What is 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. -www.nimh.gov

 

"Living with Randomness" a true story.

For me, the second hardest part about Bipolar type II is learning to live with the randomness (living with suicidal depression on a downturn is the hardest part). But never knowing when the depression will strike or when it will get better is so discombobulating, it’s like I can’t even do mood cycles right. I’m the scheduler; the planner; the list-maker. On Personality tests I score very high in logical-sequential. Every doctor I have seen has been impressed by my compliance. I take my meds religiously. I make sure that I eat. I go to bed on schedule, avoid alcohol and recreational drugs like the plague, and try to exercise and get fresh air daily. I collected data and tracked my daily moods fanatically for a year, looking for patterns. I am “doing all the right things” to manage my Bipolar type II. But the thing that cuts me off at the knees is I NEVER KNOW what my day will be like until I wake up and experience it. I may have a dozen things I would like to do, a schedule of errands and family time and yard work, or a day of relaxation and play…and sometimes I wake up in the morning and I can’t do any of them.

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  • You can help

    If someone close to you has bipolar disorder, your love and support can make a difference in treatment and recovery. You can help by learning about the illness, offering hope and encouragement, keeping track of symptoms, and being a partner in treatment. But caring for a person with bipolar disorder will take a toll if you neglect your own needs, so it’s important to find a balance between supporting your loved one and taking care of yourself.

    Statistics

    Stop the stigma- Talk openly about mental health. Mental illness touches so many lives and yet it's STILL a giant secret. Educate yourself and others about mental health.Correct and inform people respectfully when they are perpetrating stereotypes and misconceptions. Speak up and educate them. Show empathy and compassion for those living with a mental health condition. When you love and respect everyone, you have a desire to learn more about who they are and what their life is like. Stop the criminalization of those who live with mental illness. Professionals and families together need to talk to neighborhood groups, law enforcement, hospitals and legal experts to share experiences and knowledge on interacting with mentally ill.

    • Statistic 1

      A 2005 US community epidemiological study (the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions), estimated the lifetime risk of bipolar I and bipolar II as ranging from 3-10%.

    • Statistic 2

      “Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year.” (National Institute of Mental Health).

    • Statistic 3

      “It is estimated that 2 to 7% of people in the United States suffer from bipolar disorder. Almost 10 million people will develop the illness sometimes during their lives. About half of these will never receive the correct diagnosis or treatment.”

    • Statistic 4

      In Australia there are around 238,957 people with bipolar disorder. In the United Kingdom it is approximately 723,248 people. In Germany, around 989,095 people have bipolar disorder. In Canada, bipolar disorder affects around 390,094 people. In Iran, bipolar disorder affects around 810,038 people. And for both India and China, each have somewhere between 12 – 15 million people who are bipolar!

    • Statistic 5

      The median age of onset for bipolar disorder is 25 years (National Institue of Mental Health), although the illness can start in early childhood or as late as the 40's and 50's.

    • Statistic 6

      More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with unipolar major depression, indicating that the disease has a heritable component. (National Institute of Mental Health)

    • Statistic 7

      Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world. (World Health Organization)

    Mental illnesses

     

    • anxiety

       

    • Bipolar disorder

       

    • Depression

       

    • Eating disorder

       

    • Obsessive compulsive disorder

       

    • post traumatic stress disorder

       

    • Schizophrenia