LIFE IN THE THROES OF BIPOLAR DISORDER

According to NAMI, one in five people suffer from some sort of mental illness or over 51.5 million Americans. If you narrow that number down to just bipolar disorder, that leaves 2.3 million Americans or 2.8% of the population. If you extrapolate these numbers into the rest of America, I think it’s safe to say that we all have met someone with a mental illness. The challenges we face with mental health issues are huge in this country and throughout the world. If you suffer with a mental illness then you know firsthand the struggles. But family, friends, and other supports also know how difficult the struggle can be.

Stability is a hard thing to maintain, especially if you have a more severe case of a mental illness. Although, sometimes it may take months to get into a psychiatrist, there are still so many resources available to help you find stability. There are a lot of resources available that do not require insurance that are free of charge to you. Unfortunately, a lot of people are not going to admit that they need help or are going to seek help. That especially goes for those people that are manic who are riding a high and will think life is better than ever.

When you are in a manic high, a rush of ideas, dreams you believe achievable, and positive emotions flood your mind. You believe you can conquer anything and it is what you set out to do. This is no matter how much debt you are in, no matter how many people you have wronged, and no matter how many things are going wrong in your life. You feel like you can solve your problems alone and make them right. You are going to change the world. 

People will see that you are experiencing a manic episode and try to reach out to help you but there is almost no point. No matter what you say, they will say, “I’m fine,” or things like, “don’t worry about me! I’m doing great!“ You cannot reason with people that are manic. They will always go their own way. They have all the answers.

I know this because I have been there. I have bipolar I and OCD. When I thought I was Jesus I thought I had the answers to everything. I thought I was going to save the world and that I did not need saving from anyone. It took time and time again of frustrations from failure of nobody believing me for who I was. It was not until I realized I was not going to make any progress until I started to feel a crushing defeat. But this was a very slow process to feel defeat. The mania carried on for months. I thought I was going to change the world when really it was the realities in the real world that woke me up and eventually changed me. Luckily, I had people in my life to support me through the entire process. Many people scare their supports away.

Reality is a rude awakening when you are in a manic high. You can ignore reality for a really long time when you are manic, but once reality hits you, you better have your supports there. This is where it gets scary for somebody with bipolar. Because this is where the manic lows hit and the dreams of the manic high are crushed. This is where the idea of suicide starts to enter your mind. It is a scary statistic that between 25% and 50% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide and 15% are successful. That is why when you have bipolar that when you are about to give up during the manic low you immediately need to reach out for help. Blast your emotions to the world and get yourself the help you really deserve because you are loved. Even if it seems like the world does not love you anymore.

With all of these statistics in place, please keep in mind that it is an illness and the person that is manic is not themselves. They are doing things out of their norm because of a chemical imbalance and should not be judged for their actions. Although, they may destroy relationships, we need to hold them in our hearts and wish them well and be there for them when they come back to reality. Remember them for when they were stable for those are the people that they really are. Be quick to forgive them of their actions when they are manic. Although, some of these things may seem unforgivable, please forgive. Be there to love and support them when they come back to reality, or when the mania is not that much fun to them anymore, and they get tired of trying. Never let them lose sight of who they are when they are stable. Give them hope and never let them give up.

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