What is Bipolar Disorder?

***I am not a medical professional!!*** Please consult your Doctor if you have any concerns about your mental health!!

Bipolar disorder is a debilitating mental health disorder. I am going to go through today and give you a rundown of what it is and how it affects my life, since this is my mental health diagnosis.

Here is some information on Bipolar Disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health!

There are 4 types of bipolar disorder: bipolar type 1, bipolar type 2, Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and related disorders, and cyclothymic disorder (also called cyclothymia). Any one of these mental health issues can leave a person defeated, and/or feeling broken.


 

Bipolar Type 1: Bipolar type 1 is characterized by having manic episodes lasting at least 7 days, or in some instances where it is so severe that the individual needs hospitalization. Depressive episodes also occur, lasting a minimum of two weeks. Also there have been instances where both (manic and depressive incidents) have occurred at the same time.

Bipolar Type 2: Bipolar type 2 is defined by a pattern of hypomanic (not like the full blown mania described above) and depressive episodes.

Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia): Cyclothymia is described as several instances of depressive and hypomanic symptoms, which don’t meet the criteria for a diagnosis described above.

Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders–  this is defined as a disorder not meeting any of the criteria described above.


 

Here is a great infographic from Mental Health America on Bipolar Disorder!

Life with Bipolar

 


 

So how does Bipolar affect my life? Well bipolar is my main diagnosis, but the other diagnoses do affect me too. Anxiety is no joke either!! PTSD is also a game-changer, causing flashbacks and stuff.

For me though, bipolar makes some days hard. Hard for me to get out of bed, and yet other days I never make it to bed. I have periods of time where I am so depressed I go days without showering. I have periods of time where I can clean and clean and clean. Other days it is a chore to wash the dishes and/or the laundry. But thanks to my medications, I am usually a functioning person. That’s not to say I don’t have my bad days, trust me they do come. But that also means that I have my good days to counterbalance the bad days. It affects how I think, what I do, and how I do it. I am so self conscious because of my mental illness that it causes me to go and do normal, everyday things very late at night. I go to the gym at midnight, have been known to go to Wal-Mart really late at night too. I feel like either people are staring/talking about me or judging me somehow. I have no desire to go out into crowded places, restaurants and things of that nature because of my severe anxiety.

If you are worried about or needing professional help, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor!!! They are not there to make you feel worse, they are there to provide assistance and help you!


 

Finally, here is an infographic on getting help and taking charge of your life from NAMI!!

 

Infographic of Taking Charge of Your Mental Health


 

Have a mental illness? If so, how does it affect your life? Feel free to say as little or as much as you’d like to share!

If you don’t have a mental illnesses, does a friend or family member?

How do you help them? 

 

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30 thoughts on “What is Bipolar Disorder?

  1. I really want to commend you for so brave and sharing your personal experience with bipolar disorder – I think it will really help a lot of people and encourage them to seek treatment. I was a practicing psychologist for a time and I also have a number of friends who suffer from this ailment so I’m really passionate about emphasising the importance of mental health. In the Philippines, people are still not completely open about this, and there are still a lot of those who think depression and anxiety are all a state of mind. There have been steps to educate the public about this but there’s still a lot to be done. Props to bloggers like you who help raise awareness.

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    1. Well thanks you for your kind words. My goal with this blog is to let people know what it feels like struggling yet wanting to do better, sometimes failing miserably and other times succeeding beyond measurw.I believe the more it is talked about, the more I hope people realize that it isn’t all made up. I sometimes post very raw and real emotions here, and other times it is all a bed of roses. I’m okay with that too. It is what makes me who I am. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  2. Ohh… now I know what a bipolar disorder is. It is a bit different with Multiple Identity Disorder right? What triggers this disorder if I may ask… I’m a bit curious to these psychological disorders since I have a friend who suffer from this. What can I do to help her when this disorder attacks her?

