Bipolar Disorder.....Manic Depression.

Songbird BStarred Page By Songbird B, 26th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1yk5lirr/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Depression

Being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, is life-changing..It takes your whole world and throws it up in the air, and you are left to pick up the pieces, trying to make sense of an illness that keeps changing form..Finding your way through it can be the start of a journey that can seem at times, never ending..but there is always hope...The main thing is to never give up...

Self-Harm...

I looked at the text that had just come through on my mobile phone..'I've cut myself, I need you..', and I knew that my friend had done it again..This wasn't an over-dramatic simple accident, it was her cry for help, because she had self-harmed yet again....
Leaving the company of a dear friend, who was suffering from Bowel cancer, I knew that just maybe, I was not feeling all that sympathetic towards Jenny's cry for help, but I also knew that I couldn't ignore it either..
She was a proud woman, who did not ask for help easily, and the very fact that she had contacted me, meant she needed me to listen. There was no choice..I was her friend...I went to her..


Self Harm, is so much more prevalent that most people realise, and it can hit any age range, though teenagers tend to be tragically, the ones we hear about most often.
It is a dreadful, always hidden, act of self mutilation, that somehow seems to the soul in anguish, a release or 'Letting the bad stuff out', as someone once described it..Once they drew blood, they felt somehow better, more in control again..

Something must be very wrong in our society, if kids and adults can still feel this way, and struggle so hard to deal with the turmoil going on inside their heads..

As it turned out, luckily, Jenny was not too bad, though the slices on her inner arms made from a broken glass, were vivid against her pale skin...
I cleaned her up, and sat her down, and we talked until she was calm..
This was just one of the awful side effects that she had from being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, or Manic Depression, as it use to be known.

Bipolar Disorder...

Jenny used to be a very lively, outgoing, fun-loving woman who had a zest for life. She was a single mum, coming from a bad marriage that had endured years of mental abuse, who had finally said enough was enough, and walked away with her young daughter, who was little than a child, and started a new life for themselves. Jen had always been strong and independent...It had taken courage to rebuild her life, but she had that in spades..

I had met Jenny, through work, and we became really good friends, and shared many an evening chatting and laughing for hours at a time.
Unfortunately, out of the blue, she suddenly hit a really low period in her life in her early 30's, and finally, in desperation, went to her doctor. She was told that she was suffering from depression, and he prescribed anti-depressants. When these failed to help, they did various tests, and then diagnosed her with Bipolar Disorder...Manic depression.
It sent her world reeling as she struggled to come to terms with a condition that would affect her for the rest of her life..

The majority of us hope that we will never be afflicted by any form of mental illness, and we take for granted good mental well-being.
We are not taught how to handle others struggling with mental health issues, so we shy away, in our ignorance, not realising how day to day existence can be an on-going battle for those that are diagnosed with these health difficulties...
Even in this advanced day and age, it still seems to be the mantra that 'Ignorance is bliss..', but would you still feel that way should a loved one of yours, family or friend, be the one others so label..?

Suicide...The Cry For Help..

Jenny had attempted to take her own life..She had overdosed on a multitude of powerful tablets, that should have taken her life then and there, but it obviously wasn't her time to die.
Fortunately, she was found in time, and was rushed into hospital to have her stomach pumped to rid her of the drugs she had swallowed..She was lucky, there was no sign of side-effects from her suicide attempt, not every one has fate looking so kindly on them.
The motivation to end her life, meant that she was now in the care of the professionals..She was given a support system that was there to help ease her through the rough patches, that this illness could bring.
That is the trouble with Bipolar. It doesn't just make you depressed. You are on an emotional, psychological See-Saw. One moment down, and the next, incredibly high. During the highs, she couldn't sleep, and would clean the house for hours..feeling as if she could take on the world, even though her body was exhausted. The adrenaline rush that would pump through her system, gave her a false high, but when she came down from it, the crash would be deeper than she could cope with.
She had to stay on medication, to help even out the psychological ups and downs, but it can be hit and miss...
Alcohol, a known depressant, would counter-balance the medication she had to take, but she said that it helped her feel 'normal', whatever that is...
Sometimes, it was so tough to watch her go through this. She struggled so hard to deal with it...
She received a publication called 'Pendulum', which is a Support magazine, and is also now available on-line, keeping Bipolar suffers up to date with the latest medical advances, and advice and issues regarding this condition.
I had offered to be her support buddy, and she would ask me to read these magazines to help comprehend the scale of different affects Bipolar could display...

