Modified 11th July 2015 Work In Progress
(This is in response to a post I read. I thought about what I have done after finding out I was Bipolar and how it has effected having this knowledge.)
To start off, I thought I would show a video of people who are Bipolar. No names. See how many you recognize. Think how they have succeeded in there lives. Unfortunately, a great number of people with Bipolar have the sad tendency, when in the throes of Depression, to commit suicide. If you are the lucking one who can work it through, it is a wonderful miracle to be able to say I made it through another descent into the darkness.
Famous People With Bipolar
Bipolar as an “excuse…” I don’t try to use bipolar as an excuse but at times I know it is the reason I lose control. Since I was 19 I have been in and out of therapy for many reasons. I am pretty positive I had bipolar when I was a kid but my diagnosis was never caught until sometime in some psychiatrists office they decided I had bipolar but never bothered to tell me. They told me I had other severe diagnoses but they always seemed to leave that one off the list. Last year, I asked my most recent therapist if she could check my Mental Health charts and find out what was written down as my diagnoses. In black and white on April 20th 2011 she read out to me the list and said that I also had Bipolar Disorder. We both were shocked. She hadn’t been told before taking me on as a client and as I said no one ever told me. They did prescribe the medication for it a long while back. We are talking about double digit years. I’ve since stopped taking any psych meds recently (psychiatrist approved) with the exception of something for anxiety and panic attacks. I hated the way they made me feel so numbed out and my mind wouldn’t function right and I felt depressed and sleepy all the time but couldn’t sleep. Since then I have been working with my therapist and reading every great book on bipolar that I have been able to find. Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison has written many and the first one I read was: “Touched With Fire.” This book is a fantastic first book to read after you are diagnosed. The author makes you feel good about yourself while she writes about all the famous creative people who had manic depression and left the world with th most magnificent art, writings and all manner of creation. And the many famous people alive today who live with Bipolar. Admittedly, living with Bipolar is not an easy life but it does have its satisfactions and fulfillments if you work with the treatments for it.
Knowing about the Bipolar has made everything make so much more sense. It has given me an anchor. I work hard on the anger that lets loose and it is extremely difficult to hold the rage back. I work hard in therapy and in my most important relationships to find some sense of control. It is easier to let loose than to hold back but I am trying to find a way to do just that. Writing helps work out my thoughts and emotions and so does talking with my therapist and partner and my doc. They are the rudder that guide me and keep me alive. Doing creative writing helps more than anything. I can focus on my characters in any story I want to give them and work on any subject. So I really try not to use Bipolar as an excuse any more than all the other mental health issues I have. It’s impossible for them not to effect all regions of my life but as I said earlier I have been working in therapy for years and with many therapists on understanding and trying to get a hold of my behavior and to understand my self. Meditation really does help to release some of the stress and music and writing mixed in, all cause an evolution in my world.
I relax in order to bring my bipolar under a reasonable level of control. I won’t take the toxic medications that are prescribed today. If someday the government changes its mind and allows marijuana to be used with all of its medicinal properties, one of which is in assisting bipolar treatments and a plethora of other treatments. I would consider using a medication such as medicinal marijuana for the treatment of my mood swings and racing thoughts, my highs and lows, my delusions [perception I feel are real when they are not real]. The true reality is not that way at all. I question the delusional / irrational thoughts I felt I was having & now feel they may not have been delusional at all but a psychic perception not yet revealed in perceived time.
I am actually questioning whether there were any delusions at all. In probability, it could have been someone fucking with my mind & feelings. My perception were actually receiving quite well what was really going on & the feeling I was being irrational was to confuse me.
Being Bipolar is the brain having a backfire. I do need something to help correct the bad connection. That is why my own doctor is trying to help me to work with the government in my state to try to push this issue forward. She actually can see the benefits of marijuana for my treatments for bipolar, chronic pain, anxieties and all sorts of other physical and psychological issues that I am dealing with. My state does issue Licenses for Cannabis / Marijuana. It is $50.00 per year & an ounce of pot is $300.00, which to me is expensive. I need to get seeds & grow the permitted amount. [Something to discuss with my Doctor the next time I see her].
Having a support system is extremely important. I have been working on building mine a bit strong. I have my creative activity which I do mostly alone. This time I need, want, & enjoy immensely. A necessity for my live to feel alive.
I have psychotherapy to help with the bipolar & discussing a great many needed issues, plus we laugh a great deal. My psychotherapist & I have a great deal in common, so it is easy to talk to her about almost anything. The harder subjects, I tend to write out & read to her, then we discuss them.
I see my main Doctor once a month & I see specialty doctors for various treatments. My weekly visits to see my Chiropractor keeps my body organized, and we talk about many thing. He is a poet & we connect very easily.
I have my friends, parts of my family and my partner, all part of my support system and theirs, quite willingly. jk the secret keeper…Namaste!
Signs and symptoms
Bipolar disorder is a condition in which people experience abnormally elevated (manic or hypomanic) and, in many cases, abnormally depressed states for periods in a way that interferes with functioning. Not everyone’s symptoms are the same, and there is no simple physiological test to confirm the disorder. Bipolar disorder can appear to be unipolar depression. Diagnosing bipolar disorder is often difficult, even for mental health professionals. What distinguishes bipolar disorder from unipolar depression is that the affected person experiences states of mania and depression. Often bipolar is inconsistent among patients because some people feel depressed more often than not and experience little mania whereas others experience predominantly manic symptoms. Additionally, the younger the age of onset—bipolar disorder starts in childhood or early adulthood in most patients—the more likely the first few episodes are to be depression. Because a bipolar diagnosis requires a manic or hypomanic episode, many patients are initially diagnosed and treated as having major depression.
Signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder include persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt, anger, isolation, or hopelessness; disturbances in sleep and appetite; fatigue and loss of interest in usually enjoyable activities; problems concentrating; loneliness, self-loathing, apathy or indifference; depersonalization; loss of interest in sexual activity; shyness or social anxiety; irritability, chronic pain (with or without a known cause); lack of motivation; and morbid suicidal ideation. In severe cases, the individual may become psychotic, a condition also known as severe bipolar depression with psychotic features. These symptoms include delusions or, less commonly, hallucinations, usually unpleasant. A major depressive episode persists for at least two weeks, and may continue for over six months if left untreated.
Mania is the signature characteristic of bipolar disorder and depending on its severity is how the disorder is classified. Mania is generally characterized by a distinct period of an elevated mood, which can take the form of euphoria. People commonly experience an increase in energy and a decreased need for sleep, with many often getting as little as 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night, while others can go days without sleeping. A person may exhibit pressured speech, with thoughts experienced as racing. Attention span is low, and a person in a manic state may be easily distracted. Judgment may become impaired, and sufferers may go on spending sprees or engage in behavior that is quite abnormal for them. They may indulge in substance abuse, particularly alcohol or other depressants, cocaine or other stimulants, or sleeping pills. Their behavior may become aggressive, intolerant, or intrusive. People may feel out of control or unstoppable, or as if they have been “chosen” and are “on a special mission” or have other grandiose or delusional ideas. Sexual drive may increase. At more extreme phases of bipolar I, a person in a manic state can begin to experience psychosis or a break with reality, where thinking is affected along with mood. Some people in a manic state experience severe anxiety and are very irritable (to the point of rage), while others are euphoric and grandiose.
Psychotherapy is aimed at alleviating core symptoms, recognizing episode triggers, reducing negative expressed emotion in relationships, recognizing prodromal symptoms before full-blown recurrence, and practicing the factors that lead to maintenance of remission. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy, and psychoeducation have the most evidence for efficacy in regard to relapse prevention, while interpersonal and social rhythm therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy appear the most effective in regard to residual depressive symptoms. Most studies have been based only on bipolar I, however, and treatment during the acute phase can be a particular challenge. Some clinicians emphasize the need to talk with individuals experiencing mania, to develop a therapeutic alliance in support of recovery.
Bipolar disorder can cause suicidal ideation that leads to suicidal attempts. One out of 3 people with bipolar disorder report past attempts of suicide or complete it, and the annual average suicide rate is (0.4%), which is 10 to 20 times that of the general population. The standardized mortality ratio from suicide in BD is between 18 and 25 years of age.
Bipolar disorder involves periods of elevated or irritable mood (mania), alternating with periods of depression. The “mood swings” between mania and depression can be very abrupt.
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
Agitation or irritation
Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
Little need for sleep
Noticeably elevated mood
Lack of self-control
Over-involvement in activities
Poor temper control
Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
Tendency to be easily distracted
These symptoms of mania are seen with bipolar disorder I.
In people with bipolar disorder II, hypomanic episodes involve similar symptoms that are less intense.
The depressed phase of both types of bipolar disorder includes the following symptoms:
Daily low mood
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Overeating and weight gain
Fatigue or listlessness
Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and/or guilt
Loss of self-esteem
Persistent thoughts of death
Inability to sleep
Withdrawal from activities that were once enjoyed
Withdrawal from friends
There is a high risk of suicide with bipolar disorder. While in phase, patients may abuse either alcohol or other substances, which can make the symptoms worse.
Sometimes there is an overlap between the two phases. Manic and depressive symptoms may occur together or quickly one after the other in what is called a mixed state.
Getting enough sleep is extremely important in bipolar disorder, because a lack of sleep can trigger a manic episode. Psychotherapy may be a useful option during the depressive phase. Joining a support group may be particularly helpful for bipolar disorder patients and their loved ones.
A patient with bipolar disorder cannot always reliably tell the doctor about the state of the illness. Patients often have difficulty recognizing their own manic symptoms.
Mood variations in bipolar disorder are not predictable, so it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a patient is responding to treatment or naturally emerging from a bipolar phase.
Suicide is a very real risk during both mania and depression. Suicidal thoughts, ideas, and gestures in people with bipolar affective disorder require immediate emergency attention.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health provider or an emergency number right way if:
You are having thoughts of death or suicide
You are experiencing severe symptoms of depression or mania
You have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and your symptoms have returned or you are having any new symptoms.
When broadly defined four percent of people experience bipolar at some point in their life. The lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder type I, which includes at least a lifetime manic episode, has generally been estimated at two percent. It is equally prevalent in men and women and found across all cultures and ethnic groups.
Medical Marijuana (Cannabinoids) Relieve Bipolar Symptoms: Follow physicians suggestions, then with help from family members, try medical marijuana for symptom relief:
• appetite stimulant (Sativa’s)
• mood elevators (Sativa’s)
• fatigue (Sativa’s)
• sleep disturbances (Indica’s)
• hyperactivity (Indica’s)
• mania (Indica’s)
• focus (Sativa’s)
Look for strains with higher CBD-Cannabidiol levels. Sativa’s have higher CBD levels than Indica’s. Hashish has highest amounts of CBD’s. “Durban Poison” has higher CBD levels.