Tag: Bipolar Disorder

Analyzing the Causes of Bipolar Disorder

The causes of bipolar disorder have always brought a lot of confusion to many people. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is a mental illness that causes rapid mood changes, irritability and high levels of anxiety. Since it has a direct effect on the various functions of the brain, this disorder greatly influences the way a person thinks, acts and feels. It can cause a high-level of frustration and aggravation to a person who experiences a manic depressive episode. Some episodes of mania and depression may happen irregularly and can last for weeks and months.

Bipolar disorder is a very serious illness, there are many information and theories on what causes this disease but there are some factors that can help explain how people can get this disease. There has been some evidence that bipolar disorder can be inherited. This is issue asserts that first degree relatives in families with bipolar disorder are more likely to develop and experience mood disorders than people who do not have this disorder in the family. In the same way, when a twin has a mood disorder, then the other twin has a greater chance to contract the illness. Researchers have also discovered that biochemical imbalances of the hormones and some neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and acetylcholine have been linked in triggering some of the symptoms of bipolar mania and depression. Another aspect that professionals are also considering is the role of the environment and stress in the development of bipolar disorder. Stressful life events like a death of loved one, loss of a job or the birth of a child can cause the beginning of the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Analyzing the causes of bipolar disease warrants a lot of research in order to truly explain this illness. What is important is to show understanding and concern to the patient who is experiencing this disorder. In this great time of need, you should be able to exercise patience and strength in order to care for the patient.

The Learning Process of the Ups and Downs of Bipolar Disorder

Well first let me start off saying that dealing with being Bi-polar does get easier to deal with. It just takes time and the want to get better.

I remember a few times specifically where I would be so happy, just so very happy about things, or at least I thought I was happy. It wasn't a normal sort of happy though, was very bright, things were sunshine and rainbows. Just so happy about everything even if I knew it wasn't exactly the honest thing or how I wanted to feel or even things I should feel at that point in time, a great deal of the time the happiness came at points where it was inappropriate. People would be crying around me and I would just be the same old same old smiling away. People would ask me why I would be so happy and I would tell them that I had no idea, or they would get angry because they would think I would be trying to make fun of them because of how happy I was and it would frustrate me but the high nodes of the happy even though they caused issues and made things awkward were no where near as horrible as the low swings.

Where I would be so low, so angry or so just sad that I would collapse on the floor or where I was and just huddle into a ball crying. I would be embarrassed of crying and of how the low swings would affect me so I tried to hide them but that didn't work. People would ask me why I was sad, or why I was so angry with them and I would tell them, that I just didn't know. That I had no idea why I was sad, that there was no particular reason for me to be sad. The angry cycles of it though were dangerous for me, because I would become paranoid as well, and I would just hate everyone and everything that got near me and spoke to me. Wouldn't matter what it was, or who it was, I just hated them even though there would have been no rational reason why.

At first though I didn't see a cycle, didn't see that there was an issue. I didn't see how strange it was for me to go from one extreme to another, or maybe I just was so used to it that I thought it was normal. I did end up seeing it though, did end up figuring out that something wasn't specifically right and that's when I went to go to talk to someone.

I ended up going to talk to a psychologist, and he did help me a great deal. I was able to figure out how to deal with the upswings and the down swings of the disorder without it involving some miracle cure or something else. He had asked me if I wanted to take medication, and I told him no. He did tell me it would be harder to deal with but I did understand. He did teach to keep sort of a record of when my regular upswings were so I knew how to adjust and just deal with things rationally and in a healthy way. I dealt with the upswings of it pretty well, but the down ones were still difficult but in time I got used to dealing with them. I got used to figuring out the pattern. So when I understood how to deal with it all, I could sort of manage it, predict when I would have harder times of things and be able to put myself in better situations so that I wouldn't have such a difficult time of the ups and downs. It's best to just live a day at a time with it, and just live and try to live a normal life regardless of the difficulties or inabilities because of the disorder.

Coping with the Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

Receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder can be one of the loneliest moments of your life, but what you do afterward is completely up to you. There are a number of things that must be accomplished in order to assure proper treatment, and I wish I had known these things when I was first diagnosed. The path you take can have a tremendous effect on treatment. So, here are the things you should do after receiving a diagnosis.

Find a trustworthy, competent, and available psychiatrist. You need to trust your psychiatrist to listen to your concerns and complaints. The psychiatrist will be managing your medications, so it is very important that he or she listens to you. Also, it is vitally important that your psychiatrist is available if you call to ask a question or if you need an emergency appointment. A psychiatrist that is constantly unavailable is not much better than having no psychiatrist at all.

Continue to take your medications, even if you feel better. It is vitally important to take your medications as prescribed unless told to do so by your psychiatrist. Just because you start feeling better does not mean you will stay that way for long.

Find a good therapist. I spent years seeing the wrong therapist, followed by another wrong therapist, and so on. Finally, I found the right therapist, and I have made more progress in a few months than I have in several years. If you feel like you do not "click" with a particular therapist, do not hesitate to find another.

Tell select members of your friends and family. Do not feel obligated to tell everyone you know, but those that are the closest to you should probably be given a hint of what has been ailing you. Give them all the knowledge you possibly can about bipolar disorder because your knowledge may set them at ease.

