My son was on his way towards maturity, he had just became a father, a good job and feeling good about himself. Then all of a sudden of out the blue, he started complaining about a stomach ache, he went to the emergency room three times before they would keep him. They immediately started him on morphine and for the next nine days he laid in a hospital on a morphine drip, they could never figure out what was making him stay in such pain with his stomach.
A week later after getting out of the hospital, he started doing some strange things. He started seeing himself as this grandiose rapper and if you were not on his side, then you were against him. In this jubilant mood there was nothing he could not achieve. He went with very little sleep, driving his car up and down the highway until the police took the car away. In some ways he seemed so together but in any other ways he was acting so out of it. Talking fast, saying and doing things that were so unusual for him. His judgment in making decisions was totally so far off the radar. It got so out hand that I had to involuntarily send him off to a hospital to help him. I thought that maybe he had just gotten a hold of some bad drugs but it turned out to be much more involved than that.
I was angry and confused and blamed myself when the doctor gave me the diagnose that he had Bipolar Disorder, because he was only nineteen years old and starting his life fresh, and now to be told that he was Bi-polar and would have to take this medication for the rest of his life. I was in so much pain for my son, because I could not imagine how he must be feeling trying to comprehend this illness and the fact that he will be on medication for the rest of his life. I educated myself as much as possible about the disease. It has been several months since this situation occurred. At the present he is not taking the medication…..so I am just waiting, praying that he will be able to come through this illness if and when it happens again.
Having a mental disorder for some people can be very embarrassing. Mental disorders are stigmatized by civilization. For the person suffering from a mental disability it can be something hard to cope with. Knowing that for the rest of your life you need medication for your mind in order to maintain any kind of normalcy to me would be very hard to accept. Knowing that I have to take medication for my Lupus sometimes becomes very overwhelming.
The mental illness Bipolar is something that occurs in young men around the age of eighteen and for a girl it may start younger and even younger in adolescents.
Bipolar disorder also known as manic depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone else goes through the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But the good news is bipolar is treatable and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.
Once day you may feel so depressed that you can’t get out of the bed. Work may seem impossible. On another day you may feel great and full of endless energy. You may feel like you’re getting a lot done. But other people might think that what you are doing is dangerous and out of control.
Bipolar individuals tend to have very black and white thinking, where everything in life is either positive or negative.
Bipolar disorder is also associated with a variety of cognitive deficits, in particular, difficulty in organizing and planning.
Studies according to Wikipedia, the free on line encyclopedia have also indicated increased striving for, and sometimes obtaining, goals and achievements more generally, in other words, many with bipolar tend to be more driven, extremely goal oriented, and hard working.
Bipolar disorder is classified into four different types.
These types are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder, or Bipolar Disorder not otherwise specified. Mental health experts separate the condition into those four types because of bipolar disorders, show up differently in different types of people. When doctors know what type a person has, they can tailor to that person’s specific needs.
Bipolar I Disorder, with this type you had at least one episode of mania or mixed mood and often experience depression too. In between, your mood may be normal. Sometimes your mood swings happen when the season change.
Bipolar II Disorder, with this type you had at least one episode of depression and at least one hypo mania. Hypo mania is a milder form of mania. In between, your mood may be normal. Sometimes your mood swings happen when the seasons change.
Cyclothimic Disorder, this is a milder form of bipolar disorder. You may go back and forth between mild depression and a slightly elevated mood. But your mood swings are shorter and less severe. Many people with cyclothmia disorder go on to have a stronger type of bipolar disorder. This doesn’t happen to everyone, though.
Bipolar Disorder not otherwise specified, this type of bipolar disorder is when you do not fit into the types mentioned above. The feelings of bipolar disorder vary from person to person.
Some people have what is called “rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.” This means they have 4 or more periods of mania and/ or depression in a year.
In some people, however, symptoms of mania and depression may occur together in what is called a mixed bipolar state. Symptoms of a mixed state often include agitation, trouble sleeping, significant change in appetite, psychosis and suicidal thoughts. A person may have a very sad hopeless mood while at the same time feeling extremely energized.
Bipolar disorder may appear to be a problem other than mental illness for instance, alcohol or drug abuse, poor school or work performance, or strained interpersonal relationships. Such problems in fact may be signs of an underlying mood disorder.
Bipolar disorder affects both men and women. For many people, the first symptoms show up their early twenties. However, research has shown that the first episode of bipolar disorder is occurring earlier. The condition often shows up in adolescence, and even children have the disorder.
Because brain function is involved the ways people with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are affected. This can make it especially difficult for other people to understand their condition. According to Teen Health it can be incredibly frustrating if other people act as though some people with bipolar disorder should “snap out of it,” as if a person who is sick can become well simply by wanting to. Bipolar disorder isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw, it is a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.
This illness can affect anyone. However, if one or both parents have Bipolar Disorder, the chances are greater that the children may develop the disorder. Family history or drug alcohol abuse may also be associated with greater risk of Bipolar Disorder.
The manic symptoms include severe changes in mood either unusually happy or silly, or very irritable, angry, agitated or aggressive.
Poor judgment, denial that anything is wrong, spending sprees, a lasting behavior that is different from usual unrealistic highs in self esteem for example, a teenager who feels all powerful or like a superhero with special powers.
Great increase in energy and the ability to go with little or no sleep for days without feeling tired. Increased in talking- the adolescent talks too much, too fast, changes topics too quickly, and cannot be interrupted.
Distraction – the teens attention moves constantly from one thing to the next.
Repeated high risk behavior – such as abusing alcohol and drugs, reckless driving, or sexual promiscuity.
Depressive symptoms include: irritability, depressed mood, persistent sadness, frequent crying.
Thoughts of death or suicide.
Loss of enjoyment in favorite activities, including sex.
Frequent complaints of physical illnesses such as headaches or stomach aches.
Low energy level, fatigue, poor concentration, complaints of boredom.
Major change in eating or sleeping patterns, such as oversleeping or overeating.
Most people with bipolar disorder – even those with the most severe forms can achieve substantial stabilization of their mood swings and related symptoms with proper treatment. Because bipolar disorder is a recurrent illness, long term preventive treatment is strongly recommended and almost always indicated. A strategy that combines medication and psychosocial treatment is optimal for managing the disorder overtime.
Anyone with bipolar should be under the care of a psychiatrist skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Other mental health professionals, such as psychologist, psychiatric social workers, and psychiatric nurses, can assist in providing the person and family with additional approaches to treatments.
It is important to figure out what triggers your mood. One way is to keep a diary of your moods, or a mood chart. A mood chart is a way to record your emotions over a time and a list of events in your life.
Living with bipolar disorder is much like living with any other medical illness. With proper medicine, education and support, bipolar disorder can be treated. Therapy, support groups, coaching, family and friends can help.
The most important first step is accepting the fact that you have the disorder or helping the person that you may know accept the illness. Dealing with the problem may seem like hard work, but when you think about it, isn’t maintaining any positive quality of life in this crazy world hard work?
How is my son is dealing with his sickness, right now it is hard to say, I am afraid to really bring it up. As I said before he has not had another episode. If it does occur again, I hope that he will realize his quality of life does not have to come to a stop because he has an illness, education and acceptance is the key. This is not something I am saying just for my son but for anyone out there who is dealing with Bi-polar or knows someone who is.
The information that I wrote came from observing my son and information that I found on medical internet sites, the main word to type in is “Bipolar Disorder.”