As a gay woman, I’m very used to being the “token” that people ask questions of, rather than going to (the much more polite) Google. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when people find out I have bipolar disorder, I become their token friend with mental health concerns and it’s all of a sudden my job to answer any questions they may have. Questions about medication, therapy, coping skills, you name it – I’ve been asked them. I’ve been asked to diagnose people with bipolar disorder or to give tips for other folks (who are always asking for a friend, not themselves) with this condition.
It can get a little annoying.
It most recently happened when I was in a public setting and took out some lotion to put on my hands. My Ativan prescription was in the bag that my lotion was in, and the questions started. “What’s that? Why are you on it? What does it do?” If someone was neurotypical, these questions would likely be considered rude (just like questions about a gay person’s sex life would be considered rude if asked of a straight person). But because the people who ask these questions know I have bipolar disorder, it’s all of a sudden fair game.
I guess all I can do is answer the questions with a bit of grace. And readers? Please refrain from asking these kinds of questions unless you know the person well enough to know they’re comfortable with it. I’m not your DSM. That’s what Google is for.