Essay on Living with Bipolar Disorder

Submitted By Ariel-Troyer
Words: 850
Pages: 4

Bipolar Disorder affects as many as 5.7 million adults a year in the United States. Living with Bipolar Disorder is challenging and mystifying at times. The exhilarating highs and destitute lows contribute to poor decision making, confinement, and even suicide. Manic Depression (another name for BD) is a mood malady, and the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Myself, as well as celebrated persons like Winston Churchill, Carrie Fischer, and even Fredrick Nietzsche suffer[ed] from this highly stigmatized disease. There are ups and downs but they can be regulated and controlled for the people diagnosed to live a surprising and full filling life. Bipolar disease is a roller coaster of emotions from your heart but the mind is responsible for these mood swings. Bipolar Disorder marks mostly the prefrontal cortex of the brain. The chemicals that are responsible for happiness, impulsivity, sleep cycles, and sexuality (just to name a few) are here. Norepinephrine and Serotonin inconsistencies are a big chunk of BD issues. When these chemicals are not regulated correctly by the brain, it can influence our behavior and moods. If we are not receiving the correct amount of each of these ‘feel good chemicals’, the results are astounding. The manias (the highs) leave you feeling elated and overconfident to the point of hubris. Prickliness and irritability disturbs me during a manic day. Feeling jittery and ‘wired’ is also a symptom. Conversation becomes rapid and wanton, while impulsiveness runs wild. Over sexuality plagues the afflicted and sleep becomes needed less and less. During the manic phase, the affected make poor sexual choices and participate in almost dangerous behavior. The opposite is true for the depression portion of the disease. Insomnia or over sleeping, laziness and anxiety affect same person whose happiness was so intense just days before. Agoraphobia coupled with difficulty concentrating is a problem for me, also you add in low energy and that is a recipe for disaster. Not all BD sufferers are extreme with highs and lows. There is also Hypomania which is not as severe.
There have been many medications over the years to help normalize the elements that cause our happiness. These medications are called Mood Stabilizers. Lithium was developed in the 60s, and remains one of the most popular medications for BD today. It affects mostly manias however, and leads to lethargy, which just adds to the depressive portion of the disease. I have found success in Effexor XR. This medication specifically affects moods and keeps me sane. I have taken Effexor for about 2 years and in that time I have accomplished an incredible amount of things and am very happy with this medication. Where I used to fall into a low time and be dejected for weeks on end, now I bounce back faster by tenfold. This medication does influence the body into mania vs. melancholy. As an alternative to laying on the couch, I start projects, throw frequent dinners, and have started my own home cleaning business. The hardest thing about living with bipolar disorder is remaining amendable and asking for help. My fiancé is also bipolar and we have a cyclical rhythm in our lives that we were unable to find with anyone else. When one of us is blue we pick them up off the ground and illustrate to each other all we have…