Ways to Cope - Living with Bipolar Disorder

The Ups and Downs of Manic Depression

Bipolar Disorder is also known as Manic Depressive Disorder, Manic Depression and Bipolar Affective Disorder. Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental disorder that is defined by a whole category of mood disorders.

Sufferers of this illness go through two distinct extremes. The high episodes, commonly described as Mania, are periods of elevated mood, energy and racing thoughts. Manic episodes are quite enjoyable to most sufferers as opposed to the other extreme, Depressive episodes. Depressive episodes consist of depressive, very low moods, accompanied by a lack of inspiration, fatigue and may also include achiness throughout the body and head as well as thoughts of suicide. In the worst, most extreme cases, there may be suicide attempts and complete and total “giving up” on life in general. In some cases, mixed episodes may also occur in which case both extremes, Manic and Depressive, are present at the same time.

Some manic depressives will have breaks in between Mania and Depressive episodes. At these times, they will experience “normal” moods until the next wave of extremes decides to come forth or is triggered by an unwelcomed outside force to disrupt their lives once again. In others, the two extremes may rapidly alternate. This is known as “Rapid Cycling.” In this instance, the sufferer may awake in a high or low mood and soon after their feet hit the floor, the weather can change rather quickly to the other extreme. Often there is no warning and no great reason for this sudden “switch.” It just happens…The record skips.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder generally begin in late adolescence or early adulthood. It can be a devastating, lifelong disorder; or, it may enhance your life in the long term by means of creativity, goal striving and positive achievements. Living with bipolar disorder is as unique as the individual. Some may not survive without treatment, the mind too weakened by the illness to overcome and use elements of the disorder as an advantage. Others get creative and, for the most part, go on to live a “normal” life through many different means that may work for them. Meditations, physical exercise, daily rituals and routines, gardening and the arts are all quite helpful with or without treatment. Self-expression is a channel, a means of releasing the painful thoughts and symptoms.

Sometimes, the professional is the Self. Other times, it is wise to seek professional help from another source when we are unable to reason with ourselves or our “disorder.” Medical professionals are best thought of as safety nets. They are there if we need them.

I am Not a Doctor.

VAMPGYRL420 is not a doctor.

I am, however, someone who was diagnosed with this illness at the young age of 19. At that time, I was in an abusive relationship. Riding entirely on the telling of my family doctor that I was being abused, he so diagnosed me and gave me the pharmaceutical drug, Prozac.

I did not take Prozac for long. The truth is I do not trust pharmaceutical companies. I always, always try to make myself or my situation better on my own first.

I am not trying to replace the voice of your doctor. That would be an insult to me and, most likely, to your doctor as well. I am here as an advocate for those who, like myself, wish to avoid taking as much as possible from any kind of laboratory. I am not a guinea pig nor a rat. The same things are not going to work for me that work for them and I do not trust our government nor the pharmaceutical companies enough to allow them to go inside my body in pill form on a daily basis.

I do manage my moods through many creative processes of expression as well as communing with Nature, which can be very healing in itself. Talk to yourself and you will get your own personal answers.

However, if you are having thoughts of suicide and are afraid you will not be able to manage them on your own, please seek help!

Famous People Who Have Lived and Prospered with Bipolar Disorder

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Comments 4 comments

dracaslair 6 years ago

thanks for tips im bipolar


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VAMPGYRL420 6 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A. Author

You're quite welcome ;) A very close friend of mine is also bipolar. We work well together to manage our moods...I was on the phone with her on a daily basis once she first quite taking her meds. It was pretty rough at first; but once you learn what your triggers are, you learn to avoid them all together or modify your reactions to them. It's all in the power of your own mind :) If you need me, as a friend, I am here.

Love & Light,

Windy Grace


Jared 5 years ago

Hi, I'm a 14 year old male and I'm almost 100% sure I have bipolar disorder. Iv been through many descriptive lists on numerous pages and I have pretty much everything... I couldn't have described myself better. I ruined a relationship with a really great girl cause I'd get into manic (at least I think that's what they were counting on if I am bp) states and would tear her apart saying she doesn't really care about me etc. I know I'm only 14 and relationships come and go but it really sucks. So I'v come this far... but the problem is, is I have no clue how to approach my parents to go get a pros opinion. They are really understanding and stuff but one I'm worried they won't believe me and two I'm scared of disappointing them. What do u think I should do?


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VAMPGYRL420 4 years ago from The Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, U.S.A. Author

Jared, you will NOT disappoint your parents by asking them for help. As a 37 year old mother of six beautiful children (4 of which are bi-polar), I can tell you that your parents will only be disappointed if you do NOT go to them for help. Please sit down with your parents and talk to them about this. The longer it takes you to take this step, the longer you suffer at the hands of this alone unnecessarily. Love and Hugs to you, Sweetheart. Feel free to contact me anytime.

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