What is bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a widely misunderstood illness. Often it comes with the stigma of a person being “crazy” or “mental”, neither of which are true. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic-depressive illness, or to be more specific, a brain disorder. It’s not something a person can prevent. While Marybeth was in therapy, a councilor described it like heart disease for the brain. It’s just another illness that can be treated and managed.
Bipolar disorder comes in different forms, but almost always causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe than the average ups and downs we all go through in our life. The symptoms can be so severe that they sometimes result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide.
Most people are under the impression that only adults can develop bipolar disorder. This too is untrue. Many of the Ask a Bipolar authors have both witnessed, and/or experienced, how symptoms for bipolar disorder can appear as early as 2 to 3 years old. Unfortunately, due to the stereotype of it being an ‘adult illness’, some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. However, others do not experience symptoms until they are well into adulthood.
It is very difficult to diagnose bipolar disorder because the symptoms often appear as though they are separate problems, when in fact they are just part of one large problem. But once diagnosed, there is hope and we are here to help build the hope in others.
For more information about Bipolar Disorder refer to these helpful websites:
- Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
- How Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed
- Bi Polar Disorder Treatment
- Child and Adolecent Biploar:
- Support with coping with Bipolar Children:
Please note that all answers given by the Ask a Bipolar Authors are strictly opinions. We are NOT professionals, and we do NOT offer medical advice. We are just a few bipolarees living with the illness.
If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, we advise you to get help immediately by doing one or all of the following:
- Call your doctor.
- Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help or ask a friend or family member to help you do these things.
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor.
- Make sure you or the suicidal person are not left alone.