Most people have probably come across the word bipolar but were not quite sure what it is. Well bipolar disorder is a disorder that involves episodes of mood swings that vary from depressive lows (hypomania) to manic highs (mania). There are always two extreme poles of the disorder as shown in the diagram below, though it consists of four states namely highs, lows, mixed states and rapid cycling which will be described in future posts. It is considered a mood disorder because there are several changes in the mood and behaviour of the person who suffers from bipolar.
Although we celebrated World Bipolar Day on 30th of March, each day is a continuous awareness of the challenges faced, overcame, and some still being battled by all who are affected with bipolar disorders. Due to the nature of mood polarity experienced by suffers, I have chosen the zebra as a symbol to celebrate the beauty of all those affected directly and indirectly with bipolar disorders.
Bipolar disorders are a group a group of disorders that involve episodes of mood swings that vary from depressive lows to manic highs; the highs can range from a lower hypomania to more severe mania. I had an associate who had such a brilliant mind and had fascinating views about life. His creativity was so more than impressive and he had the most unique choice of the types of music he listened to. He always seemed to be so elated but then on other days he would struggle to even get out of bed. His moods were a roller coaster. He was later on diagnosed by a doctor that he had bipolar; after discovering through a lifestyle self-help questionnaire that he answered YES to MOST questions.
Some of the question went like this:
Has there ever been a time when you were not feeling as your usual self?
1. You felt overexcited that people thought you were not your normal self?
2. You spoke faster than your normal self or were more talkative than usual?
3. You had too much energy than normal?
4. You lacked concentration?
5. You took unusual risks in behaviour?
6. You were overspending?
7. You had trouble sleeping?
8. You were over confident than usual?
9. You were very irritable and got into argument and fights with people?
10. You had too many rushing thoughts?
11. You had difficulty in working, relating to family or friends, or had legal troubles?
If you feel like this sometimes it would help to check with your doctor if you possibly do not have manic-depression illness or a bipolar disorder?
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There are several celebrities who have suffered from the same ailment and are getting helped. Some of the famous people are Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mel Gibson, Mike Tyson, Sinead O’Connor to mention a few.
If you have been diagnosed with bipolar?
Here are some tips to help you cope
• Get enough SLEEP
• Get enough EXERCISE
• Keep MOOD DIARY
• Get SUPPORT from family and friends
• Avoid ALCOHOL AND DRUG abuse
• Avoid STRESS
Bipolar Awareness Days:
30th March World Bipolar Day
26th May Bipolar Awareness Day
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