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    1. I’m not sure about multiple identity disorder, never heard of that one. Bipolar can be triggered by several things. It can be genetically passed down, and/or stress induced. Types of abuse can cause bipolal, as well as environmental factors can play a role.

      To help a friend struggling, just be there. Ask how you can help, but also be prepared for the emotions that a bipolar person feels. They may yell at you, cry, hide, and/or push you away. Maybe offer to sit with them while they shower, offer a hot meal, help them clean. Be

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a family member with depression, and it is hard to know how to help some days, but I think the biggest thing we can all do is be there to spend time when them when they need it and encourage them to ask for help. The more it can be seen as an illness just like any other the more likely people are to reach out I think.

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    1. You are so right Paula, asking for help is really hard but it is important to remember that you are not alone. I find that the people who are closest to you are most likely to offer the best support. Kudos to you for sticking it out, and helping whenever you can. Being a family member and watching someone you love struggle must be difficult. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  4. I have been reading up a bit on bipolar disorder, ever since two things happened. One is that I started watching the TV series Homeland, where the main protagonist has a bipolar disorder condition. Another is a writing assignment where I had to write a little bit about this illness.

    I am pretty sure it must be tough, not only for the person with the illness but also for the other people sharing the house. I think what is important here is to have the will and determination to adapt and it begins with acceptance, of course. It’s not perfect, but having medication has made normal living possible.

    So, yes, there are the tough times coming, but so do the good times, of that I agree with you. In a sense, there is a balance.

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    1. Yes, there is a fine line between finding a balance and utter chaos. Luckily, I have a great support system at home, doesn’t mean it’s always peaches and cream. But we manage, and every day is an adventure. It is very the tough soemtimes days, but pushing through it is part of finding that perfect balance.

      Yes, medications do help. Only problem is, it take sometimes can take up to several years to find that perfect fit for your personal situation. Not saying that is always the case, but it is a possibility. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  5. Hi! I am a nurse, and I am so familiar with this condition. My sister has been diagnosed of this too, together with some other diagnoses. Some are also evident in her blog posts. If you’re interested, you can read them all here: http://my-love-like-antimony.blogspot.com/
    The most sad thing that I have witnessed during her depression phase is that she hasn’t got up from bed for 2 months. She didn’t eat, didn’t take a bath. She just lay on the bed, motionless. As family, we really got worried. But she has our support no matter what. Nowadays, I am so thankful that she is now going out of the house and making friends.

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    1. Depression is very hard to deal with, it can make you not do things you once loved! I have been there plenty of times, I can totally relate to not wanting to get out of bed. I will be checking out her blog, thanks for sharing that! Also thanks for reading and commenting!

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  6. Though I have been into tough times, I always have the mentality that, no matter how big or small the problem is, there is a family and perhaps “real” friends who’s going to be there for you when you need them the most. Never knew much about this disorder until I saw it in a movie. Good thing also is that my wife studied psychology and she shared information about it.

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    1. It’s hard not knowing, it’s like a light switch…Sometimes, and some people, it can take only minutes for moods to change. Thankfully I have a few of those friends! It’s a struggle, but I agree with you. I’ve relied on friends to help me through some of the worst times of my life. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  7. I have never met anyone who has this condition before, but I can imagine how difficult it could be. But I must say, you are really brave for sharing your experiences with the world. I’m sure that if someone with the same condition is reading this right now, he or she will feel less alone. You said that you try to do normal things but at odd times of the day, like going to the gym at midnight. I say, just go ahead and do whatever works for you, whatever makes you happy, and whatever helps in even the smallest way. Don’t mind others if they talk about you. Those people shouldn’t matter to you.

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    1. Thanks Nadine, that is my goal…to help someone else not feel quite so alone. I try to not let what others think bother me but sometimes that is impossible. I do take that time as me time. I decided my new years resolution this year was to focus on me. I am doing things to better mine and my kids lives. I want to see my grandkids grow up. So here I am, workig towards a better me! Thank you for your comment!

