Bipolar 1 Disorder

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Difference between Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Spectrum Disorder

Hi, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Spectrum Disorder a couple of weeks ago. I don't have Bipolar 1 or 2 or Cyclothymia as my symptoms don't meet the diagnostic criteria. Rather my psychiatrist described bipolar as being on a spectrum and my mood swings fall on this spectrum, albeit not to the extent that would carry a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. It is a bit confusing as some articles uses the terms Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Spectrum Disorder interchangeably. Has anyone else been diagnosed with this? Thanks in advance #BipolarDisorder

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The Bipolar Paradox #BipolarDisorder #MentalHealth

At present there’s no cure for Bipolar Disorder, only remedies to control the severity of the highs and lows. So, is this the way it is or is there a cure out there that we are yet to find? They say nothing is eternal but at moment it seems Bipolar is. Are the cycles it presents itself in a depiction of itself? Is it a constant, revolving phenomenon that is cycling around again and again, never stopping or starting but continuing? With its repetitive originality that makes it different every time it rears its head, it renders you to be branded insane as you try to battle it or understand it.

What is your opinion on your own Bipolar? What is Bipolar to you?

#BipolarDepression #Bipolar1Disorder #Bipolar2Disorder

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Tracing back my history with Bipolar I Disorder that was only diagnosed on my 26th year

Part 1 of 2 Arguably, there is no laboratory test applicable to determine whether one is Bipolar or not. The diagnosis is primarily based on individual historical background with unclear mechanisms for each level. For my case, after being deeply engrossed in the management, coping strategies, and diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, I hereby ink down my history, which could be possibly linked to the condition. This is particularly to help in self-diagnosing, which has been a real deal in managing my condition.

For the last twenty-seven years, life has been difficult to navigate for myself and the people I love. The trauma of poverty in my lifeline began just one month after my birth when my biological father passed away. Whatever followed after then has been a myriad of mysteries. Not about the single-room-old grass-thatched house that dad had built for mother and us years before his demise, not about constantly falling victim to measles and kwashiorkor that clearly resulted from improper dieting and conditional mal-nutrition since my jobless mother could hardly maintain the right diet for a family of four, not about high infestation of jiggers that permanently deformed my toe-nails for constantly going to the local primary school on bare-foot, just but a few case scenarios. Honestly, the trend of my childhood life kept me terrified about what the future had for me.

While growing up, I had completely given up on life and never believed in education as a savior as was purported by my kindergarten teachers, conventionally called nursery. I had then developed a behavior of intentionally missing classes while spending time on a sugarcane plantation with my other friends, just to chew enough of it since I was always sure that surviving on sugarless white porridge for the whole day was routine back home.

One evening, after spending my whole day at school for fear of my mother realizing that I had started missing classes, something awful happened. As usual, I left school for home hungry, hoping to find some porridge in the jerrycan, but this was not the case. Having noticed the despairing response on my face, my eldest sister took to a nearby avocado tree that belonged to my stepmother to find some ready or almost ready fruits so I could eat. In the trial and error process, she had wasted many avocadoes and my stepbrother could not just take it since my father had raised a conservative family, a trait which was also fostered by poverty at home. He then tried stopping my sister but since the mission was still incomplete, she went ahead trying to get a ready fruit. In no time, they had engaged in a physical fight, with step-brother belting her continuously and carelessly as she struggled to alight from the tree. As per the adage, a hungry man is an angry man, I got totally uncontrollable and picked a heavy stone, as young as I was, and charged it towards my stepbrother at top strength. The only thing I remember after then was my brother following me closely for an act of revenge with the same stone but I was able to escape into a nearby maize plantation.

The scenario created constant upheavals between my biological mother and stepmother until I was sent to stay with my uncle, just to cool down the tension that went through the healing process from the stone injury. Again, at my uncle’s place was a different life altogether that shaped a lot of things in my life. First, school was mandatory, and reviewing daily classwork was a routine so I had no option but to stick to it. In no time, I greatly improved my class performance and changed from the bottom five in my previous primary school to the top five, thanks to the daily night tutoring with my education-oriented uncle.

