Hi, my name is Ebee and I’m bipolar. Some people call me crazy, but you can call me Ebee.
I’ve soared the highest highs and the lowest lows on this emotional roller coaster known as Bipolar. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve fully understood and accepted my illness for what it is. Bipolar is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder.
Those who suffer from this disorder experience episodes of a frenzied state known as mania (or hypomania), alternating with episodes of depression. It is a mental illness that needs to be treated with therapy and/or mood stabilizing medications.
According to webmd.com, here are the following symptoms:
The primary symptoms of bipolar disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings.
Mania symptoms may include excessive happiness, excitement, irritability, restlessness, increased energy, less need for sleep, racing thoughts, high sex drive, and a tendency to make grand and unattainable plans.
Depression symptoms may include sadness, anxiety, irritability, loss of energy, uncontrollable crying, change in appetite causing weight loss or gain, increased need for sleep, difficulty making decisions, and thoughts of death or suicide
Psychiatric medications do work. If it weren’t for my medication I would be the crazy lady standing on the corner screaming at colors, seeing noises, and pretending the fire hydrant was my best friend. No joke.
I can’t “get over it”, “snap out of it”, or “suck it up”. So I embrace it with open arms. I use my mania to a productive advantage. I lock myself in my art studio and occasionally stay in there for days at a time. My best works have been in a phase of mania. I not only have emotional highs, I was blessed with creativity as well when I’m this way. Of course there are the lows. I use those times to meditate, isolate, and focus on positive energy. Once and awhile the angry demon jumps out and produces “verbal vomit”.
Those who suffer from mental illnesses have to deal with the stigma behind them. Society needs to be more aware that these illnesses aren’t “just in our heads.” It’s a form of disease. We’re not crazy or insane. We need help. Some of us don’t even know where to start to find help because we’re to busy bawling our eyes out or scrubbing the kitchen. Forget about stressful situations – we explode. The anxiety of everyday life was even too much to handle.
It finally took my mom throwing me onto the floor during one of my “episodes” and she said “You’re sick. You need help. Were getting you help right now.” Prior to that I was hospitalized with psychotic episodes and never got diagnosis. Finally, after I had my daughter six years ago I started taking this seriously. I checked myself into the hospital. I was put on the right medication and therapy. I’m now able to recognize an episode approaching and act accordingly.
Treatment for mental illnesses is a requirement for a happier and more successful life. Many people respond well to behavior modification and therapy rather than medication. It takes time to find the right fit. Never give up. You will find a routine that works. It may take time, but you’ll get there. Please don’t forget to advocate for yourself or the ones you love. Sometimes those who suffer just need a hand to be pointed in the right direction.
Here are a few resources to get you going. I refer to these links very often.
National Allegiance of Mental Illness – HTTP://www.nami.org
National Institute of Mental Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov