What is Bipolar Disorder?
If you are reading this article, it may be because you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. There may have been an episode of mania, hypomania, depression or a mixture. There may be a lot of questions, confusion and maybe even anger. Bipolar disorder does not discriminate. Men and women can equally be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Where we live and how we were raised may have an influence on us. However, there is no specific person, place or thing to blame for having bipolar disorder.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age twenty-four. Since then, there has been a large trial and error process. There has been hospitalizations, medication, mistakes, anger, regret, happiness and sadness. The good news is, is that I have reached stability. I have been hospital free for years. That does not mean that I am cured from having bipolar disorder. It is a mental health disorder that I face everyday.
The most important thing we can do is to get properly diagnosed. For some people, it can take years to receive a correct diagnosis. In Bipolar Disorder: Love and Relationships, I go over being open and honest. I understand that this can be very difficult. However, it is very important. Let’s go with my personal and most recent example:
My family and I moved across the country for a new job opportunity. Clearly, for someone with bipolar disorder, this can create a lot of uncertainty, stress and even some triggers. One of my main stressors was the fact that I would need a new psychiatrist. I had been with my doctor for over five years. I was very stable, happy and content. Even still, I received two months of my medication and made the move across the country. Once I reached my destination, I called multiple psychiatrists. Some didn’t have open appointments and some didn’t take my insurance. One even wanted four hundred dollars up front to do my beginning paperwork. I was really starting to miss my old doctor and was very worried. I finally found a doctor that had a recent appointment and that took my insurance.
During my appointment, I was sitting in front of a new doctor and his intern. It was my time to be open and honest. He wanted me to describe myself. And my first question was do you want to know the me, stable on my medication or unstable? He wanted to know how I acted unstable. So here is my list of traits I have if I am unstable:
• Extreme mania
• Severe depression
• Risky behavior
• Lack of sleep
• Rapid speech
Needless to say, when I am not stable, I am completely disabled. My family has no choice but to hospitalize me if I do not take the proper steps for self care. I suffer from bipolar disorder type one. There are a few different types of bipolar disorder:
• Bipolar Disorder Type 1
• Bipolar Disorder Type 2
• Cyclothymic Disorder
• Mixed Features
• Rapid Cycling
These are a few of the different types. Some of us even suffer other mental health disorders along with having bipolar disorder. Here is a list of mental health disorders that could occur along side bipolar disorder:
• Borderline Personality Disorder
• Eating Disorder
• Substance Abuse
• Postpartum Depression
• Seasonal Affective Disorder
There are many other disorders that could be present as well including physical ailments. It is very important for us to stay open and honest with our medical staff and to get properly diagnosed. We need to hone in on each individual disorder so we can pinpoint our symptoms. Read more in: Bipolar Disorder: Substances, Sex and Major Life Changes.
About the author:
2 Times NEW release author on Amazon. Amy Perez has a Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University. Amy has spent hours inside mental health facilities with a first hand patient perspective. She has worked with mental health patients in Miami. Amy lives in Florida with her family and orange tabby cat.
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