At this time, I had started believing that the only tool I had to transform our life and deliver me from experiencing a replica of the past life was education. I decided to give it my all and became a top student up to my last paper in secondary school which got me to university. After completing my degree studies and graduating with second class honors-Upper Division in Communication and Public Relations, I was now ready to serve my family, and the community at large since I was a second-degree victim of poverty, with a better part of my education funded by the society. However, this did not happen so fast, which again sent me to frequently picture my life before engaging in active smoking of marijuana with a delusional belief relieving stress. Just to fulfill my family’s expectations, I engaged in online freelancing services where I got some writing projects on different topics from students in the UK, USA, and Australia majorly. While still, this could not sufficiently support my siblings’ school fees and I did extra work to manage my basic bills. Every time, I kept hoping that things would change for

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Tracing back my history with Bipolar I Disorder that was only diagnosed on my 26th year

Part 2 of 2 the better and get a job placement to support my dreams.

One day after a long struggle with sourcing for freelancing projects, I was able to access a great pool of clients, who supplied me with many tasks at better rates. From prompt payments to constant referrals, I was unable to handle the instant shift in my financial situation. The excitement that came with the looming success got me too anxious than ever. I, therefore, found myself impulsively buying goods from close friends with the feeling of building their business as buddies as well as expressing my emphatic nature. In no hours, I started feeling paranoid of fear that someone may have known my account balance since I had heavily and carelessly spent within my then location. The thought triggered my manic episode that was only clarified at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital after being admitted by the psychiatric department, thanks to the facility.

From the brief history, it is clear that my reactions/emotions/moods are highly dependent on the surrounding environment or situations/factors at hand. Besides, at such triggers, I am totally unable to control myself, but the environment does. Just from the ordeal with my stepbrother, my childhood trauma of poverty that made me give up on school at a tender age, my change of performance after staying with my strict uncle, and the point of the full-blown first manic episode after the temporary change of finances which was very short-lived since I had to spend some time in the psychiatric ward. The mentioned scenarios are some of the characteristics of Bipolar Disorder, which one should watch out for when constantly undergoing similar experiences. In short, amidst the triggers, a victim of the condition always make abrupt decisions without necessarily pondering over the impending predicament at length and this can only be helped by professional psychiatric services and medications. No health without Mental Health, always watch out and consult with psychiatrists around you to stay safe.

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I’m new here!

Hi, my name is Jordini. I'm looking for people that can help me to find more confidence and healthy stability with bipolar disorder.

#MightyTogether #Bipolar1Disorder #BipolarDisorder

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You won’t sink here— you will soar.