A frightening statistic that I read in this magazine, that I have never forgotten, was that 75% of all Bipolar sufferer's would take their own life..
I cried when I read that...

Bipolar...Recognising The Symptons...

It can take quite a while to be diagnosed with Bipolar...I guess with so many symptoms that can mimic others, it can be a long process of elimination.. Once diagnosed, staying on the medication prescribed is all important, to help stabilize the erratic swings of psychological emotions that you could experience.
Jenny and I learnt how to recognise the tell-tale signs forewarning of an impending build up of an attack.
We would do our best to avert possible stress-related situations that she might be going through, as this can be a possible trigger, and keeping to a set routine, even if she didn't want to rest.
She restricted her alcohol content, when it became obvious that this made her her so much worse, and I made sure that she could contact me, day or night if she started to feel overwhelmed and out of control, and felt pulled towards self-harming...
It was because of Jen, that I bought my first mobile phone, as I had no love for them at all, but it helped her to know that she could contact me wherever I was. I guess that it gave her a sense of security...knowing that a help-line was only a call or a text away.
Building these coping strategies helped..It didn't take away the illness, but between us, we knew how to cope with it better, and that felt very empowering..

Depression...Turning Inwards...


As I am writing this, I realise how things have changed over this last year..Jenny met her future husband-to-be, and they married last September. She made a stunning bride. I was so glad to see that she had found happiness at long last in a good relationship. Her daughter, coming up to 19 now, stood by her mother's side. It was a wonderful day, and my heart swelled with happiness for her...

Since marrying, Jenny has started her own life..Changes happen and life moves on. Having a husband by her side, meant that I moved back a little. She didn't need my support quite so much, but I had been there when she needed me, and I will always be so..Being a friend, is not just for the good days and holidays, it is being there through the storms of life too...

The next time that I heard from Jenny, she had hit a really bad low...
The Psychiatrist who had originally diagnosed her 11 years previously, had contacted her by mail, informing her that 'He now felt that he could no longer support her with his diagnosis, he now had his doubts as to whether she actually had Bipolar..'.
It was as if he had pulled out the rug from out under her very feet. Suddenly the Mental Health Support System, that she could always turn to, was withdrawn...she really was left all on her own.

This isn't just happening to Jen...The National Health Service, that the UK has always been so proud of since it's inception in 1948, is struggling to survive, and due to Government cut-backs, thanks to the current state of recession that we are experiencing, the Mental Health Programme has been decimated by shortage of funds...leaving the people who need them the most, out in the cold, alone and completely unsupported..Jen is just another statistic...

She turned inward, hiding how depressed and isolated she now felt. She texted me a few weeks ago, and told me in tears, that she had begun to write suicide notes to the ones she loved...We chatted from 2.30am to 5am, and once calm, she went to bed, and lives to see another day, another week, another month....My heart cries for her...

With the full support of her Doctor, she is now seeking a second opinion...

The journey with her Bipolar is still on-going...


If you found this interesting, please check out further articles from Songbird B's Portfolio.


Related links by Wikinut Authors on Bipolar
;
How to deal with Bipolar Disorder by TBruff13
You Are your Brother's Keeper. When Bipolar goes Awry. Part Iby Denise O
You Are Your Brother's keeper. When Bipolar Goes Awry Part 11by Denise O.
Seeking A Natural solution To Bipolar Ragesby Becca.

