Living Life To The Fullest When Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

What exactly is bipolar disorder you may ask?

It is a mood disorder, a chemical imbalance in the brain, most often a severe mental illness. You shift from manic episodes to depressive episodes. Often moods occur together which are called a mixed state. It is difficult to pinpoint when a mood cycle will happen.

You are one of the fortunate ones, if the medications prescribed for bipolar disorder work well for your mental illness. It is not uncommon to cycle through a menagerie of medications to find the correct one that works specifically for you, often times two and even three may be prescribed. Your doctor will know what you you need to stay balanced and stable, something you and your psychiatrist need to decide on together.

Often, as with many medications there are the unfortunate side affects that usually have to be tolerated so you can find out which medication is going to serve you best. A psychiatrist normally prefers you stick with a new medication for at least two-six weeks before calling it quits, and trying something else. Many times it takes several attempts to get the right cocktail of medication to stabilize your moods.

During the depressive side of bipolar, you may become intensely depressed with negative thoughts such as thinking of suicide. You don't want to get out of bed for days on end. You pay absolutely no attention to your hygiene habits. You bolt the door and lay in bed knowing the world has come to an end. That nothing matters because your brain tells you life is not worth living. You are not convinced if you just motivate yourself a little bit you can alleviate your depression. But you are so weighed down in worthlessness, and, you see no hope at all. No amount of talk drags you from that bed of sorrow.

Then there is the madness of the manic phase.

Total euphoria, you are under the assumption you are the president of The United States. You are untouchable. You believe you can fly if the desire strikes. An unrelenting sex drive, the need to jump on a flight to another country for no other reason than you just have to capture your every thought. Your mind races so fast you cannot possibly keep up. The thoughts keep coming until they turn into voices you cannot understand. You want to spend money, shop for things you know you do not need. Only because the need to do so is overwhelming and it will satisfy that over-powering urge if even only momentarily. Many times you will deny anything is wrong at all, no matter who tells you otherwise.

The thing that people need to understand is that bipolar can affect anyone, there isn't any one group of people singled out. It is a serious mental illness of the brain, that affects approximately 1% of the world population according to The World Health Organization.

There are treatments of course, but no cure for bipolar disorder. Treatments such as mood stabilizing medications, psychotherapy and as a last resort there is electro convulsive therapy (ECT). However the most popular, is mood stabilizing and anti-psychotic medications such as Lithium, Seroquel, Lamictal, Abilify, Depakote, and Tegretol to name just a few. These medications can help both spectrum's of the bipolar illness. It is also a good treatment choice to seek out psychotherapy along with medication therapy. As it will help with the flood of emotions associated with bipolar mood swings.

Bipolar Disorder also brings along a stigma that paralyzes some of those diagnosed to seek treatment because they are fearful of what others might say or do to them. There is the consuming fear of losing your job because of preconceived ideas of what bipolar disorder means to others, especially an employer that is not knowledgeable about the disorder. It is a mental illness that can be treated with medication and therapy. It is possible to lead a normal life if you are suffering, Follow a treatment plan. Stability is attainable with hard work and the right choices for those that struggle with bipolar disorder.

Of course along with stigma comes the blunders and wrong-doing we as a bipolar person have encountered. Such as trouble with the law, substance abuse issues, unable to keep relationships, or a decent job. Therefore creating shame and more stigma. Bipolar Disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, because there are effective treatments and support groups that strive for stabilization and returning the mind to an integrated state touched by psychosis. Most people with bipolar disorder go on lead vital and productive lives. Without the treatment, however, bipolar disorder most likely will worsen. So it is up to you to seek a treatment plan that fits into your lifestyle. Be it medication, therapy, or an alternative solution, you make the choice to be productive and part of a civilized society. Regardless of a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

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Comments 5 comments

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 3 years ago from Washington MI Author

You are welcome, I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub. And for sharing.

liswilliams profile image

liswilliams 3 years ago from South Africa

That is really interesting - I have epilepsy and I also take topomax, limictal plus one other. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

Thank you, i hope you are staying healthy and stabilized.

crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 4 years ago from Washington MI Author

I hope you find your way to great medicine and a stable lifestyle. It can be done. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

cherriquinn profile image

cherriquinn 4 years ago from UK. England. Newcastle upon Tyne

Great hub! I too was diagnosed with bi-polar so it was good to read your experiences.

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