What is Bipolar?
Bi Polar is simply a chemical imbalance of the brain. However, it complicates everything about life.
There are two basic types of bipolar:
Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypo-manic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
For More Information – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Mayo Clinic
Bip is the second one. Dark. Sad. Angry. Scary. Frustrated.
And the Difference Is
Mine are the monkeys that have fallen on the floor.
Sometimes finding the right treatment can be worse than the dragon. Getting the medications balanced is often a science experiment. Different drugs and drug combinations are tried and discarded until one is found that works. This can be a lengthy and frustrating process for the one being treated. Some of the medications can, unfortunately, make the dragon behave even worse than normal.
With the stigma of mental illness fading away, more people are willing to talk about it. With this openness comes new opportunities for science to study the changes in the brain that come with the different disorders.
A few years ago, I found an article on stem-cell studies and bipolar disorder. It is well worth the read and offers hope in a way that has never been available before. To read the article click HERE.
Speaking as one who has dragons in her head, I often felt alone and separate from the world. Talking about mental illness is important because it lets people know that they are not alone.
When I talk about Bip people can get uncomfortable. I can tell they want to ask questions but, they are worried I will be offended. I usually laugh at this point and let them know it is all right to question my dragons. I keep them leashed now so they don’t bite very often.
Feel free to ask me any questions about bipolar you have. I promise not to be offended and to answer as best I can. If I feel you are being rude or invasive I will just let Bip eat you…. 😉