Bipolar Disorder A Mental Illness That Is Nothing To Be Ashamed Of
What Is Bipolar Disorder?
What exactly is bipolar disorder anyway you may ask? What used to be called manic depression is now called bipolar disorder. It is a mood disorder, many believe a chemical imbalance of the brain, often times a very severe mental illness. You can go from one mood extreme to the complete other. You never know what will trigger a bipolar episode, it just happens. From elevated happiness and euphoria to slumbering sadness and sorrow. Within months, weeks or even hours. Depending on what kind of bipolar cycle you are going through.
Three types of bipolar
Bipolar I Disorder: This involves at least one or more manic or mixed episode/rapid cycling, and often one or more major depressive episodes. A depressive episode may last for several weeks or months. Your mood changes may also be related to the seasons and weather. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by but not limited to hallucinations, grandiose feelings, and increased sexual desire.
Bipolar II Disorder: One or more major depressive episodes with at least one hypo-manic episode. Hypo-manic episodes have symptoms similar to manic episodes, but are not as severe. Other forms of mania may include behaviors such as unexplained irritability, insomnia, and unacceptable social behaviors.
Cyclothymic Disorder: Is a mood disorder with repeated periods of mild depression, and periods of normal or slightly elevated mood. Lasting at least 2-years. It is the mildest form of bipolar disorder.
Other Symptoms May Include:
- Talking to fast or loudly
- Risky or impulsive behaviors
- Paranoia or hallucinations
- Lack of energy
- A loss of Interest
- Thoughts of suicide
Keeping Track Of Everything
If you are lucky, the medications you are prescribed by a psychiatrist will work the first time you try them. It is not uncommon to cycle through a menagerie of medications to find the right one that works for you, often times you may need two or three to help you stabilize your cycles. You and your doctor can decide how many you need to for you to reach stability. There are side affects that you may have to tolerate so you can find out which medication will give you that stability, and live a normal productive life. Bipolar disorder is a manageable illness. It takes working with your doctors and consistency in your routine to make your life productive.
There will be times you are so depressed all you can think about is suicide. You find it extremely difficult to get out of bed for days on end. You pay absolutely no detail to your hygiene, or eating. You lock the door and lay in bed knowing the world has come to an end. Nothing matters, nothing exists outside of your bedroom walls. Because your brain tells you life isn't worth living. You're just a big lump laying there waiting for the hole in the floor to suck you in. Wanting to die because you believe there is no other way. Your convinced nobody likes you anyway. So why bother? This is often the train of thought that goes along with someone who is in the very depressed phase of bipolar disorder.
Then there is the manic phase. You think your The President of The United States. You are totally invincible. You believe you can fly if you so desire. You have an unrelenting sex drive, you have the need to jump on a flight to another country for no other reason than you just know you have the urge to do so. Your mind races so fast you can't keep up. The thoughts keep coming until they turn into voices you can't understand. You want to spend money, shop for things you know you don't need. Sleep is elusive. You require very little if any for days. You talk fast and loud, blaming others for not being able to keep up with you. life may begin to slip out of control.
The fact is, that bipolar can affect anyone. It is a serious mental illness that affects approximately 1% of the world population according to The World Health Organization.
There is no cure for bipolar disorder, but there are several treatment options. Such as taking mood stabilizing medications, anti-depressant medications and when necessary, anti-psychotic medications, psychotherapy and as a last resort there is electro convulsive therapy (ECT). But the most popular, is mood stabilizing medications such as Lithium, Abilify, Depakote, and Tegretol to name the ones most often prescribed.
Bipolar also brings along a strong stigma that paralyzes some of those diagnosed to seek treatment because they are afraid of what others might think of them. There is the fear of losing a job because of preconceived idea of what bipolar means or what the bipolar person might do. As mentioned above, it is a mental illness that can be treated with medication and therapy. It is possible to lead a normal life if the person diagnosed is treated and follows a stringent treatment plan.
Of course along with stigma comes the mistakes and wrong-doing the bipolar person may do while in a manic phase. Such as trouble with the law, unable to keep relationships, thus creating more shame and more stigma. Bipolar Disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, you do not have to be stigmatized because there are treatments and support groups to help you work toward stability and wellness. Bipolar disorder is like any other illness that needs to be treated with medication. As long as you continue with the treatment option you choose, and your symptoms are kept under control you can often live a normal productive life.
Keep track of your triggers. Recognize what stresses you out. Take notes on patterns that cause you to have mood swings. With this information you can begin to recognize them and avoid your negative stressors. By doing this you will be able to manage your symptoms, inform your doctor, and make changes to your medication and life choices if needed.
Keeping your regular doctor and therapy appointments is always crucial. Your doctor's can't help you if you aren't helping yourself. Going off bipolar meds or changing them without talking with your doctor can cause episodes to return or get worse. So be sure to share with your doctor if you intend to quit taking medications. Remember with proper medication, bipolar disorder can usually be managed with therapy, support groups, family, and friends.
Learn More About Bipolar Disorder
- Catch Bipolar By The Tail-Just Another Day With A Mo...
Bipolar is a very erratic reality. It is also a treatable mood disorder. However right when you think you've got it by the tail, it takes and slams you back into the pit of hell. The ride gets wearisome after a riding for a long time. It can be...
- Bipolar Disorder-I Want To Feel Normal Again
Having Bipolar Disorder is difficult. I share my stories of adventure, and success in believing do indeed have bipolar, and must find a way to live with that.
- Lithium-What You Should Know
Lithium Carbonate is the drug most commonly used to treat bipolar (manic depressive) disorder. Lithium is usually effective in the treatment of the manic phase & in acute bipolar depression. It serves as a...
- Lithium For Bipolar Disorder 1-Trying To Live A Prod...
Who Am I? I wrote this little piece a few months back when I was giving the wonder drug Lithium another try. I wanted it to work so desperately. Lithium is the drug of all drugs for manic depression, what...
More by this Author
There are many myths out there about how mental illness is caused. There are just as many lies about mental illness that are just not true. You may have heard all kinds of misconceptions about people who have a...
I wrote this little narrative awhile back when I was giving the wonder drug Lithium another try. As it turns out, it is a great drug for bipolar, but the side effects can be terrible and unforgiving.
If you own a cat, you may see many little quirks your cat has? I have listed 23 fascinating facts about the awesomeness of cats. Delightful little tidbits just for you. Do you recognize your cat?