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Photo Credits;
graur codrin freedigitalphotos.net
Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net
Michelle Meiklejohn freedigitalphotos.net
Ambro freedigitalphotos.net
africa freedigitalphotos.net

Tags

Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Disorder Symptoms, Coping Strategies, Depression, Drug Overdose, Manic Depression, Medication, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Self-Harm, Self-Mutalation, Songbird B, Suicide, Support, Support Group

Meet the author

author avatar Songbird B
Hi there! I am Songbird B, and I am a semi-pro female Jazz vocalist. I have a huge passion for Jazz music, and I love writing Poetry, which I have done all my life. I am very Spiritual in my beliefs, and love Photography, Music and Garden Design....I...(more)

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Comments

author avatar vpaulose
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Another STAR for my sister Songbird. Good work.Thank you.

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author avatar vpaulose
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Every suicide attempt is a cry for love and affection. Modern world lacks it much dear sister.

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author avatar jayababy
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Family support is very important for BPD patients apart from regular consultation to Psychiatry Specialist. Congrats on Star, Songbird.

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Thank you Mark! This was moderated so fast..Thank you for the Star recognition too.. Thanks vpaulose and jayababy, for looking in on me, and posting such important comments, I couldn't agree more..

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author avatar richardpeeej
20th Sep 2011 (#)

It is so clear to see that you are such a loving friend Bev. It must give Jen so much comfort to know that she can call on you when she is at the depths of despair. Thank you for enlightening me on a subject that I know very little about. The star achieved for your article is so well deserved my friend...take care and keep up the good work. I so enjoy reading your Wikinut contributions...

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Songbird: This is an important article for me to read. Thanks so much for your insight on this disorder. I have had various diagnoses over the years. Has a psychiatrist ever sent a patient home with the diagnosis: "Normal"? Only patients leaving a psychiatric hospital with discharge papers proclaiming him or her to be free to operate in this insane world can show this evidence. I do not have paperwork to this effect. The last time I saw my psychiatrist, he announced with what appeared to be glee that I have entered a "New Reality". He seemed pleased so I guess I am too.
Thanks, Songbird, for this interesting, yet disturbing, article. Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
20th Sep 2011 (#)

Thanks songbird,a very caring and informative article ...

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
20th Sep 2011 (#)

This is such a good article Songbird. You are to be highly commended for it. congrats on the star. Well-deserved. You are always there for your friends. Would that there were more just like you in this world.

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author avatar Buzz
21st Sep 2011 (#)

That illness is very frightening and the person suffering from it needs all the love and round-the-clock attention she/he deserves. My heart goes out to Jen. A very heart-rending story, my friend. Congrats on the star page.

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author avatar Lord Banks
21st Sep 2011 (#)

It is such a shame. However kind people like you are there to pick up the pieces. Great article. LB

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
21st Sep 2011 (#)

A very informative article. I admire you for the support you provided to your friend and the research you must have done to post this article. GVR.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
21st Sep 2011 (#)

A very informative article. I admire you for the support you provided to your friend and the research you must have done to post this article. GVR.

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author avatar rama devi nina
21st Sep 2011 (#)

Excellent article and a wirthy star-page--great links and well researched. Informative! Thanks for sharing your caring heart.

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author avatar Jack Vorster
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

Songbird, the cause of this condition is totally spiritual. Please see http://nut.bz/2pqeefzg/ and also see my website where free ebooks handle the subject. http://www.earthboundlife.com

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author avatar Paul Bright
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

A good story. Interesting reading the feedback and various theories on what causes bipolar disorder. Too many assumptions that the mood swings are daily. I'm glad she has a handle on it. As hard as bipolar disorder is, it is also very manageable with help from people like you. Does she use a mood chart?

