Let me briefly explain. It is really super common for us bipolar (I or II) to go through mania, especially when the meds are off in any way. The concern is simple and this: No matter what changes to break us out of the manic streak it is almost an absolute guarantee that it is followed swiftly by depression. And the depression that you cycle into after mania is different than the everyday depression that we experience (particularly for us II’s) in a couple of key ways. 1 – it “feels” worse, deeper and more hopeless. 2 – it almost always comes with what we can best describe as a “cloud” which for normal people would look like clouded/poor judgment and behavior where we are more “off” than usual and seem to be not totally with it.
Unfortunately for many people (“us”), the “cloud” puts really bad, negative thinking in your head that almost no one or nothing can “reverse”/combat. With me, even before my diagnosis, this almost always came with suicidal ideation. My research, groups, therapy, books, etc. tell me this is all really common and normal for us. Ideation is not really intent to act. It is just as I said it is – poor, clouded judgment telling you things you’d expect like “you’re a horrible person – you’re worthless – you’re better off dead – maybe that so-and-so in front of you would be a good idea for you to end it.”
So point is, it isn’t a real desire to actually take action. But, unfortunately for many people like me who are no longer with us, if you have “the tools” or “an easy option” readily available what was just bad thinking can lead to the ultimate poor choice.
It is actually against the law for bipolar people to own/purchase a gun, which is not even the main reason why I hope to never be around one. But we know that doesn’t always mean people like me don’t have them.
From what I know, specifically, a gun is the worst “tool/option” to be anywhere around us when the inevitable crash comes down. That is probably self-evident, but that is because few other things (for most people) are as quick in their outcome. Even other really horrible choices that are common for us such as knives/cutting and meds/overdose are slightly less worrisome because their timing is, generally, longer. This allows others to have a chance to figure out what has happened and get us to the hospital. Sometimes even we “snap to” sometime after and can seek help. In the case of most prescribed meds that we take, quote unquote “overdoses” are “possible” and can be bad when severe to the point of maybe losing a limb. But they rarely cost us our lives.
Point being, it isn’t like “okay, if no gun, then absolutely nothing to worry about” but it is the most common “no return” ending that it seems like many people like me end up gone from us even though they didn’t really have a true desire to do that (if that makes any sense at all).
So no matter what, the ending to a manic episode is never good or pleasant. I hope that anyone in it gets through it and can be okay.