I cannot find anyone and I get beyond cranky. I also want to be left alone because I am tired of chasing my thoughts all day. So I get irritable. But that isn’t moody. That is just one mood, not several.
The only time where ‘moody’ might be adequately applied is during a mixed state. I might appear moody because my behavior might be all over the place. But in reality in a mixed state I don’t even know what mood I am in, so any expression of that is bound to be confusing and seemingly ‘moody’.
So as for moodiness, it’s not really part of the bipolar experience. At least, not the way you think it is.