ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. — Bipolar disorder is like diving off a diving board and then remembering you don't know how to swim to Rochelle Park's Genevieve Dietzel.
Sometimes, it's a backflip off the high dive.
But words alone are not enough to convey a day in Dietzel's life. The 19-year-old is writing a rock album highlighting what it's like to live and create with a mental illness.
"I think, as humans, we tend to fall in habits of destroying ourselves sometimes or we end up in toxic environments or situations, even if we are mentally healthy," the teen said.
"Where my experiences may be more intense, I think, as bleak as this is, suffering and spiraling out of control is something a lot of people can relate to, especially young people."
She'll release her first single next month, "Chainsaws & Rainy Days," a song she wrote the day she dropped out of high school, and highlights what it's like living with bipolar disorder and the depressive episodes she experienced.
The inspiration for her album came while she was wrapping up work on a Broadway show about an underage sex worker "Blood Rain."
“Young performers have it in their head that they've got to make it to Broadway, that it's the end all be all of their career,” she said.
“And I cannot stress how wrong that is.”
Dietzel said her manic episodes were at their worst around the time she was finished with "Blood Rain."
"I went a little crazy and I wrote a lot of music surrounding the issue of self-destruction," she said.
"I spiraled out of control."
The American Psychiatric Association defines bipolar disorders as brain disorders that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function.
"People with bipolar disorders have extreme and intense emotional states that occur at distinct times, called mood episodes," according to the APA.
"These mood episodes are categorized as manic, hypomanic or depressive. People with bipolar disorders generally have periods of normal mood as well.
"Bipolar disorders can be treated, and people with these illnesses can lead full and productive lives."
For Dietzel, manic episodes are racing thoughts and action that are rarely though through, and increase in intensity with her depressive episodes, she said.
She is hoping her music will help break stereotypes about bipolar disorder.
"People kind of act like one-size-fits-all when it comes to being bipolar," Dietzel said. "But it's really different for everyone.
"Most of us are high-functioning, highly intelligent people, — not 'crazy' menaces to society who live and breathe to make your life miserable.
"We also don't want to be your 'psycho' ex, or the person you compare [them[ to."
Dietzel is out to prove that people with mental disorders can go on to change the world. Particularly, women with mental disorders.
"Female representation in misogynistic areas of music is very important to me and it shouldn't have to feel revolutionary to make music that feels genuine to you," she said.
"In addition to people finding solace in my music, I want to be able to be a feminine presence in a very sexist genre of music."
But no matter who you are or where you come from, "Life is messy," Dietzel said. "And I think that's relatable."
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