British Columbia, Canada
Oh I was trying so hard not to comment but I feel I must to clear a few things up here. First of all some do manage to control being bi-polar without drugs, but I would bet they live for the "highs", and these are moments where one can go way out of control on various things, like severe personality changes, spending, promiscuity as these are the times they experience their delusions of grandeur, where they think they are capable of doing anything and everything, and eventually this worsens and it is so hard to keep up the pace. But then the lows set it, and fortunately yes, some can control suicidal tendencies, self-mutilation, or severe depression and float until the next high, but why?
I think any bi-polar person who tries to function without the help of medication is not getting everything they need to be all that they can be. Bi-polar is a genetic disorder, and nothing to be ashamed of or hidden. It is simply the lack of certain chemicals being distributed in the brain, plain and simple. Once the right “chemical cocktail” is discovered a person is as right as rain, but sometimes this takes a while. Even so, sometimes when the right combination of prescription drugs are formulated, their effect can wear off in time, and then a person who is bi-polar has to try various “cocktails” until there is one that works for them. This quite often causes discomfort in getting over the side effects, or taking the time to give the drugs to work, which is 10-14 days on average. This is where a lot of folks give up and think they are better off without medication, not true! Well uptake inhibitors or SSRI’s as they are called are essential in a person who is bi-polar, as they will increase the serotinon levels to the brain and equalize not only the moods, but with the help of an anti-depressant, will completely equalize and stabilize the brain, and every thought running through it and therefore all is well
Now there are 5 or more types of bi-polarism, so you need proper diagnosis to know which one you fit into. Some people suffer clinical depression, which is easily treated and get them back into “their norm” fairly quickly (see descriptions at the site below). A majority of bi-polar folks are the product at least one bi-polar parent or relative. Therefore quite a few carry “baggage” they have been lugging around since their youth, so in conjunction with the medication, a group, or a private therapist, psychologist, or psychiatric is a great addition to the therapy required, along with the prescriptions.
The main thing to note is – YOU CANNOT JUST STOP TAKING MEDICATION LIKE THIS UNSUPERVISED, as the side effects can be absolute devastating, and it can do more harm than good.
There are several drugs used for the treatment of depression. They belong to different classes of drugs. These classes differ from one another in chemical structure and in the way they affect brain chemistry. They act on different receptors or impulses in the brain, with some stimulating and others blocking certain chemicals.
We are all different. Our brains and bodies react differently to medications. A drug that is wonderfully effective on one person's depression may not work at all for another person. A drug that causes severe side effects in one person may not cause any in another person. While the trial and error search for the right medication or combination of medications can be frustrating, don't give up hope. The variety of medications available increases the chances of finding the right one for you.
Now you are probably wondering how the heck do I know all this? Well, not only am I rapid-cycling to mixed episode bi-polar, but I have acute association disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder, and trust me I am quite normal now as all are under control. There may be a few folks who I have visited, or stayed with me from Passions that think I am a little crazy, but generally IF I TAKE MY MEDS I am okay.
Don’t mess with this – I did! I refused to believe I had a problem as I held an exciting, high profile corporate job, succeeded in everything I did, and had tons to show for my life - WRONG – that is part of being bi-polar, mania sets in and you think you can accomplish anything – remember I said that before? Well, you get a little older and you wonder why can’t you do it, well, fact is you never could! For me, it was because I had a high lack of serotinon that drove me to run like a hamster on a wheel. This has a happy ending, I have been on medications for about 6 years now, feel quite normal’ I’m retired, and finally smelling the roses. Do I have down days, you bet I do, but I know the difference now between “highs and lows” and with help, I got the tools I needed to cope and take care of myself. Now, I work with young women who are bi-polar, and suffer from spousal abuse, in an informal group like setting, and love what I do.
Only about one-third of bipolar sufferers seek treatment and an estimated 15% to 20% of bipolars who do not receive medical attention commit suicide. This is a mood disorder. Its severity can be diminished by treatment.
If you suspect that you suffer from bipolar disorder please consult a psychiatrist (or your family physician for referral to a psychiatrist) for help.
I want to give you all a link that is one of the best resources on the internet for support on all types of depression, bi-polar conditions, and the people there to help are just fantastic. The site owners are professionals, and there are volunteers that suffer with this disorder that help. There is so much on the site but it even will tell you if you qualify for, and how to get, free medications, and if you need help they will help you. There is a chat room of like folks to support one another, a poetry board (I am there a long time ago when we started the site), and more information of the famous folks who where bi-polar and lots of not so famous ones too. I hope this has helped someone and I also hope you will have a look at a site I am very proud to show you.
Now if you can’t find the answer on there, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be very pleased to get it for you.
When you go to this page there are two options – Go to Chat, or Open Mixed Nuts – click the bottom one that takes you inside the can first LOL, then after you have looked around you may wish to chat with some people who also suffer from the very same frustrations as you whether you are the person who is bi-polar or someone who is close to a person who has this disorder. Are you ready for this, the sites name is MIXED NUTS and it is a fun place. Enjoy!
This site offers a self screening test too. It is informative to those who have this disorder, and those who are friends, relatives, or loved ones of people with the disorder). You can live a normal life, happy and healthy life.
Hope this helped a bit.
The most valuable thing you own is a smile, wear it, and share it.
[This message has been edited by Mysteria (08-26-2002 03:01 AM).]