Bipolarity is one of those mental disorders that most people remain oblivious of. It has become a subject of ridicule from people whose understanding of the illness provided an impetus for a misperceived status of Bipolars across the globe.
In the face of a misplaced understanding, it has become apparent to those who have
sustained the illness that struggle is real and sometimes too great to bear. It is therefore important for people to know about it so as not to add more to the struggles these people endure on a daily basis.
Bipolarity is a mental disorder marked by alternating periods of elation and depression. It is a serious mental illness. People who have it go through unusual mood changes. They go from very happy, “up,” and active to very sad and hopeless, “down,” and inactive, and then back again. They often have normal moods in between. The up feeling is called mania. The down feeling is depression.
The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t always clear. It runs in families. Abnormal brain structure and function may also play a role.
Bipolar disorder often starts in a person’s late teen or early adult years. But children and adults can have bipolar disorder too. The illness usually lasts a lifetime.
If you think you may have it, tell your health care provider. A medical checkup can rule out other illnesses that might cause your mood changes.
If not treated, bipolar disorder can lead to damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. However, there are effective treatments to control symptoms: medicine and talk therapy. A combination usually works best.
Key Recovery Concepts
Hope. With good symptom management, it is possible to experience long periods of wellness. Believing that you can cope with your mood disorder is both accurate and essential to recovery.
Perspective. Depression and manic-depression often follow cyclical patterns. Although you may go through some painful times and it may be difficult to believe things will get better, it is important not to give up hope.
Personal Responsibility. It’s up to you to take action to keep your moods stabilized. This includes asking for help from others when you need it, taking your medication as prescribed and keeping appointments with your health care providers.
Self-Advocacy. Become an effective advocate for yourself so you can get the services and treatment you need, and make the life you want for yourself.
Education. Learn all you can about your illness. This allows you to make informed decisions about all aspects of your life and treatment.
Support. Working toward wellness is up to you. However, support from others is essential to maintaining your stability and enhancing the quality of your life.