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Bipolar Disorder and what is Normal? Do not think bipolar is the same as up and down normal.

Updated on June 14, 2014

Foggy and not clear

Just a great big tree grown from a mustard seed.
Just a great big tree grown from a mustard seed. | Source

Let us open up our minds to Bipolar.

Do you sometimes get down? Do you sometimes get way up? Bipolar may be in you. Bipolar is really just a word. Two poles. Like north and south. Two extremes. Bipolar is not a boogie man.

Bipolar might be your worst nightmare or Bipolar could be your friend. And nothing about Bipolar is set in stone. Now have I used the word bipolar enough to desensitize you to the word? That is my intention here. Let us look at bipolar from a lifestyle and philosophical point of view.

I have it. And I do not know what that means. I get up and I get down. But let us look at some other factors and normal people without the "disease" and how they are also bipolar.

In other words let us look at others in order to look at ourselves more closely. Or let us take a look at ourselves so we can see others more clearly. The idea here is that we become little Sherlock Holmes. We take out our magnifying glass and look real close with an eye toward investigation and not judgment. We are detectives.

We can see clearly now.

Just a tree in a wonderful light and perspective.
Just a tree in a wonderful light and perspective. | Source

Our friend the lunar body we call moon.

The moon moves in cycles. Those cycles have a pull on all the waters of the world. That pull actually makes water move. You are filled with water. Mostly in blood which also has a bunch of iron in it -- we hope. That water in you is tugged on by the moon. That iron in you is subject to magnetism. From outside of you there are cycles that definitely effect you.

There are cloudy and sunny days. Their are dry days and wet days. There are hot days and cool and cold days. There is air conditioning and loud noises. To suggest that these have no effect on you would be playing Mr. Ostrich. Even though your head may be in the sand the rest of your body is still being effected by all of the above.

And this is just the outside -- let us look at the inside.

A tree mightily effected by the outside.

Reaching for the sun yet blown sideways by the wind.
Reaching for the sun yet blown sideways by the wind. | Source

Our inner cycle

Once every so many years we completely change all the cells in our bodies. Women have a cycle that generally is monthly. I understand that men also have somewhat of a monthly cycle. Children are growing on the inside and outside and learning and going through -- stages. All people start out as babies and die when they are older. Most live to somewhat of an old age. That is a long cycle.

We naturally go through cycles of what we eat. It used to be much more dramatic with the changing of the seasons but to some of us we still go with what is locally fresh and "in season". The nutrients we put into our bodies is on a huge cycle.

Everyone has a sleep and wake cycle and withing both of those we have more cycles like LEM -REM and like first thing when we get up to lunch to bed.

The water that we consume must go through a cycle. Rain, evaporation and rain again.

All the foliage around us goes through cycles. And sometimes just the color changes effect our insides. Animals around us go through seasonal changes -- and we often eat them.

Cool cycle video and the song speaks of ups and downs of faith.

So there you have it. Cycles are everywhere.

So if we were "normal" all the time and did not have cycles we would be very strange indeed. It is more normal to have cycles than not to have them.

So we look at degrees. This is a two step process. One the degree of our cycles and two the degree in which it effects us. You see you and I might have exactly the same cycle, but it really bothers me and you, shoot you hardly notice.

A word of caution here. Both in extremes would be not good. See a doctor. In other words if you answer my quiz below either yes or no, you need to see someone about it. Yogis and pastors maybe but probably an MD of some sort.

Here is what I call the good and bad news. As we grow more aware and in tune with our bodies we can feel things more acutely. You can see how that is both good and bad.

How sensitive are you?

Are you conscious of and effected by your cycles to a large degree?

See results

So now use that bipolar

Within moderation we should enjoy our ups and downs. Remember as a child or if like me, last week, swinging in a playground swing? The ups and downs are what makes them fun. Same with the slide. Same with jumping in the water. For many it is the same with skiing or sky diving.

For some of us it is just the cycle of the day that we enjoy. I love my coffee and teas and different times of the day. And I really like sunsets and sunrises.

Well I also like my internal swings. My writing is probably a reasonable reflection. Some writing are pounding and hard paced. While others are calm, easy does it and too self reflecting ;-)

How about your significant other? Do you enjoy their cycles or does it bother you that on Tuesday he reacts one way and on Sunday night a different way. Can you let yourself get into here moods so you can be on the same page?

