Bipolar is made up of a lot of thing, beautiful is just one of them. Today, I thought I’d take a minute to list out some of the characteristics that make this particular mental illness different from the rest.
The Roller Coaster
This illness is often compared to a roller coaster because of the highs and lows one may feel. The high is known as mania. The low is known as depression.
Mania – the high – can the be the most fun part of the disorder. A person may feel grandiose and beautiful. He or she is untouchable. It can make them bold and interesting. But sometimes the feelings become dangerous.
A manic person needs just a few hours on which to act with energy. Believing he or she is Christ. Going on ridiculous spending sprees, using credit cards to buy things he or she can’t afford. Someone may believe they are able to fly. I know someone who spent $3,000 in a single night on the Internet. Many people find themselves going from partner to partner engaging in sex during manic episodes. Other people will probably notice when someone is in a manic episode, but it is unlikely the person won’t admit.
Mania can often feel too good. This is a reason a lot of people won’t stay on their medication because he or she doesn’t want to leave that excitement behind.
Depression is the low of the roller coaster. There are a lot of ways depression can manifest. Appetite is affected by either eating too little or too much. Similarly, one may sleep too much or have trouble sleeping altogether. Because of this a person may gain or lose significant amounts of weight. He or she may have trouble concentrating on even simple tasks like reading or watching a movie. He or she can go through the motions but nothing seems to stick or be remembered. Isolation is common when depressed and this is one of the worst things a person can do because no one can help him or her.
Psychosis is the scariest part of my disorder. Not all those with bipolar disorder also live with psychosis. Psychosis is basically a break from reality. One may see, hear, feel, even taste, things that are not real or are not accurate. I will use myself as an example.
The first time I ever had a visual hallucination was in 2007. I saw what I believed to be rats. This is a common hallucination to this day. I once ate a hot pocket and believed the ham was human flesh. There once were blue devils standing behind me. I’ve closed my eyes and imagined ants all over the shower walls or crawling on my skin. Like I said, it can be terrifying. My advice is to use your logic to fight the illogical.
Medication is a big part of wellness. It stabilizes one’s moods making that roller coaster a little less high and low. Be prepared, it can take quite some time to find the right medication cocktail. During this time he or she will have to deal with many side effects, not all of which are positive. Give it some time. Don’t give up and he or she will find something that makes them feel better.
Speaking of medication, he or she will need to find a good psychiatrist he or she can trust. This person shouldn’t just scribble out prescriptions but ask questions so that the doctor is on the same page as he or she.
it is also important to find a good therapist he or she can click with. He or she should feel comfortable talking to this therapist about their problems and celebrate their accomplishments. A therapist is a very integral part of a healthy support system.
So this is just a tiny bit about bipolar disorder with psychosis. I will try to write on this subject again soon.