This website previously was an online resource for family, friends, and people who are affected by Bipolar Disorder.
The website was created to cover a large range of topics related to bipolar disorder, where you will be able to find news, videos, articles, book reviews, a discussion form, a blog, and many other resources to help you find ways to manage, care for, and treat this disorder.
Words of a Mother
My husband and I often joke about our teenagers and their bipolar disorder, including the fact that they don’t recognize when they are having a melt down or some other sort of mental episode.
Having 3 teenagers in the house, that are all girls with bipolar disorder, on top of their monthly cycle, calls for a sense of humor lined with a creative mind. It is not easy, teenage girls are hard enough, emotional wrecks without the mental illness throw in multiple personalities that have mood swings and you’re asking for trouble.
My oldest daughter decided to bake cookies one day. She asked her 14- year-old sister to watch her mix the batter making sure it was being done correctly. While making the batter, my oldest, Jasmine, was laughing, dancing and singing, until she dropped the glass bowl with the batter on the floor. In a matter of seconds, my 19-year-old began throwing a tantrum and crying about cookie batter being on the floor.
She was stomping her feet on the floor while her lips were quivering, spewing the words, “Ana made me drop the cookies because she wasn’t watching me. All I wanted was cookies! I never get what I want.” I look at Jasmine and I asked her, “Did you take your meds or are you on your cycle?” This is an ongoing question whenever any of the girls try that dramatic, temper tantrum, crying spell.
Our 14-year-old Ana, is like Jekyll and Hyde, with severe depression. This depression stage of her bipolar disorder, can last anywhere from a couple of days to months, where she just locks herself in her room. I have learned that it is usually brought on during a time of guilt. She begins thinking it’s the end of the world whenever she carries a burden of guilt, for anything that she may have done.
The most horrifying detail about this, is that she will put herself down because she is insecure and self-conscious about her body and looks, so she will cut harmful words into her body, such as ugly or fat. On top of this, she has a hoodie that she wears all the time, in order to cover up her marks, personally I want to burn it.
Her bipolar disorder, makes her so insecure, that she hears voices of her other classmates, whispering snide remarks and making fun of her because she is wearing a hoodie in 90 degree weather. In her mind, she hears everyone that comes in contact with her quietly taunting her as she enters the classroom.
Our youngest, 12-year-old Destiny, is bipolar, ADHD, has PTSD and is doesn’t understand why she acts the way she does. Her low moments cause her to have crying spells constantly, throw in the ADHD with manic bipolar, and it’s like watching a realistic version of Speedy Gonzalez, mixed with Tattoo from Fantasy Island. The joke we have around the house is that we need a translator that is fluent in bipolar ADHD.
However, with Destiny, because she is just entering adolescence, she becomes irate when she is going through her mood swings, simply because she has not control over her emotions and she doesn’t know why. Unlike her two older sisters, her mood fluctuates in 5 minute intervals. This is everything in her life. I watch her change boyfriends and crushes, every other day.
Destiny had an incident where her and her best friends were calling each other names, said they weren’t friends anymore, to the point where Destiny came running to me crying uncontrollably. The next day, they’re asking to have a sleepover that weekend.
As I deal with the girls and their erratic bipolar disorder, my demons that are trapped inside tend to rear its ugly head. Their moodiness and attitudes cause my bipolar disorder, to ‘flare up.’ I don’t know what’s worse, bipolar teenage girls, that have frequent shifts in moods like my youngest or ones that have sporadic mood swings.
The two older teens, tend to react violently, reminding me of the Exorcist, during a manic episode because their heads start spinning and their mouths are regurgitating. Either way, it still triggers my bipolar disorder, causing me to act in a spastic manner, partly because they still need to learn to keep their mouths shut while they are being reprimanded, instead of trying to get in the last word.
Depressive phase of bipolar disorder
I do not know what caused the trigger or what made me sink so low that I had to be rushed to hospital. Everything was going on fine, and I was in what you would call a neutral place where I go on with my normal daily activities and momentarily story that I am bipolar. Then my elder visited me, and we had an argument that sent me to a deep mire of depression.
