Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge – Letter B is For Bipolar Disorder


Tenth Anniversary of the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge

I have chosen to write for the mental health topic. It is very important to me that we support all those with mental health issues and I personally suffer from a good amount of them myself.

B stands for Bipolar Disorder.

The below definition for Bipolar Disorder was taken from Wikipedia. To read more click here:

Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood.[3][4][6] The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity, or whether symptoms of psychosis are present.[3] During mania, an individual behaves or feels abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable.[3] Individuals often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences.[4] The need for sleep is usually reduced during manic phases.[4] During periods of depression, there may be crying, a negative outlook on life, and poor eye contact with others.[3] The risk of suicide among those with the illness is high at greater than 6 percent over 20 years, while self-harm occurs in 30–40 percent.[3] Other mental health issues such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorder are commonly associated with bipolar disorder.[3]

 

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I suffered from my early childhood years on, with it getting worse as I matured. We didn’t know what was wrong with me as a child and in the 1950’s they didn’t talk about mental illness. During my manic times I would not sleep at all and this could last for months on end. I didn’t need it. I was full of energy. Once the depressive part took over I was constantly tired and didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything. It was a crazy life, but I simply knew nothing else.

As an adult I didn’t cycle quite as often. I didn’t go for months with no sleep. It actually seemed better except the depression became more enhanced. The mania slowed down. It seemed calmer in my 20’s and 30’s, but then in my late 30’s I had my first real breakdown and had to seek help from a psychiatrist and a psychologist and my first time on medicine started. The medications didn’t help and there weren’t as many back then. Today there are a lot of psychiatric medications, but I am still having trouble finding a cocktail that works for me. I am also in therapy once a week at the minimum. Without a mood stabilizer I am now a rapid cycler. My mood can change in minutes, or hours, not the months it used to take for mood changes.

After a suicide attempt I had 2 hospitalizations and my newest diagnosis about 3 years ago was Bipolar 1 with psychosis. It seems seeing and hearing things also makes you psychotic. My medications contain an anti-depressant with a mood stabilizer or anti-psychotic and of course my anti-anxiety medication for which I need to survive at this point. The simplest things send me into a major panic.

Anti-depressants may not be prescribed for Bipolar Disorder as they will trigger mania if not taken with a mood stabilizer, such as Lithium or an anti-psychotic. I never understood why taking an antidepressant only in the beginning was such a problem. Over the years they came to realize that someone with Bipolar Disorder can’t take just an anti-depressant.

Tessa

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses, also a devout Christian

Author – http://www.finallyawriter.com (this blog contains my old work mostly although occasionally I do add something new here), new work is mainly on this blog http://www.tessacandoit.com

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