Imagine that you’re talking to someone and they suddenly change the subject. Would you think they were not listening, self obsessed or rude?

At times my mind moves so fast it leaps ahead making connections that have me running off on a tangent. I am often told that I talk at cross purposes or that I inhabit a different place from other people because of the way I converse.

The root of the problem is Bipolar Disorder. People associate the illness with mood swings or irrational behaviour but never with language or the problems that misuse of words can cause.

I began spouting obscenities in my mid-teens and a psychiatrist told me that it coincided with the onset of Bipolar Disorder. As I have grown older and my illness has progressed the swearing has become more frequent and my speech is quite crude at times. Difficult though it is I can control my behaviour to a point and I am always responsible for it.

Bipolar Disorder is stealing my words. It’s living in a corner of my mind that I can’t access. It is taking the words one by one and hiding them from me. It has stolen my eloquence.

As both good and bad stress increase and decline so does my swearing and crudity. During these times the few words I can access means that I find myself not being able to talk to people because I can’t say what I need to say. My words never return completely.

For the time being I can express myself reasonably well and I will say this – Bipolar Disorder is an illness not a disease but it leaves me in a state of dis-ease.