My sister and I have always had the most had an interesting relationship. While I wouldn’t say that she was my best friend when we were growing up,she has never stopped to show me how much she cares about me.
Our parents divorced when we were kids, and for some reason, this has always made my sister behave like she is my mother. Sometimes it makes me feel so loved, but there are times that I feel that she is overcrowding me. And I have never failed to let her know when I need her to back off.
This Tuesday, she came to my college dorm room to drop me some of my stuff, and see how I was settling in. As usual, she started advising me on how I should have taken a better course, because literature and writing wasn’t going to put food on my table. I tried telling her that there were many options that I could explore, but she just couldn’t see it.
Our argument ended with both of us yelling and shouting, we told each other things that were mean and inappropriate. My new roommate was appalled, and effort to get us to come down were futile. By the time my sister was leaving, I was sitting in a fetal position, sobbing my heart out.
And that is how it started…
I had an introduction class to attend, but I decided to skip it. My whole body felt tired and my mind was numb. I kept tossing my sister’s words on my head over and over. With each passing second, I became obsessed with how hurt and miserable I was.
I took out my journal in an attempt to scribble something and get everything out of my system, but I had nothing. I ended up staining the pages of my book with tears that kept rolling. No matter how hard my roommate tried to make me eat, I couldn’t. Everything tasted so horrible and plain!
All I wanted to do was stay in bed and cry my heart out. I was aware that I was slowly sinking into the dreaded depression that is common with people like me who suffer from bipolar disorder. I knew I should get out of the phase and cheer up, but I couldn’t. Something kept pushing me back into the heavy darkness that was around me.
A simple argument with my sister was now causing many sleepless nights. As my roommate slept soundly, I tossed and turned, wishing that I could get some sleep, especially that I know it helps burn some calories, as I’m trying to lose a little bit of weight. I could feel some distant ache in my head, as if my skull was slowly cracking. The more I cried into my pillow, the more intense the building headache felt.
It was in the morning when my roommate found me collapsed at the entrance of the bathroom. I was rushed to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with depression and given medication to calm me down. I felt so guilty and vulnerable when I went back to the dorm room. My roommate was so understanding, and she told me that for years, her mother has battled bipolar disorder. It made me feel safe.
My Manic Phase Embarrassing Story
I sat huddled on the corner of my bed, listening and humming along to the soft rock music from my ear phones. I loved the new collection my boyfriend had gotten me, and I couldn’t get enough of it. We had just met six weeks ago, and everything about him seemed right.
I had gone through my fair share of dating the wrong guys, from the one who physically and verbally abused me, yet I stay for some unknown reasons, until he held my by my hair and threatened to throw me from the fourth floor window of his house, and then there was the one who used me financially and emotionally, and eventually dumped me without any explanation. Maybe he was just tired of the many maniac episodes that I got from my bipolar disorder.
Anyway, so I eventually had a great guy who got me, and who shared the same choice of music with me. From the first time we met, we hit it right on. there was something about him that lacked in the others I had dated before. Maybe it was the way he always wanted to talk, and the way he listened attentively as I droned on and about things that mattered to me.
“Hey beauty…”, he texted me as I was listening to music. I texted back by giving him details of how my day was coming along, and thanking him again for the music collection.
“What are you doing?” He asked.
I had just gotten off a long soothing shower, so when I told him, he sent me a smiley and asked for a photo.
I don’t know if I was flattered or scared. I mean, I had just known him for six weeks, and he was already asking for my photo. Before i could respond, another text came through and it read:
“Are you scared? I have seen you naked before, remember? I miss you so much, send me a photo…”
Somehow, the text made me nostalgic and I smiled. It sounded like a good dare. I mean, I had never taken any nude photo before, and having him beg me for one gave me a sudden thrill.
I increased the volume of my music and felt motivated. So, I carefully unwrapped the towel I had around my body and let it slide down. I slathered moisturizer all over my body while dancing to the tune of my music. I was in my own world where fear and care was unheard of and did not exist.
