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Old 06-26-2010, 09:37 PM
 
2,880 posts, read 4,613,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene Wright View Post
How, as a Christian, do I look at bipolar disorder?

I look at it from the perspective of someone who has it. Medication is a God send. I am Bipolar Type I, which is the worst and what you described above. Being a christian has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with bipolar disorder. It's like asking a goat what it's like to be a sheep.
My experience with mental disorder is less direct but just as intimate. My brother has been schizophrenic for nearly four decades now, four decades of true mayhem that only family can understand. His current medication is Risperdal. Christianity defines this disease no more than it defines colors. It is a disorder of the brain.

Indeed, opposite the extreme religious views that it's a purely mystical crisis there have been movements that make a parallel secular claim to the very same end of rejecting conventional clinical treatment. R.D. Laing and his ilk, for example, who turned therapy into romantic philosophical vanity.

I will say that certain meditative spiritual practices do help my brother in his more pensive episodes. I wouldn't attempt an epistemological/ontological debate with him as to its value anyway. That would be futile and possibly destructive were the episode to worsen.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:11 PM
 
6,431 posts, read 9,948,829 times
Reputation: 7974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Blue View Post
How many thinks its more physical then spiritual and that it can be controlled spiritually or only with medication?, or both only?

thank you!

Overview
Bipolar disorder involves periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt.

Symptoms
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Elevated mood
    • Hyperactivity
    • Increased energy
    • Lack of self-control
    • Racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Over-involvement in activities
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior
    • Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    • Impaired judgment
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Spending sprees
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
Oh Goodness don't remind me. I'm sorry but I have been dealing with Bipolar Disorder for the last few years of my life and it has been a living hell! I am at my wits end! The thing is, I'm not the one with Bipolar Disorder. It's my mother. She only told me up until last year she was diagnosed with it. I had no idea. I knew she suffered from depression and high blood pressure. But I had no idea she was a diagnosed Bipolar. It all made sense to me all the times when I was young, in times of stress or without her medication, she would become very erratic and paranoid and just all around different. And it has manifested worse.

We ran out of money last year for all her medication she takes for blood pressure, depression, and BD. We had to move because of financial complications. And ever since, she hasn't had any. But it's worse because she has felt that she doesn't need it anymore and I personally believe in my heart she does! She argues intensely with me that she went 11 years in the past without it. I told her she can't do it anymore because she is getting older and things are very different. She does things she doesn't remember and has the most vicious fights with family members. Myself included. She can't control her temper. When we run into the money to actually purchase her medication, that's the last thing on her mind and she ends up doing something else. She's perfectly sane but it's the times when she gets stressed, something switches off in her brain and she acts completely different and totally erratic and temperamental.

I love her to death but I told her I can't live with her any longer. When she is in one of her BD mode's, she says the WORST things possible and I say them right back out of emotional anger. I can't handle it. She is not the same person I remember as a child. When I urge her to get help to get the medicine, she doesn't listen and yells and argues with me about it with a vengeful anger. So I said to her finally this year I am done. I am just done. The thing she has done to me, in my mind, qualifies for emotional abuse. We can no longer reach an understanding. She doesn't treat me with respect. She belittles me as young man with her horrible words about my father and men in general. I just can't anymore. It's a sad situation but I have to move on with my life.

I'm about to graduate HS and go off to college. Unfortunately, I've decided to go as far away as possible from any of my immediate family. It's not that I don't love my family but there is too much drama. I have been around them my whole life and it's killing a little piece of my soul every time there is a huge fight or drama going on. Especially with my mother. The time for me to go off alone by myself in a different state and different city, will be in sort, a long term therapy session for me. I feel like I've been hurt and abused emotionally by her specifically for so long that, that kind of break means freedom and putting the pieces of who I am back together again.

A long time ago, all I had was the love of Jesus to help my spirit because of so much hurt at the time. There was no one to help me. I had no true friends, my sister (one of my best friends) had her own issues to deal with, and I was drowning in tears every night with family issues, financial worries, my mother of course, and all the things a 12-15 year old should not be worrying about. So I prayed and prayed and prayed and asked the number one person in my life to please help me. And from then on, I have decided to trust solely in him with everything in my life. Because I can't do it on my own and I definitely can't accomplish what I've accomplished without me knowing he's there. I put him first. Me second. And my family after. Because I figured out there's no way on Earth I'll be able to help them out, if I can't help myself. My main goal for college is to able to succeed in a degree that will lead me to a good paying job so that I can get my family out of the financial mess we've been in our whole lives. My mother thinks I am selfish and take things for granted but she has no idea my true intentions are all the best for this family.
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:06 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 10,699,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamingSpires View Post
June 7,

Unfortunately, you are completely misunderstanding what I meant by the following statement:
Some view religion through the lense of psychology and others view psychology through the lense of religion, but more often than not, the former do not even realise they have a lense.

Since it is a really important point, I feel compelled to clarify:


The statement quoted in blue above has nothing whatsoever to do with "bio-psycho-social-spiritual" aspects of treating patients. I am well-aware how psychologists are trained in this respect and have no quibble whatsoever with your characterization of that training, or how it is usually (or supposed to be--who really knows what happens behind closed doors?) applied in practice.

