Friday, January 11, 2013

We Pray to the Lord - Part 2: For Better Understanding of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder.
In the past it was known as  manic-depressive illness.

More than a mood disorder,
it is actually a brain disorder
that causes shifts in mood,
shifts in energy and activity levels.
Sometimes it makes it next to impossible
to carry out normal daily life.

Mind you,
these are NOT the normal ups and downs
of day to day living.
Bipolar ups and downs are severe, extreme.

In the severe “Up” state
(the manic or hypo-manic state)
the person can manage on little sleep,
if they sleep at all.
They might do something like start putting laundry away,
then shift to cleaning out the closet. . .
. . and before you know it the whole bedroom is re-arranged,
cleaned from top to bottom. . .maybe even painted. . .
And all this happened when the rest of the house was asleep.
And morning comes,
with no sleep having been had,
but another day with other “projects” begins. . . .

Lack of sleep
may bring about
hypnagogic hallucinations,
which has her own set of problems.
Hypnagogic Hallucinations
is the hearing voices,
but this is due to lack of sleep.
It’s like dreaming while you are awake.
It’s like being half awake
and half asleep.
One hears what one would hear
while dreaming in the full sleep state.

In the manic state,
the person may be extremely chatty
and not quite able to understand
why everyone else is not as busy and productive as they are.
It’s often next to impossible
to interrupt the chattiness
as they have so much to say.
They have a hundred million different thoughts
racing through their head
and are trying to get them all out.
And they have a million projects
going on in their head as well.
They become busy and active
trying to accomplish everything
that is going on in their head.

And then there is the “down” state.
It can happen suddenly, quickly.
One moment the person is active, productive
doing all sorts of works and projects,
and quite literally a moment later
they take a 180 and are down. . .
depressed, sleeping.

The shifts in mood can last several days
or even weeks.
The shift can come with little or no warning at all.

Some with bipolar disorder
experience this 2 or 3 times a year.
Some cycle quickly,
in a matter of weeks.
Our household
has experienced
the Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar disorder
often develops in a person's late teens
or early adult years.
At least half of all cases start before age 25.
Some people have their first symptoms during childhood,
while others may develop symptoms late in life.

Bipolar disorder is not easy to spot when it starts.
The symptoms may seem like separate problems,
not recognized as parts of a larger problem.
Those around a person with Bipolar Disorder
might see the separate events
as occurring after some specific event,
the loss of a job, a relationship break-up,
death of a loved one. . .
and, therefore,
miss the mark.

the events are not so major.
The person might fail to pay phone bill,
even though they have sufficient funds,
and the phone gets turned off.
Or they fail to put laundry away
and things around the house start to pile up.
The depression, the down side,
is so severe,
that these simple every day tasks
are seemingly impossible to do.

Seeing these events,
both the large and small events,
as separate events that might cause depression,
those around a person with Bipolar Disorder
fail to connect the dots.
And so,
many fail to see
that these are all bits and pieces
of a much larger puzzle.

And because of this
some people suffer for years
before they are properly diagnosed and treated.
Like diabetes or heart disease,
bipolar disorder is a long-term illness
that must be carefully managed
throughout a person's life.

And for goodness sake,
find the right doctor.
We spend more time shopping for a used car
than we do for a good doctor.
If your doctor isn’t answering your questions
or helping in the way you need,
fire him/her
and find a doctor who will.
fire your doctor.
This is too important
not to get the help that is needed.

In my next blog entry
I will discuss a bit
about how the medications work
and what exactly they are prescribed for.

For now, though,
you might glean a little something more
from this video.
It’s brief and very informative.

For a better understanding of Bipolar Disorder,
We Pray to the Lord.

For those with Bipolar Disorder,
We Pray to the Lord.
* * * * * *

Part 1 - For Those Who are Ill

* Part 2 - For A Better Understanding of Bipolar Disorder

Part 3 - For A Better Understanding Of The Medications Used To Treat Bipolar Disorder

Part 4 - To Get To Know Others With Bipolar Disorder

Part 5 -  For A Better Understanding Of The Different Types Of Bipolar Disorder

Part 6 - That We May Learn To Listen To Those With Bipolar Disorder

Part 7 - What Can I Do To Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder?

Part 8 - To Learn More About Bipolar Disorder

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