A few moments later, I was standing stark naked in front of the mirror, snapping photos as if my life depended on it. I made faces, stuck out my tongue, did the peace sign, spread open my legs and kept snapping.
Excitement surged through me and I couldn’t stop. It was as if a new being had replaced me. Then I furiously clicked the send photo, wit all the raw images of myself.
I breathed in and out, and waited a few minuted before I texted him —
“Hey, did you like the photos?” I asked.
I got no response. The more I waited, the more worried I got.
“What did I do….what did I just do?” I kept muttering to myself while I crowded his inbox with messages begging him to text me back.
Well, he eventually did, and told me that his phone’s battery had gone low and he was charging it. Then he reminded me that I need to ensure that I take my medication because he was definitely kidding about the nude photos, and was surprised that I actually sent them.
I knew for sure that he was right….. and the other thing I knew, was that he was a keeper!
Science & Biology of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression, a term used to describe sudden and extreme swings in a person’s mood from euphoric to depressed or high to low mood. In its high phase (also called hypomania), someone with bipolar disorder is defined by high levels of energy and a very small urge to fall asleep.
During this period, someone may talk and think faster than the normal rate while thoughts shift rapidly from one subject area to another, which makes it barely possible to hold a meaningful conversation with someone at this stage. Bipolar disorder may affect someone to the extent that he or she experiences symptoms of psychosis and might even fail to determine what is real in life.
Causes of bipolar disorder:
While a lot of research has been done on this topic, the causes of bipolar disorder have not been clearly delineated. As is the case with most illnesses, however, it is believed to be caused by a combination of hereditary factors and other conditions severe stress.
Even so, science has already established that there is a genetic disposition to develop this disorder. Severely stressing life events and poor parental upbringing play a big role in the development of this disorder.
People with bipolar disorder may find themselves imagining that they are more influential and important than they really are in life. Excitement and recklessness are also common symptoms, but different people may also experience some or most of the following symptoms :
- Impulsiveness and poor judgement
- Excessive irritability and aggressive behavior
- Heightened mood and exaggerated self-confidence
- Decreased desire to fall asleep but is not followed by any symptoms of fatigue
- Racing speech, thoughts and flight of ideas
- Hallucinations and delusions in the most severe cases
- Recurring suicidal thoughts
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Unexplained pains and aches
- Drastic changes in appetite
- Social withdrawal and lack of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
- Lack of concentration
Bipolar disorder can be countered by various strategies, which are meant to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms. Ideally, treatment should be a combination of medications and community support in order to get the best outcome.
Medications used to treat bipolar disorder simply work on the brain such that its natural chemical balance is restored. These are prescribed by a medical practitioner, and if adhered to, the medication can successfully alleviate the symptoms of depression and mood swings. In the high phase for instance, lithium carbonate is mostly prescribed, a medication which is known to stabilize mood.
Community support systems:
People with bipolar disorder are already undergoing a difficult moment in life and the best they need to recover is support. Community help includes accommodation, information, helping the victim to find a reliable job, offering the right education and training that is needed to stabilize in life, offering psychosocial rehabilitation and accepting such a person in the community.
In summary, a lot of biology goes into explaining the chemical changes in the brain that cause mood swings and depressive episodes characteristic of bipolar disorder, but it all drips down to a disorder which is mostly driven by hereditary factors. Bipolar disorder can bring coping problems in life but with community support and medical help, the symptoms can be managed or even alleviated.
Blogs and Internet Forums on the Web
Bipolar disorder, which is also medically referred to as manic-depressive illness, is a common brain disorder in children and adults that causes shift in activity levels, energy, and mood. Symptoms associated with bipolar disorder can result to poor school and job performance, damaged relationships, and even suicide. Fortunately enough, bipolar disorder can be treated and the affected individuals can live full and productive lives.
Bipolar disorder has become a controversial topic in different blogs and sites and are discussing and supporting children and adolescent mental health. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, has shown a 40% increase in the number of visit to pediatric office due to bipolar disorder between the years of 1995 and 2013.
