Howdy again, fellow wackos and electronic rubberneckers!
If you are here because you are like me—just a little “off”—then welcome. If you’re here to find out more about bipolar disorder, stick around, because I know a bit and I like to talk. If you’re here to watch the train wreck occur, hoping I’ll melt down and post something wild about the speaking wombats that live in my chiller and their TV viewing habits well, you can doubtless be a little unhappy. I could be a freak, but I’m not crazy.
Yes, that’s correct. I just called myself a freak. I figure if other people are going to call me that, I’m able to potentially get away with claiming it myself. Wacko, nutcase, loony, psycho… There are lots of things people say about bipolar disorder, and a lot of them just are not true. Let’s have a look at a few of those things right now.
Bipolar Myth 1 “Folks with bipolar disorder are not really sick.”
Some people say that bipolar disorder is “all in your head.” They assert stuff like “everyone gets depressed. You only need to suck it up and handle it like everybody else.” If this is correct then diabetes patients just need to get over their illness, too. I mean, too much sugar is not good for everyone, right?
Just as a diabetic’s body does not process sugars properly, a person with bipolar disorder’s brain does not process dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine quite right.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Take it from research scientists at the School of Michigan who have studied Abnormal Brain Chemistry Found in Bipolar Disorder . They know what they are talking about.
I am just some freak, remember?
Hence you can tell me I haven't got a “real” illness and I just have to fix it, but first you have got to tell Ms. Diabetic to eat six Twinkies and deal with it. Go ahead. I could call 911 while she's chewing.
This myth is so commonplace that insurance corporations are able to treat it—or more precisely NOT treat it—like it's not a “real” disease. The last health care insurance I had would pay for 80% of the bill if I had to have major surgery, but only 50% if I saw a doctor for bipolar disorder. Also, they limited the amount of times I could see a doctor for treatment to 12 times ever year. Tell you what let’s limit diabetics to 12 insulin shots every year and see how well they do.
What? We should not do that because they could become sick and die?
Well, folk with bipolar disorder die, too. In reality without correct treatment, 20% of them commit suicide. That is one in five, folks. I'd say that constitutes a major health risk. Perhaps this bipolar thing is a real disease after all.
Bipolar Myth 2 “Folks with bipolar disorder are beyond hope.”
He has got bipolar disorder. He's insane. He won't be helped. He's a total waste of time. Or is he?
The incontrovertible fact is—he isn’t. Bipolar disorder is one of the easiest conditions to treat. There are several effective medications, some of which have been used for quite a bit. Lithium, as an example, has been about since the 1950′s. Lithium doesn't work for everybody, though. That is the reason why there’s Lamictal, Depakote, Zoloft, Tegretol, Wellbutrin, Prozac, Effexor, and a partridge in a pear tree. A psychiatrist can tinker with medicines until he finds a combination that works.
Medicines can be useful but so can just chatting. Talk treatment did me more good than any pill ever did. Nevertheless without the tablets, I probably wouldn't have listened to anything when I was at rock bottom.
The point is this: folk with bipolar disorder CAN be helped. So if you have bipolar disorder or know someone who does, never give up. There is hope.
Well gang, it seems like I'm over word count. I let you know I like to talk! We’ll talk some more next time when I dispel a few more myths about bipolar disorder.
So to all my buddies and fellow freaks, till next time keep fighting!
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