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    1. I had a bad day yesterday! It was a stressful time, but I went for a short run to clear my mind. It worked for me. I truly hope today is better for you! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  8. The types of bipolar disorders you stated and the infographic you shared are super helpful. It changed my view on that mental illness entirely. I honestly viewed it as a person having multiple personality, but now that I know I’ll be more understanding if I encounter a person having that. I’ll also know how to help him/her. My uncle has mental illness. He used to be at a mental hospital. Now, I don’t know where he is.

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    1. I’m glad you found the information useful. It can be a daily struggle, but with a great support system and my meds I am doing well at this point in my life. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle, here’s to hoping you can reconnect with him again in the future. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  9. I admire you for creating so much awareness about this condition and also sharing your part. It requires lot of courage.
    I am also glad that people are beginning to recognize this as medical condition and not out casting such people. Just like yogoandcream I have know families where they have put their family members away because of this. Very sad actually.

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    1. It is sad in my personal opinion to see people demonize those of us with mental illness. We are just every day people, just because we have a mental illness does not mean we are all bad. Stigma, again my personal opinion, makes people believe that everyone with a mentall illness is a killer rapist, or murderer. Which is so far from the truth, yes there are some people like that….But, also there are many more who are functioning members of society.

      Just because I have a bad day doesn’t mean I am not functionable. I fed and bathed my kids, washed laundry and cleaned. I just get to a point when things aren’t as hectic where my mind goes all haywire with the intrusive thoughts…..

      Sorry so long.
      Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

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  10. This is great post to tackle bipolar. It kind of clear the myth about moodiness. Well, for starters, mental illness is no joke. People see it as something not serious but what they don’t know is how the person felt while fighting it. Some are afraid to share because of the stereotypes that the person having mental illness is just overreacting or seeking for attention. I commend you speaking up. And with, I hope lots of people will know more about how it feels to have mental illness and what are the help needed from those surrounding them.

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    1. Thank you! It is a constant battle, some wear their illness better than others. By wear I mean being able to hide what is going on inside ourselves, its a hard thing to do because we constantly live in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being sterotyped, criticized, and/or made to feel inferior. If writing this blog helps raise awareness, even for only a few, then I have succeeded. I appreciate your comment, thanks for reading!

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  11. This is a good information not just for myself but for also being aware of the people I love so, which I may not be able to understand so. Its true I agree with you to give an importance on sharing to others about this yet difficult to really share it.

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    1. Thanks, awareness is key! Even though we may not fully understand, being aware is a key to understanding. None of us have all the answrs, and it is nice to just have someone else to be there for you. Even if you dont quite know how to help, support is very helpful. Thanks for reading!

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  12. First of all, I’d like to apologize for everyone who’s claimed they have Bipolar Disorder without really knowing what that means. I know I’ve one that once or twice, when I had been feeling so emotional over something. I’m sorry if people have shrugged BD as a nuisance or an attention-grabbing tactic. You’re very brave for posting this, and making us more aware of what this really means for one who has it for real.

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    1. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! It is one of my goals to let people know that this disorder is real and that it isn’t people just looking for attention. I am glad that you found this post helpful. I’m my opinion, being brave is all I have. Every day is a struggle, I chose to not let my mental illness win. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  13. I actually didn’t know much about this bipolar disorder until I read this.Thanks for the detailed post.I learned something new today.Yes,it is our responsibility to help a friend or relative who is with any such disorder.

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    1. You’re very welcome, thanks for reading and commenting! I agree, helping each other through the hard times is such a nice thing to do. Nicer is that we can all be joyful during the good times. It is hard dealing with, but the good times are so worth it!

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  14. This post is an eye opener and something worth sharing. People who don’t understand this condition think that we’re just too emotional that’s why we make up things like this. It’s kinda depressing too when you have no one to understand what you’re going through. And I agree of what you said that Awareness is the Key.

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    1. Thanks, I aim to be real and raise awareness! It’s not something I want to deal with, sometimes it’s hard for me to write up a blog post. But I feel if people see the things we go through, the things people may not see.

      Like

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