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dedoubt

The way we dress

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i've had a two tdocs comment that one of the ways they could "just tell" i have borderline personality disorder (which i do not, and never have) is because of how i dress. i have never been so quick to determine a tdoc's capability than after hearing THAT. that's just insulting, and not even based on any kind of "scientific" evidence. :angry2:

i don't have one particular style. some days i dress like a semi-professional middle aged woman, some days i dress like i live in the hood (which i do), some days i want to feel pretty and wear dresses/extra jewelery, some days i look like a roadie for a death metal band, some days i dress like i'm still nineteen. if i'm depressed, i don't care what it is as long as i can get out of my bathrobe and it's clean.

now i am sure to dress "my age" (whatever that means, i dunno i guess it means i blend in) to doctors appointments of any kind. i have enough stigma to fight already. :brooding:

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I'm schizoaffective and I wear mostly black. I like black. It's easy to match. I don't have to wash it as often. I think it looks good on me. But I know I look like a goth and have received comments from my superiors about my "unprofessional appearance."

I will say that I deliberately wear fucked up shirts to my shrink appointments - "raven lunatic" or "when I want your opinion I'll read it in your entrails" - but I've been with my shrink for years now and he knows I'm just fucking with him. I can't seem to help myself. I just love fucking with people.

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Interesting.

I go a couple of ways. When I'm depressed, I either look like crap/I don't care (because well, I genuinely don't care), or I take care to make sure I look good so people will see the image I try so hard to project of me being okay. When I'm up, I go from kind of lazy (throwing on jeans and a fitted tee, or a dress in the summer) to actually trying by picking out what shirt looks best with which pants and which shoes look best to make the outfit etc.

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What a *bizarre* thing to say to someone! That's like saying you can tell someone is gay by the way they walk. If wearing tattered, vintage clothing is an indicator of MI, then my entire city needs to be on meds!

BTW, 'celtickarasu', I *want* that shirt that says "when I want your opinion I'll read it in your entrails"! That's awesome!

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I worked in peer support for two years, and I was told I didn't look like I had an MI - rather, I looked like one of the social workers. Honestly, I look like a young, white middle class professional, as that is what I am (Or was until last week, now I'm a poor student, heh). I always dressed a little classier at work as I was supposed to be a role model, and I was a supervisor for the last year, so I had to look a bit more professional. I think a lot of people have this wacked out idea of what MI looks like, when really, you can't see MI on a person who is stable (And sometimes unstable - I always make it a point to keep up appearances when I'm depressed). I mean, shit, being unable to see what MI looks like is half the problem when it comes to stigma. You can see a wheelchair - you can't see a mood episode. I think that fact creeps people out a bit. You just don't know. Muwahaha.

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When I'm depressed, I just do not care at all. So I tend to get pretty grungy.

When I'm euthymic, clothes and makeup become really fun for me to play with. I live in Alabama, and get most of my clothes on my trips to NYC, so it's really easy for me to be the styliest girl in the room. And I'm just petty and childish enough to like that.

When I'm manic, I don't think it changes all that much. I always wear a lot of black, and I've kind of given up on avoiding cleavage, given my currently enormous boobs. And my makeup hasn't really changed for a decade or two - red lipstick, minimal everything else. Even manic, I'm just too lazy to experiment with other options.

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Ha! If people judged my bipolarness by how I dressed they would be totally wrong. When I'm feeling really low, I wear brighter colors and actually take time on looking good. It sometimes helps me get up and get to work. When I'm hypomanic or just normal (whatever that is) I just throw on clothes. If I judged my coworkers by how they dressed, I'd be working with about 6 female teachers that were obviously sluts. I can't believe a professional would say that she could tell you were MI be the way you looked.

It would be interesting to take a poll or do a study. :rolleyes:

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I wear a lot of black, but I think that's a New York City thing. Then again, wouldn't surprise me if NYC had more than its share of bipolar folks...

I get told all the time - like, several times a week - that I look like a vegetarian. (And I eat ribs like a friggin' Flintstone.)

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I've never had people tell me specifically that I was BP based on my clothes, but I used to have coworkers comment to me about my clothing while in a mood episode. When manic, I'd wear the same shirt twice in a row or forget to brush my teeth. When depressed, I wore disheveled clothes and uncombed/unwashed hair.

So my work enviornment definitely knew that something was up even if I didn't say anything.

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dedoubt, this topic made me smile to myself. While I am not diagnosed bipolar, my eccentric sartorial elegance has often resulted in some strange looks and pointed commentary. When not dressed in faded denims, capris, or ratty gardening trousers, I wear tie-dyed t-shirts and broomstick skirts---obviously a hangover from my early 20s. I am twice the age, or even more, of many of the posters in this topic and can say, without hesitation, that modes of dress have always had certain lifestyle connotations attached to them, but to judge someone's MI by their clothing is, at least to my eye and from my remove, beyond the pale.

To eccentricity, broad and deep!

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I tend to dress in a very generic sort of way. My clothes are not flashy or trendy because I try and blend in. I want to be the guy that people have trouble remembering or describing. Those who don't know me would say I look fine on the exterior. The people who do, are privy to my craziness and eccentricities.

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I continuously reinvent myself. This year I'm wearing sundresses and skirts. This is new for me. I'm a shorts/jeans and t-shirts kind girl. When I'm up, I wear makeup. When I'm down, I skip it. My hair changes all the time too. I actually don't know who I am at all, style-wise. I tend to copy people if I like what they have on. I guess I'm just not creative enough to figure out my own style.

