May 26, 2010

Ah Wiki, full of wonderous knowledge that can baffle even the most intelligent of men.

Now I thought I’d first take an extract from wiki to explain a few things because my own explanations are probably a little different as they are from an experience point of view and not a phsychological “fact” point of view.

“Bipolar disorder or manic-depressive disorder (also referred to as bipolar affective disorder or manic depression) is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood and one or more depressive episodes. The elevated moods are clinically referred to as mania or, if milder, hypomania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time.[1] These episodes are usually separated by periods of “normal” mood, but in some individuals, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling. Extreme manic episodes can sometimes lead to psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. The disorder has been subdivided into bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymia, and other types, based on the nature and severity of mood episodes experienced; the range is often described as the bipolar spectrum.”

I remember speaking to a psych for an assessment and she kept saying to me”people aren’t as accepting as that”as if to say people won’t accept you if you’re ill. It made me sad that I seem to think people are nicer than they really are. Although I guess a lot of it is ignorance not that understanding of mental health stops the fear. In my case I feel it’s increased my fear as I’ve had to experience psychosis first hand and it’s something I never want to experience again although I feel sure I probably will at some point. So shouldn’t those of us who have experienced it be the frightened ones? Not knowing what could happen to us/our family member next, that you could lose control?

Genetics do play a big part in whether you develop the disorder but social and environmental factors also contribute…however although genetics do contribue there’s still a 1 in 10 chance of developing it so I fortunately have a 90% chance I won’t develop BP. But with the environmental and social factors throughout my life personality disorders are definately on the radar! Loverly.

One thing that did make me smile was my new Doctor Paul St John-Smith…he said “My diagnosis for you after 12 years of crap is “survivor” ” then he showed me a poem about how our parents f*** us up which I thought was brilliant. And this Doctor was the man who helped my dad through his hospital admissions so I don’t have to explain what I’ve been through and what happened to dad because he knows. So I think there’s a reason I’m seeing him now. Dad seemed so pleased when I said I had St John-Smith and that made me feel good.

With what my dad has been through this is the last thing he wanted for me and this has made his condition worse so it makes it so much harder, more like a cycle that is so hard to reverse. He gets worse, I get worse which makes him worse etc…

But is it better to suffer alone or cope together? I think if i developed mental health problems and my parents hadn’t experiences them themselves it would be worse because they wouldn’t understand. So maybe it’s not as bad as it could have been? Maybe…

I started this blog to raise awareness. Some people hide their illnesses because they’re afraid and this stops them seeking help. If mental illness was more spoken about, more people would seek help and cope better and live better lives. Please look at the links I’ve posted for “mind” and a really great blog about the secret life of someone with bipolar and what she’s been through 🙂

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