Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that exists when neurons cannot properly release chemicals in the brain. This causes someone to either enter a sate of deep depression or a state of being over joyful with lots of energy. These are called episodes and those who are not medicated can have episodes frequently and suddenly. Those who are medicated also experience episodes however, not as often as those who aren’t medicated. Bipolar disorder is often a crippling disease that can destroy a person’s life before they are diagnosed. Living with bipolar disorder is hard, but there are unlucky people who live with it everyday.
Bipolar Success Stories
There are many stories on the Internet and in books about people who have overcome their bipolar disorder and live life as normally as they can with the extreme emotional states that they are constantly in contact with. One such story is of a now 32 year old woman whose life was tragically messed up due to her bipolar disorder.
She was 27 when she was first diagnosed. She oftentimes would come up against a manic episode once every two or three weeks. She would often never get much more than two or three days of sleep at one time. When she was in an episode she often needed to be surrounded by attention and noise. She became irritable, loud, obnoxious, and angry. She found herself out at bars more and more, and drinking until she couldn’t stay awake. Her family told her that she treated them unjustly and that she just had a drinking problem that needed to be sorted out. Finally a close friend convinced her to see a doctor, and she did. The doctor diagnosed her with severe bipolar type 1. She didn’t want to admit to being emotionally ill, so she didn’t take the pills prescribed to her.
She met a man one night that put up with her and they got married. They had two children, and she entered a severe battle with postpartum. Her bipolar disorder got worse as time went on, and her husband become frustrated with her. She came home at 2 in the morning almost every night drunk, couldn’t hold down a job, and had a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Finally after much convincing and having a disastrous incident with her daughter where she hit the child, this woman decided to go and revisit a doctor. This time she took her medications. Slowly but surely she began to put he life back together. Today she is 32, happily married, and not letting her bipolar disorder take over her life again. However, the symptoms are still there. She lives with emotional ups and downs, but at least she is actually living.
This woman is only one example of lives that are destroyed because of bipolar disorder. However you can still live with the illness and have a happy life.
Involving Your Family
If you suspect you have the bipolar disorder, don’t keep your family in the dark. Family is one of the strongest teams who you could depend on to work with you during this difficult time. During episodes they will keep you away from dangerous situations or risky behaviors. They can remind you that you will get through it. Your family wants to be involved and they want to help you. Don’t let your own pride get in the way. Talk to and involve your family. You will be glad you did, and so will they.
Deciding on Medication
When you sit down with your doctor after being diagnosed ask to go through the medications available. Make sure that you look at the side-effects as well. This way you and your doctor can pick what medication or combinations of medication are right for you and your situation. Don’t just let your doctor prescribe you anything. A quick in and out won’t do you any good. You may just end up going back for a medication change soon enough.
Going to Counseling
Going to counseling is something that will help you live with your bipolar disorder. A psychiatrist is a trained doctor that will be there to talk to you. They will help you thorough your episodes, and often talk about how you feel during and after episodes. Through the counseling session you should begin to feel like weight has been taken off your shoulders. Having someone to talk to and someone who will listen can make anyone feel better.
Dealing With the Emotional Ups and Downs
Even on medication people with bipolar disorder will often experience emotional ups and downs. If you are bipolar type 1 you could suffer from manic episodes. This means you will become overly joyful, energetic, reckless, restless, and talkative. You will get distracted easily and it may feel like you are having a sugar rush. During a manic episode you will become more likely to exhibit risky behaviors and treat yourself to things such a lavish vacations and expensive shopping trips frequently. Taking your medication and talking to psychiatrist will help with these episodes. However, you should set some ground rules for yourself. When you feel that you may be entering an episode, immediately tell a family member. They will be able to keep an eye on you and make sure that you don’t physically hurt yourself or hurt yourself financially by buying things you can’t pay for. An understanding spouse will also be there to care and look after you.
Someone with bipolar type 2 will have depressive episodes. These episodes can occur just as frequently and as quickly as manic episodes (unless you are medicated). During these episodes you are likely to become irritable, easily angered, reckless and unhappy. You could suffer form insomnia and prone to suicidal thoughts or actions. Taking your medication and talking to a psychiatrist can help you during these episodes. However, asking friends and family to watch you during your episodes is a good idea and an ideal scenario. The people close to you including a spouse can keep you safe and help you through the tough times.
Living with bipolar disorder is very hard. Those who have it go through some pretty tough emotional ups and downs which can eventually destroy their relationships with family and friends. Thy often have thoughts that could lead to them to hurting themselves unknowingly and they can’t control their actions. It is best to understand how living with bipolar disorder patient works so that you can be an informed citizen and help the bipolar all the way until recovery.