“We all tend to think of the problems we are going through as some sort of personal failing – you know, if we tried harder, or if we worked better, or if we fixed some past problem in our childhood, then we can beat this. The problem is that mood swings are disease, a real disease. They aren’t just a passing phase or a down period or a character defect. They are as real a disease as diabetes or astigmatic vision.
We also tend not to like the idea that we might have a ‘mental’ disease, mostly because so many of the associations with this are negative. But mood swings don’t make you a crazy person. They are just a set of annoying symptoms that get in the way of living your life. They don’t stop you from graduating university, or succeeding in your job, or having friends, or being well respected. You don’t suddenly turn forty and get an axe and go on a bloody rampage. What you are is, well, pretty normal like everyone else. Just with a set of annoying symptoms that you deal with. Think of people who get migraine headaches, or with peanut allergies, or who get bad hay fever. It’s more like that.”