Friday, March 17, 2006

While on my morning blog walk I came across a response to a post that has since set me off kilter (just a little).
I won't out the person who's blog the comments exist on, nor will I out the person who made the comments, but I will take a few minutes to touch base about the nature of what was said.
First and foremost, let me state that Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression, is a serious illness that - if not treated - can lead to risky behavior, damaged relationships and careers, and even suicidal tendencies.
Bipolar Disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood (poles) from mania to depression. Between these mood swings, a person with Bipolar disorder may experience normal moods.
"Manic," or mania, describes an increasingly restless, energetic, talkative, reckless, powerful, euphoric period. Lavish spending sprees or impulsive risky sex can be irresistible. Then, at some point, this high-flying mood can spiral into something darker - irritation, confusion, anger, feeling trapped. "Depression" describes the opposite spectrum of moods: sadness, crying, sense of worthlessness, loss of energy, loss of pleasure, sleep problems. But because the pattern of highs and lows varies for each person, bipolar disorder is a complex disease to diagnose. For some people, mania or depression can last for weeks or months, even for years. For other people, bipolar disorder takes the form of frequent and dramatic mood shifts.
Second, to most people living with Bipolar Disorder, medication is the one safe place where everything - for the most part - feels semi-normal. It is while on psychotropic meds that these people are able to better function not at the pace of a corporate lemming or as a spineless metal patient, rather as a more rational and productive member of society.
Some people with Bipolar Disorder, for their own reasons, choose to live free of medication. That's their prerogative. But to the throngs of people who know there is something more that awaits them while on said medication, trying to sway others to consider not taking their prescribed medication it isn't reasonable - in fact it borders on irresponsibility (a commonon trait of being Bipolar).
To claim that one may be living a full life without being medicated is their choice. And it may very well be that they have yet to experience the furthermost realms of either pole to recognize that it can be an extremely scary and dangerous place to reside in. In any event, no one person living with Bipolar Disorder has the exact conditions of another. We experience similar emotions, but the conditions and outcome are entirely different.


Blogger the depressed nurse said...

I read that comment and was an obvious and definite sign of Bipolar, and exactly described why people SHOULD be medicated. If a person doesn't do it for themselves, they should do it for the people who have to be around them, for God's sake.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Juanita J. Sanchez said...

I have seen first-hand how very, very dangerous such an illness can be when left untreated. Lives are lost, other lives are ruined forever. Too bad other people don't know what I know, haven't seen what I've seen. They wouldn't be giving out irresponsible and uneducated advice.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

The person who made the comment is very young, very smart, very religious--an extremely good guy who simply hasn't experienced the kind of darkness we're talking about. For his sake I pray he never does.

8:23 AM  
Blogger the depressed nurse said...

So does this mean that we're all 4 really smart and mature, or just jaded and all fucked up?? I think we should start a club or something.

10:45 AM  

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