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Bipolar Disorder. Who is not afraid to admit they have it ?

Updated on September 16, 2013

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder-Hollywood movie legend & star and of the "Mad Max" movies Mel Gibson just days ago came out with the long dark secret that he had Manic Depression or Bipolar disorder and had suffered silently with the condition for many years

Like most bipolar suffers he was afraid to 'come out' and reveal that he suffered from the serious and often debilitating condition.

Episodonic Illness

Bipolar Affective Disorder is Second only to Schizophrenia in its pathology and seriousness as a mental condition. Often sufferers have dysfunction lives, few long term relationships, jobs, or independent means of support. But with proper treatment the condition can be kept in check.

Because of the stigma associated with being as they say 'mad' then often the condition is kept secret by the sufferers. as much as is possible, from just about everyone.

Gibson said "I had really good highs but some very low lows," Gibson said. "I found out recently I'm manic depressive."

More often than not though suffers keep the condition under there hat often struggling emotionally with the condition as it takes its toll. Many suffers pay the ultimate sacrifice to the condition by taking their own lives. Often suffers engage in bizarre behaviour with long term painful consequences. Erratic and bizarre behaviour Such as checking into five-star hotels is a signal that a person is in an acute episode of bipolar. Rash profligate spending with credit cards, check books and loans so much so that one short shopping spree lasting only weeks can put them in debt for years. Or result in them or other filing for bankruptcy and or going to gaol. Winston Churchill is another famous person who is said to have suffered from the condition. Often he could go for weeks in the manic phase living without sleep. Eventually the 'black dog' as he would say, returned and he would submerge into deep depression. Research on the condition still has a long way to go. Doctors and drug companies say that it is easily treatable. Patients however know better and often scorn at the side effects of taking drugs.

Lithium

Lithiumhas become the major drug used to manage Bipolar-Disorder. Discovered by accident by Australian John Cade it has been the mainstay of treatment for the last thirty to forty years. In More recent years Epilum or Sodium Valpronate is often prescribed. Patients often complain that they feel like a Zombie or in a 'mental straight jacket 'after being sedated with these medications. Suffers are unable to access the emotional highs that they once experienced. Patients often yearn for these manic highs. Just like a drug user does. For this reason many patients often fail deliberately to continue to take drugs and as a result acute episodes of the disorder arrive with greater frequency.

Sufferers are urged by this column and by professionals in the field world wide to seek ongoing help, support and treatment.

A particular eminent advocate and World-Wide expert Authority and personal sufferer of the condition is Psychiatrist at the John Hopkins Medical School Professor Kay Redfield-Jamison


Do you or a friend or relative with Bipolar disorder?

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    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Interesting read but I don't understand why there has been no mention of Bipolar in the last 15 years and I have always thought it's the same as Depression. (Maybe severe depression) I'm not putting anyone down, I just can't seem to separate the two. For anyone who has it. I hope they recover.

      Thanks

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      thanks for commenting. most appreciated!

    • profile image

      El Michelle 

      7 years ago

      The sufferers or the suffers? I think it is the first.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 

      8 years ago

      Hi Barry,

      Glad you are writing on this topic.

      I have written several hubs on mental illness and bipolar, etc and they are my highest ranking hubpages.

      People seem to find this topic interesting.

      As far a being bipolar,

      yes there definitely is a stigma. Even if people don't know I have it, I've been afraid they will know.

      But the manic and depression can really be treated. I've found my most difficult times were caused by circumstances in life, stressors, like family sickness or personal persecution, or living on a very low income.

      I don't get manic anymore. I don't even remember it really. (maybe I was misdiagnosed?) But my "mania" displays itself as intense irritability which is very unpleasant for me. Read my hubs for more info and a deep "LOOK into My Mind......"

      In closing, I've noticed many actors/presidents/geniuses had bipolar and ohter illnesses related.

      It seems to me you can't be in many cases "really bright and not without bipolar or something" the two seem to go hand in hand.

      Aspergers speaks of it's victims with very high intelligence and attention to detail--and many with bipolar find it easy to write an entire hub in 20 mins. (myself included.) So I guess everything has it's good and bad sides. :)

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Shalini Kagal

      you make an excellent point ! a lort of the suffers of bipolar & other conditions have also to wear the attudes & ignorance of others...

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      The human mind is such a complex thing - and yet anything that is considered outside the 'norm' has to be 'treated'. While research is absolutely urgent in this field, I think education about attitudinal changes towards anything that is different from the majority viewpoint of normal is also essential. Good hub!

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      No I actually have not. I will add her to my reading list though.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      10 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well done Yes indeed. By the way have you read Kay Redfiled-Jamison books on the topic?

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      10 years ago from Washington MI

      It is very difficult to come out and say you have bipolar or any mental illness. There is such a huge stigma attached to it. The fact that you don't feel normal. Afraid people won't like you and so on. When finding out people from history,politicians,actors, writers and so on are also afflicted helps stamp out that stigma. Making it easier for us to come and say yes I have bipolar.

      I use to be afraid, but am not so much anymore. Good hub!

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