Living with bipolar disorder can mean constantly thriving in fight or flight mode, as the individuals go back and forth on the metaphorical merry-go-round, fluctuating between a variety of extreme exhilarating highs and debilitating lows.  It can stifle the sufferer so severely that they stumble in seeing any sensibility to sustain a standard set way of living.  Understanding that bipolar disorder is entirely different than feeling negative is an essential component to breaking the stigma behind mental illness that needs to be carried if the disease is to be comprehended in its entirety.  A fluctuation of moods can both be frustrating not just to watch a loved one deal with, but go through as a sufferer, not having any control of the moods that are being driven in every given direction due to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.

Living with Bipolar Disorder

Living with bipolar disorder isn’t the same as feeling happy and sad.  Bipolar disorder lacks being conceptualized in the appropriate manner because the disease has far more than two extremes.  There are more faces and states that constitute the illness.  Despite what the stigma of society wrongfully voices, these states that the sufferer displays do not define who the person is or act as their personality.  Some people will say that how the sufferer acts is “just part of who they are” or that “they aren’t sick,” but that is the stigma behind mental illness.  Telling mentally ill people not to seek help and that “they are fine the way they are” prevents them from seeking help that they need and deserve. 

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Living with bipolar disorder is serious and shouldn’t go untreated.  It deals with a slew of complex emotions that rapidly swings and overpowers the individual’s capacity to function throughout the day.  The person can often be suffering from the illness without the ability to even realize how truly sick they actually are. 

The mania from the disorder is constituted as literally being all over the place.  Some sufferers claim they enjoy feeling this, comparing it to the high produced from the effects of a high off a drug because of the extremity of the sensational “I can do anything” feeling.  In a manic state, bipolar individuals can be up for days doing projects in bouts of creativity and feeling like they are unstoppable. 

Hypomania is a step down from mania, where the individual feels up.  A mixed state can be a bit more confusing for the sufferer because they feel two different emotions at once, like a low and high at the same time. 

Rapid cycling is another state familiar to those living with bipolar disorder.  This is where four or more episodes of outburst can occur within the year.  These episodes are defined as having these states of elevated mood periods and acting on impulse. 

Euthymia is the ideal state of mind for any individual because this is stability and an overall emotional well-balanced state. 

Then there is dysthymia, which is a steadily low depressed state, where the bipolar individual stays in a monotonous, low mentality. 

The absolute worst for the bipolar would be their manic depressive state, which can lead to suicide if their state of mind digresses to hopelessness.  This is why mental illness cannot be taken lightly because it does lead to suicide, which is 100% preventable when preventative measures are taken, like seeking reaching out for help through contacting suicide hot lines, seeking therapy, psychiatry, and support through friends, family or groups. 

What does living with bipolar look like?

Mental illness has no distinct look, which means the face of a sufferer living with bipolar disorder can look however.  There are an approximate six million adults in America living with bipolar disorder every day.  An intricate aspect about the disorder is that sufferers can blend in with society because their disease can lay dormant when their mania and depression isn’t at its peak or lowest point and the individual may grow overly confident that are more stable than they truly are, leading them to stop their course of cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and/or alternative course of treatment.  Sufferers need to be conscious of this because bipolar disorder is an illness that needs to be consistently watched and treated to avoid serious damage to themselves and interpersonal relationships. 

An individual who suffers from bipolar disorder can begin to slip with their tasks at work as well when they aren’t emotionally and mentally stable.  They can begin to lack the ability to concentrate at work, begin arriving late, stop showing up, start taking drugs, become outraged or violent in public, and/or act impulsively by engaging in other odd behavior in the workplace.  The sight of someone living with bipolar disorder can be horrific when they are in the middle of the worst of their episode but do not be alarmed.  Instead get them the help that they need.  Bipolar disorder is just that, a disorder that is constituted as a mental illness.  Breaking the stigma begins with addressing the matter appropriately and seeing mental illness as the public health concern that it is in the country today.


Read 3362 times Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2016 15:39
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