NIMH Bipolar Disorder

“Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of  Bipolar Disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar Disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But Bipolar Disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

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. 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.” ~ Sited from NIMH

****

I would like to start off by saying I do not think the name “Bipolar Disorder” does justice to the illness… and almost seems to belittle the disorder, and make it seem less significant in relation to other mental health disorders. Manic Depressive Illness is a much better description of the disorder, thereby being a more appropriate term/name as a whole. Manic alone is a single word offering a very precise description, as is the word Depressive. Therefor, Manic Depressive is less confusing, more blunt and to the point, with a certain er of importance and respect. Some people think “bipolar” simply means you have two sides to your personality, two “you’s” so-to-speak… and this thought process is incorrect on many fronts.

The chronological order of my documented personal illness began in the year 2000, where I spent five minutes with a Psychiatrist who then prescribed medication for Major Depression. In hindsight, this diagnosis was incorrect as I was already experiencing rapid cycling, and hypo-mania. Five minutes is NOT enough time to assess a patient with any type of Doctor. After many life changing events: divorce, not having custody of my children, and the final blow of an Ex’s suicide, my diagnosis was upgraded to Bipolar 2 Disorder (in 2003), along with the normal “piggybackers” anxiety, and insomnia. However, all of this fell on deaf ears as I refused to believe anything was wrong… and of course, I did not continue with therapy of any kind. Pharmaceutical or otherwise.

I finally had some reprieve for a couple years, and felt somewhat well, and what little medication I would take from time to time, I discontinued completely. Then in 2007 I became manic, depressed, anxious, psychosomatic, suffered brutal panic attacks, and became paranoid I would die in my sleep. Can you imagine how my world flipped upside down?? Sleep was suddenly terrifying… it became a monster out to get me, and no matter what I tried to do, no matter how exhausted I became, sleep totally eluded me. Each time I would lie down to sleep, as my body would drift off, when I would suddenly have a jerking motion, I would wake up completely, thinking I had just jerked awake preventing myself from slipping into death. This paranoia became my downfall. This paranoia caused me to make very poor choices, ending my 2nd marriage, and because of circumstances out of my control, I once again did not have custody of my children. Alas, prompting the next diagnosis of Bipolar 1 with Psychosis.

This nearly destroyed me, I felt like I was going to break at any moment… a break in which I could not come back from. It took accepting I was Manic Depressive, accepting therapy, accepting medication, accepting that even-though I wanted my children with me more than anything in the world, I had to accept that they were healthy, and happy with their Fathers, and I had to accept that I needed to work on myself so I could be the Mom they needed of me.

Education is so important. I am not speaking of the kind from a college, but rather of life and learning about your true self, and educating yourself about the challenges we all have. Learn about mental health issues, and then share that knowledge! This is insanely important to do. Not only are we helping ourselves, but we are helping others in doing this as well.

Lets start discussing mental health… open a dialogue with all those you know. This will help with the stigma associated with it. Personally, I have learned to be a chameleon… I can throw that happy face on faster than anything else I can do… I believe most of us are very good at that. Why?? So nobody can see the storm raging within.

If you love someone with mental health problems… keep looking for that storm. After-all, nobody wants to suffer… and I think we all would welcome the anchor that you have the potential to become… I know I certainly would.

©thebipolarmuse2018

 

Lady Gaga Loves ‘An Unquiet Mind’ ~Links to Purchase~

ladyGagaAnUnquietMind
Proof Positive… Lady Gaga reads the best♥

Purchase your own copy… links below!!!

I recently did a post on the book ‘An Unquiet Mind’ by Kay Redfield Jamison… if you missed it you can certainly check it out *HERE*.

As I mentioned, this book is a breath of fresh air for those of us trying to make sense of our mental health issues, but in my opinion, it would make a fantastic read for those who know a friend or loved one battling Bipolar Disorder (aka Manic Depressive Illness) as well.

As you see in this picture, even the amazingly talented and amazingly human Lady Gaga finds the book to be of value to her. For those of you who are not following along in Ms Lady Gagas life, she has been battling her own mental health problems stemming from a rape she endured, and also the unfortunate reality of the litany of mental health issues that arise from the very painful, and very real Fibromyalgia.

Similarities anyone?? I know I can certainly relate… as I endure those things myself, as well as pain in my hips, pelvis, and lower back that runs down the back of my legs ending at the knees… and last but not least, the ugly and incurable Interstitial Cystitis… which interestingly seems to go hand in hand with Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is enough to make one pull their hair out… at least that pain IS warranted, not to mention the endorphins released from such an act would be a welcomed sensation in comparison with most other sensations, almost always painful.

I applaud Ms Lady Gaga for sharing her difficulties with all of her fans, and creating the Born This Way Foundation. With her status in life, she has become a voice for us all, who while screaming at the top of our lungs, will never be heard in the way her voice can… and will.

Click image to connect to Amazon for purchase options!

