- Mental Health
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!