What is fueling the controversy among health forums is the realization that most of the children receiving bipolar diagnosis don’t meet the criteria outlined in the DSM-IV. There is concern that children with poor emotional self-regulation, symptoms of ADHD and with predominantly irritable mood that result to aggressive behavior are receiving bipolar diagnosis and given medications that have profound health effects.
The 2013 release of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) have minimized the controversy within bipolar diagnosis among teens and children. This is by putting in place diagnostic criteria for all mental disorders. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are vigorously debating on the appropriate bipolar diagnostic criteria in children and teens.
In additional, different forums, WordPress sites and internet blogs are now available for any individual to share and acquire knowledge on bipolar disorder.
Some of the common internet blogs, forums, and WordPress sites that discuss and provide relevant information on bipolar disorder include;
Healthfulchat.org:This is a website that is dedicated to support the philosophy that proper and immediate medical attention combined with physical and mental support and peer support in the case of the disorder helps to make the healing process of bipolar disorder attainable.
Healthfulchat.org offers health related social networks and forums that cover an array of illnesses and conditions ranging from depression to bipolar disorder. The site provides a platform for sharing, connecting, meeting and supporting those who are affected by different conditions including bipolar disorder.
DBSA discussion forum: This is an online forum that provides support, information, resources and connects with peers in a constructive and positive manner. The forum provides a constructive environment to share and acquire information on bipolar disorder.
About.com: This is a site that provides forum where one can discuss and get an insight on bipolar disorder among other conditions from a wide community of people who are affected by the same condition. It also provides a platform to share information and issues that complicate manic-depressive illness.
This site has wonderful volunteers who act as community leaders and forum moderators. The volunteers provide the needed information and support on bipolar disorder.
Mentalhealthforum.net: This is a forum that provides friendly space for supporting and discussing different mental health issues including bipolar disorder. All what you need to do is register with the site and see the many extra features and post a question related to your condition.
Psychforums.com: The site has community group that provides relevant information related to bipolar disorder. All what you need to do is register with the site and you will receive all the help you need.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIH): This is an internet blog that provides relevant information about the cause, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. It is a good blog to obtain relevant information on bipolar disorder.
WebMD Bipolar Disorder Community: This is a wordpress site that contains community posts on bipolar disorder. It is a good place to obtain information and support of manic-depressive illness.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): It is an online blog that provides a platform for sharing information and support to those having bipolar disorder. The blog provides targeted news on bipolar, features and personal stories that will support those having the mental condition.
Other sites and blogs where you can learn, share and grow through the help of related topics and current issues on bipolar disorder include ;
- All about bipolar
- Bipolar knitter
- Blue people
- Psych links
- Depression forums
- Mental health community
- Bp magazine
It is very important to know…
In science, I found that bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, as well as fluctuations in energy and activity levels. I found even more information in biology, as well as by researching online on my computer, that during these abnormal mood swings, these people find it very difficult to complete every day tasks with this type of disease.
Before thinking about going outdoors and harming society and the people around you, I first recommend you going to your doctor and talking to him/her about medications you can take from your local pharmacy, which is very important.
You wouldn’t believe this…
One time I had a friend, Tom, who had a dog, who had serious mental health issues. He figured that Bingo had bipolar disorder… Knowing how religious and spiritual Tom was, he took his dog to church and prayed as much as he could. He prayed, and he prayed, and he prayed, that this evil thing inside of his animal would eventually go away.
He even tried taking him for walks outdoors, which was his all time favorite activity to do, a couple times a day… He just hated everything, the whole world. The conditions of this disease freaked poor Tom out a lot.
It came to a point where he even had nightmares… and day-mares. He tried a bunch of things, and some weird things, everything he could – but they never ever worked. Tom then gave up… He had to put Bingo down. He didn’t know what else to do.
Hopefully Bingo’s in a way better place now… But probably not.
I was thinking…
Maybe he was just possessed by a demon? I don’t know. No one would ever know…