Living with Bipolar Disorder

After years of living with on and off again minor depressions I was hit with one that just wouldn't go away in 2004... and after a course of anti-depressants left me in a hypo-manic state and after visits with a couple of doctors I was subsequently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My life up to that point had not been particularly chaotic, but the depressions were troublesome and the bouts of hypo-mania were also becoming more severe with attending consequences.  Everything got much worse once the major depression hit. I had periods of mixed state, I had periods of depression and I had periods of hypo-mania - there was no denying it, I was bipolar.

The next several years were spent trying to get the medications just right, and developing the lifestyle changes to support my recovery. After my retirement from work at the end of 2010 my break-through symptoms have been minimized and life is good.



These are a few of my posts written about living with bipolar disorder. You can see more by searching for "bipolar".

I HAVE not I AM

The last few days have been a little rough for me... I thought about writing about it but am unsure.

I write this blog for a variety of reasons, the main one being to capture a little slice of my life so that years from now I can look back on this turning point.

I also write it to keep reminding myself of the wonder and pleasures that can be had in everyday living.

But there is one aspect of my life that I have avoided writing about and that is mental illness. I suppose that I am afraid of the stigma that comes with having a mental illness, people that read my blog might judge, but I remind myself that I didn't let stigma affect me when I had Spike by my side as a Service Dog. In fact I made it a point to talk to people - strangers - about mental illness and bring it out in the open. To consciously fight the stigma. I wonder now if doing the same thing in my blog might help others.

to read the rest click here...

And So it Began

You might wonder how a person goes from a seemingly normal life to one suddenly beset by mental illness. For some people it happens more or less suddenly as might be the case with depression. For me though there was a gradual transition. From the time I was a teen I struggled with periods of depression, not the kind that stops you in your tracks, but the kind that makes life difficult. My energy would be low, sometimes even walking seemed an effort. I wouldn't be able to muster up any enthusiasm, life would seem bleak. Unless you knew me very well you might not even know there was something wrong - depressed people are usually pretty good at putting on a party face.

to read the rest click here


Take Control of Your Destiny

Usually when people are diagnosed with an illness they want to know what they can do to help themselves. It was no different with me - after the initial shock I wanted to know what things I could do to minimize the hold of bipolar. Luckily I had a doctor who was all about treating people with more than just medications. Dr. Beck showed me many different things that I could do to minimize the effects of my illness. Sure, there will always be times when depression or mania push their way through my defences, but at least I could push back. Here is a list of my strategies, maybe they can work for you...

to read the rest click here


Perseverance

I'm still not in the right frame of mind. I was doing so well there a few days ago, perhaps a bit hypo-manic, but on the euphoric side. Then it was like a switch was flipped - I went from euphoric to irritable and agitated, all ranges within hypo-mania. Just like that.  So still hypo-manic, just crappy feeling.
Bipolar is a mood disorder, which means that moods are not well regulated. Moods will sometimes be at extremes (manic or depressed), sometimes moods get stuck for no visible reason (a bad mood that lasts for days), and sometimes they fluctuate rapidly between all the mood states. What fun. Well, actually it is sometimes (euphoric hypo-mania)!

to read the rest click here ...

WYL #31 Who are you Really?

My hand hovered over the pill bottle as I thought back to the last two days. Energy had flowed through my body as if I had been powered by a lightning strike and ideas swirled in my mind like Dorothy's house in the tornado. I had so much that I wanted to do - did I really want to put an end to it?

Getting back to normal, whatever that meant, would be the smart thing to do. I knew what usually followed an energy surge like this, and it wasn’t pretty. But maybe it will be different this time, I thought to my self, and besides which, this flash of vigour felt good - much better than the flat mood I was normally in, where beauty wasn’t found at every glance and the stars didn’t glow in the sky like so many diamonds. “One more day” I promised myself, the allure too much to resist, and I turned away from the bottle.

to read the rest click here ...


WYL #31b  Perseverance

A shroud of indifference has lain heavily across my shoulders for the last few weeks. The other day the veil clouding my eyes shifted just enough to reveal tulips in bloom, trees fully leafed, dandelions scattered like suns across the green galaxy, and the apple tree buds emerging from their woolly cloak. I didn't really care. I wanted to, but couldn't. Like a marionette I said all the right things about the miracle of spring, but like that marionette they were just words.

to read the rest click here ...


Random posts:
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Here are a few resources:
This is a blog that I subscribe to: http://www.hopetocope.com/blog/
I also subscribe to the BP magazine - http://www.bphope.com/. “bp, the healthy living magazine for those with bipolar”. It isn’t very expensive and has some inspiring articles.


I am not alone. There are a lot of sites on the internet that list famous people with bipolar.
Bipolar Disorder Today ; Wikipedia ; Bipolar Lives ; Famous People with Bipolar.net are just a few.

Here are a few on the people that are on the lists:
Russell Brand,
Robert Downey Jr.
Mel Gibson
Patty Duke
Carrie Fisher
Margot Kidder
Vivien Leigh
Ben Stiller, actor, director, writer
Tracy Ullman
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Tim Burton, artist, director
Francis Ford Coppola, director
Buzz Aldrin, astronaut


In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.Albert Camus