So, a lot has changed in the past month. I’ve been off the rails a few times with bordering-on-acute mania, and finally agreed to start taking mood stabilizers. I’m not happy about it, but someone is going to get very hurt or worse if I don’t get my bipolar cycles under control. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about that experience as the medicine reaches steady state.
However, the immediate musing is on identity. I’ve written for almost ten years now on how I’m certain that most psychopaths do not have a strong sense of meaningful identity. While I still believe that to be true, the true cause of such a dearth may be exclusively to do with poor childhoods than anything else, of which I also believe applies to many, if not a majority, of psychopaths.
I had therapy today as a means of holding me accountable for taking the first dose of a mood stabilizer last night. I had resisted the idea for a decade, so to say that I was happy to start popping them would be a bold-faced lie. However, in therapy today, we started talking about what to tackle when my manic episodes subside presumably after the mood stabilizer takes root, and the immediate request from me was to help me develop identity.
The new therapist, whom I’ve seen for about a month now, suggests that the key may be to use a treatment vector known as Internal Family Systems. In this, the personality is broken down into subsystems, and the roles and characteristics of each are deconstructed and identified. I don’t know much about it yet, and five-year-ago me would have said absolutely not to such an approach, but I’m desperate to feel like a distinct human being at some point before I die.
The trickiest part of all of this is that I lie … and my personality lies back. I cannot find a true observation of the facts in my head without this layer of intentional or unintentional deceit. How am I supposed to make sense of the distinct personality actors in play (antisocial, narcissistic, other?) if I can’t trust my own observations? I hope to find out in the coming weeks.