SE The Bipolar Experiment
While browsing for new mods and custom content to add to my Sims 4 game, I came across some mental illness traits that sounded all too familiar. I found a set of Bipolar traits (for Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2). That gave me the idea to do a little experiment that I hope will be both therapeutic and beneficial to me and maybe others as well. I am going to create a Sim based on my realistic self (first time doing that since the Sims 1, actually) and give the Sim this mental illness trait mod. After that, I’ll try to setup a realistic living scenario for her and then see how it plays out. Want to join me?
Before we start, if you are unfamiliar with the Sims 4 and don’t know what a “trait” is, this is from the Sims 4 Wiki:
Trait is a personality system in The Sims 4. All traits affect a Sim’s behavior and emotions, for example, a creative Sim may randomly become inspired, while a Sim that loves outdoors will sink into a low mood if they stay inside too long.
So these mental illness traits will affect the personality, mood, and behavior of my Sim similar to how they do in real life.
One more note before we move on. The trait mod that I’ll be using is a little old. The game has been updated several times since the last update of this mod so it may or may not function correctly in my game. I’ll be finding out as I go along. If you play the Sims 4 and want the traits to test in your own game, here is the link to them: Bipolar Traits.
I have a few other game mods and tuning mods installed in my game for added realism that may affect my gameplay as different from yours. Some of the bigger mods I have installed are MCCC, WickedWhims, Slice of Life, plus countless smaller mods from LittleMsSam and Mod the Sims for little bug fixes and gameplay tweaks such as one that makes Sims eat their food in half the time. Other than that I have a ton of custom content to change the look of my Sims. (Mods change gameplay while custom content are game assets that don’t affect how the game works, just how it looks.)
This is Mia Simm (get it?) and I tried to be as realistic when creating her. She’s somewhat overweight (like me), wears glasses (like me), and has hair that’s shorter than she’d like it to be (also like me at the moment). Recently I haven’t been wearing makeup but I still gave her a little bit of makeup just for the hell of it but I did it in shades that I usually wear. She also dresses like me with a flowy top, jeans, and sneakers. I tried to keep all her clothing options similar to stuff that I might actually wear with a lot of normal-like clothing. The hair color is just about right, I think. If she manages to lose her weight, I’ll reward her with longer hair and outfits like I used to wear when I was thinner.
I gave Mia the following traits: Bipolar 1, Creative, and Geek. Her first aspiration is the Creative aspiration of “Painter Extraordinaire”. She will start off life as a young adult (basically she will be in her 20s).
I was going to chose the Loner trait as that’s the closest thing available to social anxiety/agoraphobia that comes with the game but it barely does anything and just kills romance options so I went with Geek instead and I am a huge geek so that works out. If I ever learn to create my own mods, I’ll create an agoraphobia trait. I did find a Social Anxiety Disorder Trait mod but I think it’s broken so I won’t be using it for this experiment.
I would never live out on my own completely alone, neither should Mia. So, I created a little chihuahua for her named Pippie that is based on my beloved chihuahua Aayla. Pippie is a puppy with the following traits: Playful, Loyal, and Sleuth. Those traits seemed the closest match to how Aayla was as a puppy. Oh, and Pippie is what I almost named Aayla before I came up with the name she has so it seemed fitting to use here. Isn’t she just so cute??
My hope has always been to live in an apartment in the city rather than any place in a small town or suburb. I therefore sent Mia and Pippie to live in an apartment in the big city of San Myshuno. The apartment I picked out is 1313 21 Chic Street that has the lot trait of “Needs TLC” which means a lot of things are going to break that either Mia will have to fix herself or she will have to call the landlord to fix. Hey, it was cheap! I added two more lot traits which are Natural Light and Homey that will help with gaining her painting, handiness, and cooking skills.
As soon as Mia moved into her new apartment, I sold all the furniture she wouldn’t need or was rubbish (like the used fridge and stove) and added some new and upgraded furniture. I upgraded the bed, fridge, stove, TV, dresser, and dining chairs. I then added an easel (for her painting aspiration), computer (because the first thing I would do with that many simoleons is of course buy a high-end desktop for gaming and work), desk, desk chair, pet food bowl, pet toy box, and a digital sketchpad. She now has §7,756 which is way more than I would ever be able to start off so I’m using a cheat code to minimize her funds to be only §400 as that seems like a fair amount to have on hand and is far more realistic for me to have to start off with. (FYI: This is the only time that I plan to use any cheat codes!) Her rent is §300 so she had better get to work and get the money to pay that rent when it’s due!
The most realistic job I could find for Mia is as a Digital Artist Freelancer which is basically what I am trying to be now but not having as much luck thanks to my damn illness. Her first gig is to paint the portrait of a politician for about §200. Sounds reasonable! As soon as she finishes work for her first gig, and gets paid closer to §300 for it because she finished it way ahead of the deadline, there is a notification that GeekCon is in town! I’ve always wanted to go to a geek convention. I did go to one a few years ago and it was torture to be around so many people but somehow I still managed to somewhat enjoy it. I’m not sure I could manage to actually go to one such event now. Still, let’s see how Mia handles it…
That should be enough to get started. I’ll continue Mia’s story and this experiment in the following days. For easy reference, you can find all the posts from this topic on the Sims Stories page. (All posts related to the experiment will begin with the letters “SE” and located in the Bipolar Experiment category so they are easier to find among my other posts.) Alternatively, you could subscribe to my blog using the box at the bottom far right of this page and be notified by email when a new post is posted. I promise no spam and your address will never be sold or misused by me. If you’d rather follow this experiment on Tumblr, here is a link to Simularity @ Tumblr. You could also follow Simularity @ Twitter for updates if you would like to.
One more note before I let you go. I’m not just going to let Mia run loose with full autonomy. I will make choices for her based on what I might do in real life. There are some things I can’t (currently) program into the game such as my fear of making phone calls or the aforementioned agoraphobia and social anxiety. I’ll be doing the best I can to simulate this by just telling her to do what I would do and or not do. I’m starting to get even more interested to see how this will play out! I hope you’ll join me in this little experiment. I don’t know how long it will last but I will try to keep it interesting for as long as I can. Thank you for viewing!