Consider joining a support group. If there is not a support group in your community, consider joining an online support group. I belong to the bipolar support group at MDJunction.com, and it has been a lifesaver. I can go there to talk, to rant, to seek help, and to help others. The benefits are nearly endless.

The diagnosis of bipolar disorder does not have to be the end of all hope, and I am proud to consider myself evidence of that fact. Consider all of the steps above, and hopefully coping with your diagnosis will get easier with time.

Where it All Began: Our Family and Bipolar Disorder

For our family, it all started in 1985. That's when my dad had his first manic episode. When I say manic episode- I mean a really violent episode. I was 5 years old at the time, and now as I approach my 30's I still have nightmares about that night.

My father's mother had always been dubbed a 'nervous' person. Back in those days though, mental health was uncharted territory, and there are so many treatments and info that we know now than back then. She had gone untreated for over 20 years for bipolar disorder. We always had to walk on pins and needles around her- and before we went to visit we'd always be 'briefed' on what not to say. I remember my brother saying at a young age he let it slip he was hungry and she went into the kitchen tossing pots and pans and yelling and carrying on.

So, needless to say, my father's childhood was a little rough- a lot of times his father would just go off to work and leave him there with her in her manic state, so there's really no telling what he saw or heard- to this day I really don't know too many details about what went on.

I think a lot of my father's problem was he worried a whole lot about becoming like his mother- he was so scared and afraid that he would become bipolar- and when he worried he kept it all bottled up, so at some point it was bound to explode. Turns out his worst fear came true, and now as he gets older, he becomes more and more like her.

Now, with being bipolar there are different levels of mania, and my father when he had his 'spells' as well called them- usually had to deal with the world ending and if he touched certain items in the house then the world would end. Also, he claimed he would get these 'signals' from Jesus telling him what to do- and for me at a young age, I've been scared of going to church ever since then. Mainly because my Dad used to say Jesus was telling him to kill me- which he attempted to do back in his first episode, and had it not been for a neighbor, I probably wouldn't be typing this. Yeah, that scary, that violent, and that out of control. It lasted for hours and hours, no one really knew what was going on, nor what in the world needed to be done.

He had so much adrenalin running through his system that it would take 3 or 4 police officers to stop him. And yes, once he happened to wrestle a gun away from an officer and point it at my brother. So, after this first incident, every incident after that I would find a place to hide. It was like a different person- this person wasn't my dad- it was some sort of monster that had taken him over and he had no regard for his children or anyone else that got in the way.

Of course at first, they just diagnosed my dad has having 'a nervous breakdown' and gave him some light medication and then he was fine and did not have another episode until 1991. That's when we happened to go to a dinner theater and the play happened to be Jesus and The Technicolor Dreamcoat, which seemed to trigger his manic episode. Perhaps it was something from his past that popped up in his mind.

I can understand- I'm not a real religious person myself, and I have always equated people talking about Jesus with manic episodes- and even if it's a random person I still get a little nervous and always have one foot on the floor ready to run. So, as you can guess, we never went to church. I still have issues with it myself.

Since 1991, gosh all the episodes just kind of run together for me- there wasn't a long dry spell without an episode, but the episodes would come closer and closer together- to the point he'd have 2 a year- and he'd have to be hospitalized for weeks.

For years and years, they tried to figure out what made my father this way- in the past we've heard that it's something traumatic in his childhood that made him that way, but later on we did learn that it's a chemical imbalance in the brain that caused this.

How to Cope with the Effects of Bipolar Disorder

In recent years the number of people affected by the mood altering disorder known as bipolar is on the rise. More and more people, including television stars, are coming forward and saying they have been under treatment or have been diagnosed with this disorder. With that in mind, people really needs to understand what this disorder really is. Bipolar disorder has been long thought of as a dangerous disorder and many people get terrified when they find out that someone has it. My own personal experiences will hopefully show you that with proper treatment and therapy, bipolar disorder is not as bad as many people tend to believe it is.

Bipolar disorder has two different phases. The first phase is the manic phase. This phase causes people to lash out, at times for no reason, and the anger expressed with this lashing out can at times be uncontrollable. In this stage, people need to understand that getting angry with that person is not always the best thing to do. People act towards anger in different ways. But with people who have bipolar disorder and are suffering from this manic phase of the disease, they will act more aggressive towards the anger of another person. Comfort is the best way of dealing with this phase of this disorder. By comforting the person and showing them that you understand what they are going through, it will slowly calm them down.The second phase of bipolar disorder is known as the depressive phase. In this phase, the person will have uncontrollable moods of depression. When asked whats wrong, they will not even know what is wrong with them. In this phase comfort is also the best cure for the depression.

There are many different types of medications on the market for the treatment of bipolar disorder. A good mental health professional will be able to prescribe these types of medications to their patients. Don’t get discouraged because one medication is not controlling the depression and anger. It may take several different types of medications or a combination of medications to control the disorder. There is no cure at this time for bipolar disorder. The medications that are prescribed by a mental health professional will only calm the anger and depression and will not completely take it all away.

Therapy is also a good way of dealing with bipolar disorder. Although most people don’t like talking in front of a group of people, one on one therapy will help tremendously by relieving some of the stress of everyday life. The biggest therapy that can be given though is at home. Whether your a spouse, mother, daughter, father or a friend, your support is the most important thing to the person who is suffering from the bipolar disorder.