Hi all, this post is about my mental illness and I talk about addiction, grief, suicide, mania and depression.
If I had never found the doctor who diagnosed me with Bipolar, would I have waited and wasted more years of my life in pain and confusion without a diagnosis? Would I have finally swallowed too many depression medications and sleep aides to move or breathe? I can’t know. I would like to think I wouldn’t have let that happen, that I would have continued to search for the answers I so badly craved. However, untreated Bipolar will often make its own choices without considering your feelings or asking you to weigh in.
I know that now, that I never had as much control over my emotions and moods as I thought I did or as society kept telling me I had. I bought into the whole swap-your-pills-for-running-shoes bullshit being shoved on me from what seemed to be every direction at the time.
I wanted so desperately to believe that I could choose happiness, that I could simply motivate myself out of the intensifying sadness and looming panic, that I could water myself without sunlight and still grow.
I thought the sun might show up if I worked harder, if I was aware enough, if I grew stronger, if I practiced all the self-care and self-love I could muster, if I was patient, if I stayed on the treadmill for hours on end, loved god, went to bed early, woke up early, wrote affirmations.
The more effort I put in the more I wilted, drooped and watched my petals fall. I turned to literature, read books with titles like “No Excuses,” “The Laws Of Success,” and “You Are A Badass.” I felt inspired, bursts of motivation, but nothing stuck and I continued to blame myself. It’s nice to believe that you can will yourself into wealth, wellness and status.
I “put in the work” for years to better myself. How is it my closest friends could say to me that they thought I wasn’t trying and how could I have continued to believe this?
Even though I felt something abnormal, some monster down below in the depths of me, and I longed to learn its name, I would call it by my own name for years still.
After countless attempts to take my own life, after years of drinking myself sick, swallowing unisom like a multivitamin, all the hospital gowns and the stomach pumping and the pain pills and purging and late nights that bled into morning and the debilitating fear, anxiety and grief which seemed to always be just below the surface, I finally decided to see a psychiatrist.
One diagnosis of depression later, along with a prescription for Klonopin and Zoloft, I was more manic than ever, though I didn’t yet know the word for it. I was having the time of my life while I was simultaneously in so deep I couldn’t keep my head above water long enough to breathe. 
In June of 2013, I found myself stumbling into my kitchen through the dark after a night out drinking with friends. I remember the moonlight spilling in through the front window. I remember how that summer felt, how it consumed me, how I thought moving across the complex to a new unit would bring me back to life, the distress that quickly followed when my moods still plummeted and skyrocketed, the cavernous ache I felt daily. 
I hungered for the pain in my life to subside. I swallowed all my medications and lay there on the floor waiting for it— the feeling of the world coming to an end.
It’s the final thing I remember, before waking up in another hospital bed, too confused to feel anything else, the room like a movie set, not quite real to me yet, searching the floor for black x’s and looking for stage lights tucked away in the rafters. My face was wet with tears I couldn’t remember having cried. They felt unreal, like someone had painted them on. I longed for my parents.
In the days that followed, I felt paranoid and wavered between reality and fantasy. When I talked with my mother I wept. I told her I wouldn’t make it to 30, that I just couldn’t do it. I thought I would never be able to escape the sadness that plagued me.
I found Dr. Cai sometime shortly after I was released from the hospital. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and an anxiety disorder.
When I started getting the proper treatment for my mental illness, when I finally knew the name of the monster I’d been avoiding, I started to see color in places where I hadn’t seen color in a very long time. I started to notice flowers growing through the pavement, how odd and beautiful they were, I wondered how they could grow there. I started to feel less sorrow. The sunlight poured in.
Even with a proper diagnosis and treatment it took years to find stability. 
When I was diagnosed with Bipolar I had people tell me they didn’t believe in mental illness and that they thought I was trying to find something to blame my problems on. When I began taking medication, people said I was looking to dodge responsibility and find a “silver-bullet.”
Seeking a diagnosis and starting treatment for my illness was the most responsible thing I have ever done for myself. When I was diagnosed, I didn’t seek to blame my illness. But my diagnosis did help me learn to lift the blame off myself and no longer carry the shame others made me feel for getting help.
Starting treatment meant cutting through the narratives people tell— that it’s all in my head, that they get sad sometimes, too, that it doesn’t matter what you call it, that it doesn’t need a label and searching for one will only complicate things, that I can’t move from bed because I’m not trying hard enough.
It’s funny that people who have never experienced mental illness have so much to say about it, and have so much fear invested in it— fears which I think stem from our capitalistic ideals, and what we think it means to be lazy, to be unproductive, to be ill, to be unmotivated, to be healthy, to be independent, to be unsuccessful, to be happy, to fail.
Medications have likely saved my life, if not saved me years of unnecessary extremes, addictions and heartache.
I couldn’t have known that learning to love my illness would require so much from me, though I knew it would be a challenge. It was such a massive relief to finally have answers. Maybe I thought simply understanding it or learning its name would be enough for it to stop destroying things. But it’s taken me years to master what I believed then to be the most basic first steps of soothing it. 
Learning to love and accept my mental illness has taught me to love and accept myself and learning to love and accept myself has strengthened my ability to love and accept my mental illness. Choosing to love something I once believed was unloveable, something I once neglected yet yearned to care for, something I tried to run from, has been the most difficult thing I’ve done. It has also been the most beautiful, courageous, exceptional thing I’ve done in my life.
If you’re in the deep end drowning, thinking you’ll never make it out alive, I’m here to tell you a stable life is possible, not if you try hard enough to swim, but if you listen to yourself instead of the people on land yelling at you to save yourself, if you can learn to accept yourself and your madness, if you continue to search for the answers.
Don’t settle for less than what you know you deserve.
You are raw and brilliant and the depth of you is remarkable. You are brave and mightier than you may know now— though someday you’ll realize, and it will take your breath away.
You won’t sink here, in this ocean of grief and despair— you will soar.

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Just started meds!

Hey you all! So I finally got prescribed medication for my Bipolar 1 disorder. Lamotrigine to be exact. I’m curious if any of you are currently taking it or have any good/bad experiences with Lamotrigine? Please let me know in the comments below :) #Bipolar1 #BipolarDisorder

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