What is bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mental health problem that mainly affects your mood. If you have bipolar disorder, you are likely to have times where you experience:
- manic or hypomanic episodes (feeling high)
- depressive episodes (feeling low)
- potentially some psychotic symptoms during manic or depressed episodes
Everyone has variations in their mood, but in bipolar disorder these changes can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life. You may feel that your high and low moods are extreme, and that swings in your mood are overwhelming.
Depending on the way you experience these mood states, and how severely they affect you, your doctor may diagnose you with a particular type of bipolar disorder.
It’s an emotional amplifier: when my mood is high I feel far quicker, funnier, smarter and livelier than anyone; when my mood is low I take on the suffering of the whole world.
What can you do about this? Acceptance of your diagnosis is a real help, only then can you move on. Positivity is absolutely essential, I know it sounds easy and you probably think, “yeah right”, but being positive is key in this situation.
Bipolar disorder & stigma
Many people have heard of bipolar disorder, but this doesn’t mean they understand the diagnosis fully. You might find that some people have misconceptions about you or have a negative image of bipolar disorder.
This can be very upsetting, especially if someone who feels this way is a friend, colleague, family member or a health care professional.
It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. You don’t have to put up with people treating you badly. Here are some options for you to think about:
Share factual information with people; they are scared of what they do not understand. Information is the way to help them understand more about what your diagnosis really means.
Get more involved in your treatment. MIND will help you with your diagnosis and specific advice on treatments. They will provide guidance on having your say in your treatment, making your voice heard, and steps you can take if you’re not happy with your care.
It is so important that you know your rights. MIND have information of your legal rights, check out the website for MIND. http://www.mind.org.uk
Take action with Mind. Join a campaign.
Think of the different ways you can get involved with helping the world to challenge stigma. Most of all, be patient, be kind; it goes a long long way!
Need help? Need to talk? Need someone to call? Contact me. I won’t give up on you!
Love Me x