If the image link above isn’t working,* here is a link*  where you can purchase the book for very reasonable prices. Don’t need one personally?? How about gifting it to the coworker you know who struggles, or your loved one who battles mental health problems?? Even if you didn’t want this particular item, that is a-ok! Through the provided links, you can access any item you are interested in, and it doesn’t cost a pennies difference whether you access my link to Amazon here, or order direct without using my links. However, and this is important, what it DOES do is help me to continue “Becoming Me”… and will give ‘thebipolarmuse’ a slight kickback to assist in keeping this site up and running… What a wonderful gift you would be gracing me with!!! Like I said, whether you purchased this book, or bought toys for your children for Christmas, as long as you go *through my link here*, you are helping me to continue doing the one thing I am MOST passionate about… sharing my story and life experiences with you… and serve as a reminder that life has unforeseen challenges indeed, but we can control how we react.

I choose to help others by sharing my life, the good and bad to help remind readers that nobody is alone in their struggles. You will always have a friend in me… I choose to attempt be the light in what sometimes feels like mind numbing, heart crushing, and soul sucking darkness.

Join me and let us serve as beacons for those who feel lost.

©thebipolarmuse2018

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison

an-unquiet-mind.jpg

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison is one of my favorite books about manic depressive illness, and finding this author became a ray of light at an important time of my life… my own personal breakdown. You can find a copy of this excellent read in print on Amazon, and they also have it for the Kindle. Not only is Kay Redfield Jamison the Author, she also works in the mental health industry, and lives with Manic Depressive Illness (aka Bipolar Disorder) herself. She gives a very detailed, educated, yet very personal account of the disorder and how it has shaped her life.

Reading the book sparked the following post originally posted in April 2010…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She touches so well on the circus in my head… literally a psychosis I experienced that was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had. Knowing I was not alone in this chaos was certainly of importance for there is no way to describe to someone what it is like to feel so cold that it feels like fire, or be surrounded by lights that seem so bright everything around you appears surreal. There’s no way to describe how loud a chirping bird sounds, or how strong and fragrant fresh cut grass can create nausea. There’s no way to explain the sound and feel of the earth beneath my feet as I walk…

Nor is there a way to explain what it’s like when all of those experiences are absent… as in a state of depression.

Depression is the monster on my back. It steals everything from me and leaves me with absolutely nothing… nothing other than misery. It leaves me with pain, sickness, indifference, and my most hated phrase: “All I know is I don’t know”.

When depressed, a walk in the park is absent of everything pleasant. I can’t hear children laughing and playing, I can’t smell the BBQ cooking, I can’t hear birds chirping or dogs barking, I can’t feel the breeze or the warmth of the sun, I can’t see people smiling and enjoying themselves, and worst of all… I feel devoid of life in general.

Depression is painful and torturous. It robs me of any happiness and is absolutely brutal. I have fought these feelings since I was 11yrs old… and 31 years later I am still trying to figure it out… trying to tame this beast.

It can be done… I will do it… WATCH ME.

©thebipoolarmuse2010

“I Am Not Afraid…”~ Joan Of Arc

bornForThis

Bipolar Ord3r~ I was born to do this♥

 

Every day is a new day to bring happiness into our lives. It isn’t always the easiest thing to do … even  more-so when you battle mental health issues, but with patience, persistence, a sense of humor, and the desire to make life better with each day, it can be done!

Let go of that which you have no control~ Learn to go with the flow, life is ever changing~ Be kind to yourself, see your beauty INSIDE, and LOVE yourSELF~ Smile, it is contagious~ Laugh out loud, it is even more contagious~ When you lack kindness, don’t speak~ Point out one good thing about yourself daily, and say what that is out-loud while looking yourself in the eyes~~~ When having a bad day, remember the graceful pre-teen who faced cancer bravely, whose moniker was “makeup is my wig”, all the while bringing encouragement, love, happiness, grace, and a beaming smile to others… up until her last breath~~~ Do what you do with your whole heart in it, your passion will encourage others!

LIVE, THRIVE, CRY, EMBRACE the SUCK, and no matter what, NEVER EVER GIVE UP… you are worth all the effort. Don’t let life slip by, EXPERIENCE it with an open mind and with your heart “all in”… afterall, we only have THIS life to live, so get to living it! ♥

Fuck Bipolar Disorder… Bipolar ORDER is how I roll~

©thebipolarmuse 2018

What Doesn’t Kill You

The very beginning… written in April of 2010… coming to terms with poor mental health, a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 disorder with psychosis and comorbid disorders such as anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and many Psychosomatic symptoms.

~~~~So is it true that whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger? I am leaning more towards the “whatever doesn’t kill you will only wear you down until you break into a billion little pieces” idea of the matter. Everyone has a story right? Well, so do I. And in this world of anonymity I will take advantage of telling my story within my 10 seconds of “bloggy” fame.
I have no clue how to blog, or what the hell I am getting into but I do believe it will be therapeutic….especially important to me because I can no longer afford the therapist I have been seeing…
And ohhhhhh the venting I shall accomplish. It’s brilliant….
Welcome to my wild, ridiculous, adventurous life… my wild ride. The beautiful disaster I have come to be.~~~~