yourself blessed. For
me, an African American woman, I was 50 percent less likely to be
diagnosed properly. If
you are diagnosed your chances of finding a mood stabilizing
medication is far greater than if you were diagnosed as being
depressed only. A proper diagnosis and treatment plan can SAVE YOUR
LIFE. You can also
spare the people in your life the grief of your manic or depression
yourself. There are
many non-technical books you can read that can help you understand
your diagnosis An
excellent resouce is Kay Redfield Jamison’s book, “An Unquiet
Mind”.. But, don’t let books alone educate you.
Let people educate you.
Try a support group. Ask
people you know that are bipolar about their experiences.
In addition, the world wide web offers a wealth of resources. You can find communities, friendship and understanding,
along with information.
with your emotions. Finding
out you have a major mood disorder, can in one way be a relief--it
explains a lot of behaviors, but it is also a major mental illness.
A grieving period is not unusual.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ 5 Stages of Grief are helpful to
consider. The stages
Not me. I’m too
normal (your opinion only). Throwing back head in laughter ßThat
was a good one. You oughta do Vegas
Anger— (Insert full
blown tantrum here). It’s my mama’s fault.
She drank, you know. And
Daddy! Did you ever meet a
bigger maniac? Why would two people like them MATE!
going to exercise, and take herbs, and pray and mediate for three hours,
and do yoga, and go to church twice a week, and do tai chi, and wear all
organic cotton clothes that cost a fortune, and volunteer with kids, old
folks, animals, prisons—oh, God, please, please, pretty please.
Make it go away….”
Depression—This is not
bipolar depression, but depression BECAUSE you’re bipolar. You with me? I sum up your response, “Waaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Kleenex and dedicated listeners who can tolerate whining and
threats are required. It’s
okay. We still love you.
But, let’s hurry on. You
I got it. I get it.
Now, where is that Bipolar World site?
, and another hint: you are here, or you wouldn’t be reading this).
accept the fact that you will need a mood stabilizer, probably for
the rest of your life. There’s
no shame in it. None!
Why should you be ashamed of taking a medication that will
make you better? People
with bipolar disorder have the highest suicide rate of any other
mental illness. A mood
stabilizer probably would have avoided me the pain of three suicide
attempts. I could have
easily lost my life in one of those attempts.
The medications are a blessing, even with the side effects. You can rebuild your self–esteem if you are stable.
You can turn your life around.
Bipolar disorder is not a
death penalty, not to those complying with treatment, who became their
own hero and decided to get well rather than die.
You don’t have to be less because you are bipolar.
We are seeking to be all that we can be.
Bipolar Disorder is only one part of the whole of us.
But, it is a part that we would do well to bless, honor, and give
the gift of our best effort to be well.
So do it. Be well.