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I don't actually think it's so impossible to believe that we dress differently based on our episodes... my friends have noticed, for sure. I can definitely tell. I'll show you. xD

Depressed:

mad1.jpg

daily1.jpg

Tend to just wear t-shirts and not really care about how I look. If I wear make up it's darker OR from the previous day... I tend to not care so much about how I look

"Normal":

imprefections2.jpg

cottoncandy19.jpg

stpat3.jpg

Make up or no make up... generally, I just look like I maybe put SOME effort into my clothes and make up. I also tend to dress up more... In the last picture, I was wearing a skirt and striped stockings, which to me means more hypomania, really. I wouldn't say I dress like MOST women my age when "normal" but I'm not quite as odd as when manic. I still get weird looks but not so much as...

Manic:

preview3.jpg

captain5.jpg

fell1.jpg

jarofhearts2.jpg

I try to incorporate these items every day, but I just feel like I can't pull it off. When manic, I can pull ANYTHING off. I'm more extravagant in make up, clothes... everything. ALSO, the first two pictures in this section have things that I made in like... a night, when manic and not sleeping. I made the bustle type thing in the first... Also, added stuff to the bloomers that you can't see in both top pictures. The second picture, I cut a chemise and added stuff and went all crazy...

So I can totally see it. I also know others can see it.

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I mean, shit, being unable to see what MI looks like is half the problem when it comes to stigma. You can see a wheelchair - you can't see a mood episode. I think that fact creeps people out a bit. You just don't know. Muwahaha.

Ha! I'm going to try blending in and creep around behind people, ready to jump out yelling BOO! When they jump and ask me why, I'll just say, "Oh, it's just because I'm crazy."

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I don't actually think it's so impossible to believe that we dress differently based on our episodes... my friends have noticed, for sure. I can definitely tell. -snip- So I can totally see it. I also know others can see it.

Oh, I am very aware that I dress differently depending on how I am feeling, and that it is noticeable to others. What I was astounded by was that two different people told me they "could tell" I have bipolar disorder *because* of the way I dressed based on extremely limited information (one person had seen me twice, the other once). Like there was something so completely OFF about me, they just knew I was MI, and what kind. Phhht. If I had been wearing some of the outfits I've made that only a crazy person would wear, that would be one thing. But I was dressed in what to me seem like very ordinary clothes.

You make some neat stuff, and put together great outfits. My daughter just decided that she wants me to teach her how to make a corset this summer. Sigh. She's too young to wear a tight lacer, so we are going to have to use stretchy fabric. I don't want her ribs to go all funny just yet. (We have a 17 yo visiting that started lacing when she was 15, and it seems too young...)

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I don't think anyone has said/thought I had BP cause of how I dressed.. there have been many cases of "there is something not quite right with that child" though! lol

I don't do it to the extreme anymore that I once did (probably because there is no money to buy things when manic now) Its funny to think of some of my manic outfits I wore as a teen.. Tight corset, flowing shinny skirts (or way too short ones), 6+ inch platform heels, way too much makeup.. and liberty spikes (when I had enough hair.. I shaved it off when manic once, it was half down my back).

Now it would be hard for anyone to tell what my moods are doing based on my dress (if they knew about my ummm crap whatever).. When manic I either dress up way too much for the occasion.. or pay no mind to what I'm wearing (much better things to be doing, heh). On the other hand when depressed.. I might not care at all what I'm wearing.. or might dress up really nice so no one can see how depressed I am (not sure how that works).

There is one type of clothing I will almost never wear now... thanks to a Pdoc when I was IP.. he told me he KNEW I liked attention and wasn't paranoid because I wore shirts with writing on them which would make people look at me (band shirts). Not really a good idea to tell someone who is documented as being paranoid that people are staring at them! I used to live in those shirts but now I can't wear them without thinking people are staring at me 24/7.

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I still can't make a corset. My sewing is so shoddy... I just get weird and have to do it. It really makes NO SENSE to me. I love that you're going to help your daughter with one, even if it can't be a tight-laced one. I didn't start until I was... 20, I think? And the one I got was too big, then I kept losing weight, so it was redundant. xD

Really, the only ones who have noticed with me are people I'm close to, who have seen me often. But I don't think it really started and got bad until about a year or so ago... It makes me uncomfortable to notice it, since I never did before. I sort of get uncomfortable when others notice. Especially since when I told some people they said, "Well, duh."

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interesting.

that was one of the questions pdoc asked me during my evaluation this week. do you dress differently? more flamboyant, more colorful, more make-up? umm, i said, i don't think so. i never wear makeup. but i do shower more, so that means clean clothes and combed hair more often at least.

i don't think i dress differently now (hypomanic) than normal, but when i was depressed it was the most comfortable shirt and pants i could find and i wore them for at least a week. i also didn't comb or wash my hair for 2 weeks at least.

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When I'm really, really depressed, I will wear the same clothes repeatedly-mostly PJ pants and a tank top and hoodie. No makeup. But these are mostly days when I don't leave the house.

I used to be a daily primper and that's what people are used to, so when I go out not "made up", I usually get the "are you sick?" Question. I don't work right now so the workplace comments don't really apply to me.

However, on (really) good days, I will do the full routine and people say I look like a different person, which makes them assume I am fine, which isn't always the case. Not doing the full routine and going out has made me a little more comfortable in my own skin though, so I guess that's a good thing.

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