Bipolar can kill you in one of three ways. Firstly, the actual medications used to treat the illness can kill you. Will most likely kill you. Simply put, pretty much all of them will cause organ failure over time or left unmonitored. And if your organs fail you die.
Secondly, people who have bipolar are at a higher risk for substance abuse and addiction, the complications of which can kill in a myriad of ways.
Thirdly, if the illness is left untreated for long enough – whether it be undiagnosed or treatment resistance – you die. You don’t die in the same way you’d die from organ failure – the more socially accepted way to die. No, you die by your own hand. You take your own life. You commit suicide. It is greatly frowned upon (and misunderstood) by ordinary (ignorant) folk who whisper “selfish” and “weak” in dishonourable contempt of the world we, the mentally ill, occupy.
I want to deconstruct this terminology – committed suicide. Selfish? Weak? Not at all. The very nature of the word ‘committed’ highlights the profound intent behind the act. A commitment takes effort, planning, energy, courage, faith, motivation, confidence, determination, ability to follow through. So to not only want to die, but to want to succeed at dying, one would have to be extremely committed to the cause. Think about it – committed suicide. A commitment to death.
I’d call that honourable and courageous.