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

My dear friend Songbird, what a page, love it! I am so proud of you, for being who you are, a great friend, amongst other things. I too believe education is key and I see y'all are taking as much in as you can, great! Getting them on a schedule and keeping them on it, is also a wonderful tool in your arsenal. Yes, I do know at times they will fight it but, you must insist on it. This is the biggest woe for my brother and I, I mean, who wants to be told by your subling what to do. Also, I am younger than he is but, I keep doing what his counselors have been telling me to do, get him off his butt.LOL
My heart just goes out to Jenny, I can just imagine what Billy would do without the group of people that help support my brother and I. It would be a utter disaster. I hope and pray Jenny will get the help she needs, once again. Hang in there hon. Not many people would do as you have and that my friend, just brings me to tears of joy, that you have gone and still keep carrying on with your love and support, God bless you both. What a very informative and well darn written article on the struggles of bipolar. You are tops my friend. Thank you for adding my links, you are a dear. Congrats on the star page, it is truly well deserved. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

Sibling*
OOPS.:)

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author avatar Songbird B
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

Thank you all for your feedback on my page. Jen asked me to write this, as she wanted more people to be aware of Bipolar and its effects. She is handling this the best way that she can, and the friends who love her are supporting her through the bad days. This is a difficult illness to diagnose, and I am so grateful to her that she allowed me to tell you her story of the journey she has gone through so far.. Too many of us do not understand mental illness and the strain it puts on the sufferer, and the people around them. I am hoping, that her story will help others out there, and let them know that they are not alone., and the extensive links I have added to this article, will help even if it is only one soul who is struggling with this diagnosis. Thank you all for supporting my work, and posting comments, I am blessed to know you..

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author avatar Songbird B
22nd Sep 2011 (#)

Hi Denise..I am so glad that you saw this page, and thank you for your feedback as I know how you can relate to this with your Billy. I knew nothing about this illness, until I met Jenny, and I have been on a steep learning curve ever since. I couldn't agree more, education is power, and the support system is beyond value. I also have a sister-in-law, who is Bipolar too, and has struggled with this illness for years. I am so glad that I could add your links to this page..Thanks for posting such a great comment my dear friend..

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
25th Sep 2011 (#)

Hi my friend, Songbird.
Though a change of gears from poetry to prose, I can see your poet's heart flowing full with kindness and love for the suffering friend.

You're such a lovely chum consoling and healing through your affection and care.

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author avatar Songbird B
25th Sep 2011 (#)

Thank you Rathna..It is so good to see you again here on my page..Thank you so much for your feedback, and I hope this helps enlighten others to the difficulties of this illness. Your kind words touch me deeply, my friend, but this is part of the journey of friendship, being there through the good and the bad times.. Bless you for looking in on me..

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author avatar Carol
25th Sep 2011 (#)

This is such an inspiring and helpful article for those afflicted with this terrible illness. Songbird you are so caring, your friend is so lovely to have you. A very well deserved star!

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author avatar Carol
25th Sep 2011 (#)

sorry meant to say your friend is lucky to have you.

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author avatar Songbird B
26th Sep 2011 (#)

Thank you so much Carol, but I have to thank Jenny for letting me write about this. It is Jen who deserves the praise for wanting to share this with others through my words...

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author avatar White haired one
28th Sep 2011 (#)

My dear Songbird you are are wonderful friend as well as a gifted writer. This article gives a glimpse into the world of suffering that these poor people with Bi-polar have to endure throughout their lives so thank you for crafting such an educational yet compassionate peice of work.
Never has a star been better deserved. Thank you
WHO

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author avatar Songbird B
28th Sep 2011 (#)

Why thank you for your kind words,WHO, I am glad that you found this interesting and educational.. It is really tough for the sufferers that go through this.. Thank you so much for stopping by and looking in on me...I am very touched by your post. Bless you my friend..x

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author avatar Retired
17th Nov 2011 (#)

You should ask her to go in for music therapy as it helps in allevating the spirit and claming and soothing the mind.
People may think it is crazy to talk to plants and animals but taking the mind off idle thinking would help her lead a more or less normal life.
Being lonely and unaccepted also brings about depression and that does create the above symptoms too.
The worst thing is that they are not easy to handle but are calm and happy if someone understands them.

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author avatar Songbird B
17th Nov 2011 (#)

Thank you for your post, Aiyanna, and I think that so much good can come from Music Therapy, but she is not that interested in music, but it does help a lot that she feels she can confide in me..It helps relieve the pressure a little, and pits things back in perspective for her. Thank you so much for looking in on my page..

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