I am overly sensitive and overly empathetic. My moods will change like a chameleon to those around me.

I have on many occasions walked into a story and right back out again. If that vibe is just to antagonistic. At least I step back outside prepare for it and re-enter. Although I do admit to turning on the "my mood is going to be your mood" power switch.

My buddies the Water Buffalo, at home at my family home in Vietnam.

Life is not just good it is real good.
Life is not just good it is real good. | Source

So on bipolar

I hope this hub helps us to see that bipolar in us. We take at look at ourselves so that we can see others more clearly.

Someone who really has the bipolar disorder is in a world of hurt. It is a horribly disabling problem. It constantly leads to alcoholism, too often to suicide and very often to ruined jobs and relationships. Make no mistake this is a deadly disease if you have it in any degree that would elevate to a disorder. If you got it get help. If a friend seems to have it, intervene Now!

Perhaps with this insight you can help others. No not by labeling them but by better understanding them in a world that really tries not to because as it learns it realizes that it has it too.

Now you just go and have an up and down day -- and take a little of me with you.

Let me wrap this up on an up note!

I got diagnosed with this disease about ten years ago. It has taken a lot of work to manage. I think I cussed God a little for giving it to me. But as is my way, i followed the rule I learned from a fellow in a garden in a place called Gethsemane. "Please take this cup from me. But no matter your will shall be done".

Here is how it shakes out. Because of this disease i have had the following blessings. I had to learn how to meditate and exercise in proper fashion. Quiet times and deep breathing and more hiking and more yoga. I found I needed more from God. So I began talking with God everyday several times a day. Because of this closeness I became a preacher man. Because of a greater awareness of others my business has improved.

And now because of this time spent daily in reflection and health and seeking I have become a much better writer, husband and father, and I hope friend. I learned to listen, not only to others but to myself and to quiet.

So because of a deadly disease my cycle of growth and learning and understanding took on more vigor and love. So in essence the disease was the greatest gift I have ever had.

Rudyard Kipling wrote: "If you can meet triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same".

That quote along with a collage of me hiking with my children was given me a a gift. Funny that. Have you ever received a death gift? Yes, my buddies gave me that as a good bye gift. I tricked them, I stayed alive.

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    • Authorkat profile image

      Kathryn S. Carrington 3 years ago from Maryland

      Interesting article. My sister is diagnosed with Bipolar and you have a fascinating way of getting through this disorder, as well as, relating it to many facets of life. I suppose we could all be a little bipolar at times. Thanks for sharing and bringing this to life.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Spirit Whisperer. Very nice to meet you. You have outstanding hubs. I will get back to more later.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 3 years ago from Isle of Man

      Another wonderful article. The wounded healer is always the most credible and effective. It is all very well for people who have never experienced the condition to advise sufferers on how to deal with it but for someone as yourself who has first hand experience , your life is your message and you heal by example. This is also being shared but this one is going on my Manx Hypnosis FB Page. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi friend! Great to hear from you. This is such a nice comment. Wow that just really makes me happy.

      You are one of those great outside influences. Thanks.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a beautifully written Hub. I have relatives who have this disorder. You really helped me to put myself in their shoes. How interesting that we are all affected by so many outside influences, some we are not even aware of. I'm impressed by the fact that you take such good care of yourself and have allowed your weakness to become your strength. Thank you for sharing!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      fivesenses, Go get em!! With your experience you could help so many. Hey wait a second,,, you just helped me. Thank you.

    • fivesenses profile image

      Leena 3 years ago from new delhi

      A great insight into bipolar ...I'm glad you managed to turn a disease into a blessing of sorts and learn to come to terms with it.

      I was in a relationship with a bipolar man and the associated alcoholism and brain chemical highs and lows can be impossible to manage...voted and shared.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian ( or as we called our brother named Brian - brain) My wife just came in to explain some tough stuff. She was really lecturing which i do not take well.

      Our planets were not simpatico. So I backed off, held my head in a concentrative fashion and listened. That was a part of who I am. We hugged and knew we were not on the same link. But love we have.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Nice work, Eric. My wife likes to study the daily horoscope. She always warns me when such and such planets are retrograde and when cosmic trouble is lurking. And it's true! I have always felt that strange pull and the cycle of things since I was young. They were a part of who I was in some weird way, and I loved it. Excellent hub, my friend.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey Sparklea. You people lift us. When I was born they called me "illegitimate" can you imagine? A child who is not legitimate? Maybe I am, but they do not call babies that anymore. Because of good people like you.

