Well, I guess it’s about time to talk about the BIG ANIMAL IN THE ROOM called BIPOLAR II. It is the most misunderstood mental illness in the book. Some people think it’s about the crazy, emotional people that can’t control themselves in public and others think it’s just depressed people that live on their own in the woods and parks in and around our cities. How about those people locked up in the mental hospital? Some of them could be Bipolar. I”m here to tell you that all are right and wrong.
We’ve all heard the commercial from TV or radio that states, “Do you feel happy and energetic on some days, but then sad and sluggish on other days? If so, and if your symptoms persist for extended periods of time, making it difficult for you to live your life as you usually would, then you may want to speak with your healthcare provider.” (FREE TV)
There are some Key Points in this passage:
- First let me clarify, you don’t have to be “happy” at all. and secondly, you don’t have to be both “happy” then “sad” then “happy” again. You can just be “depressed” or “sad”. There is no set formula to go by. The doctors play it by ear.
- Symptoms have to persist for an extended period of time which means more than two weeks to a month.
- This condition has to have made it difficult for you to live your life normally.
- Finally, You NEED to talk to your Healthcare Provider about it before IT’S TOO LATE.. When it first starts disrupting your life get help! Please! It can get serious really fast!!!!
Back when I was first diagnosed, there was only one kind of depression and it was called Manic Depression. It was a unipolar depression. You only got really depressed like you were falling down a deep well with no hope of coming up or seeing daylight again. Later the “people in the know” came to discover a new type of depression called bipolar depression which is part of a larger condition of bipolar disorder where there were two poles of extreme emotions, both highs and lows. The highs were not “happy” but euphoric and top of the world feelings. You feel like you can do anything. Your mind races at 90 mph like a car, but you can also turn irritable. The Lows were not always “sadness” but deeper than that and into hopelessness, depression, and the extreme would be thoughts of suicide. After several years, “the powers that be” changed everything again and divided Bipolar Disorder into Bipolar I (More of Mania or “highs” and some Depression) and Bipolar II (Some Hypomania (Mixed states or “mid-highs” but mainly depression). You will get mixed states in both.
According to WebMD, Bipolar is a very serious disease and can be risky behavior and even suicidal tendencies, Bipolar disorder is a lifelong or chronic illness. There is no cure for it. It affects the brain in ways that cause unpredictably extreme mood swings that vary in length and duration. There is no known cause of Bipolar disorder;, but a combination of genetics, altered brain structure, chemistry and environment may play a role.
Here are a few fun facts just for your knowledge:
- Bipolar disorder affects about 5.7 Million American adults in any given year and as many as 60 million people worldwide.
- More than half of all patients begin seeing symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can begin at any age.
- There is no cure, but for many people the symptoms can be controlled with medication and treatment.
- Some people may experience mood swings that are less extreme than a full manic episode , known as hypomania.
- People with bipolar disorder often also have other mental health disorders (Sources : Mayo Clinic and Others)
I’m normally not one for stats, but I do like my lists. (LOL) Look here. It’s a disease, first and for most. Yes there is no cure, but it can be managed by medication and therapy and in extreme cases, hospitals, straps and really good drugs. (LOL) Most of us live relatively normal lives and only those closest to us know that we are mentally ill. We don’t have pointed ears or a forked tongues. We look pretty much alike.