I wrote a ‘couple of paragraphs’ about bipolar and realized I had stretched the paragraphs into several pages. In an effort to make the following more palatable I divided it into seven sections. One section will be posted each day of the week. I hope you will read and enjoy…but especially that you will understand the bipolar mind a little better. Thanks so much.
Bipolar Disorder in my life… (Part 1 of 7)
Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)
This is a condition causing mood swings from extremely high to extremely low; sometimes rapidly and other times more slowly but for extended periods. Moods can be pleasant when moderate and oftentimes result in bursts of creativity.
Some, but not all, of the results of mania might be out of control spending, hazardous driving, sexual promiscuity, substance abuse and so many other afflictions. Alcohol and bipolar are a treacherous combination and yet any of the mentioned reckless behaviors can be welcomed by the bipolar mind when mania is king.
Depression is when the lows are so overwhelming that guilt, negative introspection, self-abuse, etc. can result. Depression is like a blanket that covers completely and suffocates entirely. Depression can be extremely dangerous, leading to self-infliction or even suicide. Depression, when bipolar is involved, is far different from depression as in ‘I am depressed, I had a bad day at work.’
Incidentally, mania can be more dangerous than depression in the mind of the ‘rapid cycler’ like I am. It means that irrational thinking (such as ‘I think I’ll drive my car off a cliff’) can move in fast motion and ask/answer questions later.
From my experience, I will say that medications are essential and can literally make a difference between life and death. (Trust me, I know. Thank God for, among others, Depakote and Lithium.)
One additional note: My sister, also diagnosed as Bipolar 1, took her life in late November, 2001.
I say all of this because I think it may help you have a better understanding of my poetry and also if you or someone you know displays the signs of any mental illness let this be an encouragement that you (or they) will seek help. Also, the definitions I have given for depression and mania are not clinical; they are expressions of how I perceive my private demons, my ‘stairway to heaven’ and my ‘descent into hell’.
Look up Bipolar I using a reputable site on the internet for clinical definitions but in the meantime I invite you to enjoy my website and visit as often as you want. Thanks for reading.
Part II will follow:
Bipolar 1…Coming to terms with life in the trenches (Part 2 of 7)