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      Voted up, useful and beautiful. One of the best informative readings about bipolar disorder. Thank you so much for addressing this vital topic. I think I read that people with this condition are very brilliant and creative. Your writing is unique and phenomenal. God bless you and your wonderful talents that continue to benefit myself and others.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Denise. This is true. One big issue is that others may look at the person like they are incompetent. Stigma is a problem.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We highly sensitive people often times have "gifts" that come with our "disorders." It makes us more aware of the world, people, and what is needed to be helpful. Unfortunately, we have to do certain things to manage the difficulties that come with them! You are doing a great job!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mr. Happy. You make an excellent several points. Thank you. We learn in deep meditation that distractions will just float into our thoughts. We learn to not get mad or bothered, just to see them, notice them and then move on.

      You my friend are constantly motivated to press on. And you carry some of us with you. Thanks.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      "That water in you is tugged on by the moon." - Last night I was playing with my father's cat and suddenly I felt like the Moon was calling me and when I shifted my head and looked outside (through the glass balcony doors), there it was: a bright, almost full Moon. It does call me ... not the first time and probably not the last.

      I have not payed attention to my cycles much ... haha, I thought the ladies were more intuitive of such things (joking). : )

      Your comment about "the degree in which it effects us", I think is critical. Indulging in any situation/feeling too much can land one in distress. And You are right about the alcohol thing ... that's how my brother in law medicated himself until he committed suicide. So, ya the Fire Water is no good here.

      My happiness rests in the ability to overcome whatever comes on my path. And I trot along, or sneak on the sides lol

      Thank You for writing this article. Will share.

      All the best! : )

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      fpherj, I am so happy that you responded in this important matter.

      This is a full on horrible deadly disease. Bipolar II is fully disabling. And it causes so many "ripple effect" problems. Way too often it is masked through self medication -- resulting in true substance abuse issues.

      Here is the trickiest part in my mind. Both polarities must be treated in a cooperative regimen but also separately. Medications have to be monitored nearly daily.

      Let me stress this one more way --- I had stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma, with pancreatic involvement. Massive Chemo-therapy was involved. Near death was normal. It took about 8 months to cure.

      In 2004 I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar. It has taken everyday for nearly 10 years just to control it. It will never go away. I have lost at least 4 friends whom I have been treated with to the disease.

      I hope that my non-medical approach helps others to understand the monster better.

      Thank you again for "bumping up the reality".

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Hello, Eric.....Here's hoping you are having a relaxing, happy day.

      I'm glad I stumbled upon this hub of yours, on the psychological issue known as "bi-polar disorder."

      Perhaps unbeknownst to you, you have presented a short explanation to a first year psyche student. It is interesting to me that you used a method that I sometimes used in teaching, years ago. I endearingly referred to this method as "Talk to me like I'm 2 years old." This means only that one is introducing something which is thus far, totally foreign to the listener. It is vital to begin clearly, slowly and with simple language. At the appropriate time, a teacher will stress that an elementary description, by no means, translates as "simple," in the real world.

      I trust you are fully aware that bi-polar disorder is a complex and serious mental issue that effects millions of sufferers. As with most disorders, there are degrees. However, regardless of the degree of one's disorder, on-going therapy and medication are necessary as part of the treatment.

      I appreciate that you welcome comments, because it's imperative that your readers understand the vast difference between common "mood swings," in the healthy individual and the brain chemistry change of the bi-polar victim. The former is controllable by the individual....the latter of course, is not.

      Thank you, Eric for this interesting piece of writing....UP+

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I don't want to start a debate but the only way I'm ahead of you is perhaps I've written more hubs ;)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are all growing together Mary. Just in different spurts. Folks like you have spurted ahead of me, and I am very grateful that you lend a hand back my way.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, thank you very much. I have a great mentor who teaches me daily -- you.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You really are a very good writer, Eric! You have insights into the nature of life and man that are exquisite. Keep writing and keep showing the way to happiness. I'm with you step for step.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      This is such a great description of bipolar! You've certainly taken it to a level anyone can understand without even trying.

      Everyone has their ups and downs but I'm sure never thought of bipolar as part of that cycle. You may be bipolar my friend but you certainly know how to grab attention making this hub a great read.

      BTW your pictures are a perfect compliment to your words and thoughts.

      Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared.