medicationHave you ever watched the show Homeland? The main character, Carrie, portrayed by Claire Danes, struggles with bipolar disorder.

(Note: A commenter recently told me that she actually has borderline personality disorder. Web searches about her character mention both disorders. So I’m not totally sure which she has, maybe both–just fyi) Anyway….

Even though I have never known anyone who is bipolar, I feel like┬áDanes does a great job acting what must be a tough role. I believe her when she is being irrational and acting out on the show. She can’t trust her own thoughts and her own instincts–they are betraying her.

And it’s so weird to think that I understand a tiny bit of what that’s like.

There are times when I am stressed out, angry, or at my wit’s end about something, and I think to myself, “Wait a minute. Maybe what I am feeling right now is wrong.”

It’s a scary feeling to realize that you sometimes can’t trust your own thoughts. You can’t trust your instincts or what your brain is telling you is right. And if you can’t trust your own brain, then what the hell do you trust? What else is there? Whoa.

I bet that many people who see the Homeland character think she’s simply “crazy.” I would have said the same thing a few years ago. I used to think people with mental problems were scary, weak-minded, and dangerous. But being a highly sensitive person has helped me be way more accepting of people with mental disorders. I can relate….and that feels weird…to be able to relate to people who are mentally ill.

Now I know that mental problems are a sickness, and like any other sickness, they need treatment, management, and understanding. It’s not Carrie’s fault that her brain is misleading her. She’s not any less of an intelligent, valid person because she’s bipolar. She just needs to find a way to better manage her illness.

It’s the same with HSP. To better thrive, I have to find the way to best manage my sensitivity.