Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Continue to heal though understanding

"Bipolar disorder or, manic depression, is a medical illness that causes extreme shift in mood, energy, and functioning. These changes may be subtle or dramatic and typically vary greatly over the course of the person's life as well as among individuals. Over 10 million people in America have bipolar disorder and the illness affects men and women equally. Bipolar disorder is a chronic and generally life-long condition with reoccurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months. These episodes often begin in adolescence or early adulthood, and occasionally even in children. Most people generally require some sort of life long treatment." (CareNotes System, Bryan LGH Medical Center)

As previously mentioned I recently spent a good deal of time in the hospital in both the Affective Disorder ward and the Partial Hospitalization Program. My total time spent was approximately three months. I believe part of the reason my time was so extensive was that my initial diagnosis of Depression, Anxiety Disorder and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) was partially incorrect.

When someone is diagnosed with Depression initially and given antidepressants which also will calm anxiety it will make manic stages of bipolar more extreme. In my case not only did my mania worsen but so did my depressive states. Things became so much worse than anything I had ever experienced before.  By the time I was admitted for my safety to the Affective Disorder ward I was so fearful of simply going to work at all that I would have a panic attack each time the thought would enter my mind that "I need to go to work."

Though my time spent in the hospital I realized I am not alone. Others suffer as I do. This stigma that surrounds the bipolar illness should not be there any longer. This illness is just like any serious health condition. I compare it to cancer quite often.
          It can effect every aspect of your body.
          It requires the help of doctors regularly.
          You must take your meds in order to get and stay better.
          There are support groups which can help and you should check out.
          It can become life threatening.
          And most importantly some days you will not feel like getting out of bed and continuing to fight but you must!

My title of this blog is meant to make fun of the stigma. Most of those with this condition including myself at one point have seen ourselves though the eyes of the stigma. No one wants to be diagnosed with this condition. It's difficult on your family and yourself. You will never be cured and without consistent work you will never get better or stay that way. Although this illness is something we must endure it is something if we choose that we can we may live with. Perhaps for others suffering the hard work will pay off. Having a stable mood could be one of the greatest blessings you experience in your life!!

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