So how do I make my point clear? I don't know.

Let me try this: you citing the DSM, for example, to support any point you are trying to make to me assumes you accept the DSM is an authoriative source; expecting me to accept it as authoratiative source, however, is the exact equivalent of me citing the Bible as an authoritative source for a point i am trying to make to you with the expectation that you, too, would accept it as authoritative--something I would not do because I respect that as regards religion you and I do not share common terms of reference.

Let me come at this from another angle: While looking for some information on Dr. Fancher, I found a book review on Amazon written by "Jack" from Washington, D.C. which is very much on point with my "blue quote" cited above:
If there were still hippies, this book would not have to be written. Thinking back to those days, I recall my friend Alex coming from therapy one day and saying, "Psychologists basically want you to conform." He was right then, but in our age of conformity, common sense statements like that will not be enough to educate a public inundated with data showing the efficacy of therapy. This book fills that vaccuum and reveals the hidden ideology of each of the contemporary schools of psychotherapeutic schools so cogently, succinctly, and logically that it would probably be blacklisted by most graduate Psychology departments. It is equivalent to Galileo's revelation that the Church had a vision of the solar system, not based on study but on wish-fulfillment. Taking on the psychoanalytic enterprise, behaviorists, Beck's cognitive psychology, and psychopharmacology in one fell swoop, he demonstrates effectively that that the theorists and practitioners of these various "methods" have molded their views in the same way pre-Columbian map makers designed atlases: through conjecture, impressionism, and powerful cultural biases. Regardless of the implied assertions by many that psychotherapy is rising to the level of a science, Fancher shows this to be far from the case. This is of particular importance today as there is a strong move toward defining evidence based or empirically based therapies that work--probably an artifact of pressures from HMO's rather than greater sophistication of understanding the nature of mental illness. Fancher presents two major problems: one is that in dealing with what is a "healthy individual," one must have an ideological basis; and second, the "subjects" are not reliable. Ever take an employment test with a question "Have you ever stolen from an employer?" How would YOU answer? This is a rather crude example, but you get the point. But if you think about the claims therapies make, and think rationally, it seems fairly obvious psychologists are either poorly trained in logic, poorly educated in the nature of human culture, value, and imagination. One gets the feeling from reading the anayses of the reasoning behind what makes therapy work that most psychologists/psychiatrists don't even read the newspaper. One salient example is the popular Beck Cognitive Therapy industry. Your thinking determines how you feel; change your mind, change your emotions--all in 12 easy sessions. I can imagine Doestoevsky or even John Steinbeck in these sessions. "See, John, when you THINK people are poor and exploited and powerless, you will feel sorry for them and write those pessimistic books of yours. Now, just look around, do you see anyone starving to death in my office?" That might be a bit of hyperbole, but not far from the truth. But it is certainly the truth that such methods--if taken at face value--have the potential of converting the search for the end of psychological suffering and the search for meaning to a reductionist level that approaches the quest for mental health on the same level of taking dance lessons to get dates. Fancher hits home when he challenges each of the popular forms of therapeutic schools, showing even psychopharmocology is an enterprise based on Nielson ratings, figuring out what therapists want their patients to feel, then trying to get the chemistry right. At times the author uses a bit more ammunition than he needs. Having hit the nail on the head, he will occasionaly add a few swings of the hammer. Also, while psychopharmocology does have its ideology, it does appear to relieve some suffering at least some of the time, so I'd be hesitant to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Rather than provide more summary, I'd make the point that if you are interested in the field of therapy or counseling--either as a professional or consumer--if you don't read this book, it would be like trying to play chess without knowing what any of the pieces do or how the game is played.

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Cultures of Healing: Correcting the Image of American Mental Health Care
I hope this information clarifies and is somewhat edifying--if not for you, then perhaps for some of the readers of this thread who may be inspired now to dig a little deeper into the claims of the mental health industry--an industry with great potential, but also in great need of reform.
Dreaming Spires:

With all due respect, you have posted on this thread claiming many things. You advocate for one thing, yet despite repeated requests made in good faith by myself and other members to substantiate your posts, you clearly state that you do not wish to engage in this debate, and that you are not willing to provide the information (cites) that could substantiate your position, despite your claims that this is an area of interest that you have heavily researched, to the point of writing a book about. Forgive me for challenging you, (despite your prior claim of not wishing to engage in a dialogue around this issue) but you are putting out broad sweeping statements that you, yourself, are unwilling to substantiate.

The reason that I raise this piont is due to the fact that there are members who either suffer from, or have loved ones who suffer from bipolar disorder. The OP has specifically asked how Christians deal with this particular illness. For you to provocatively put out there the fact that you have "research" claiming that which is radically contrary to modern medical mental health, at the same time that you withhold it strikes me as somewhat unfair to the believers on this forum who are reading, and who have posted/engaged on this thread.

In short: I simply don't understand. You stated that you did not wish to engage in a discourse around this issue, and yet, you persist in doing so, despite numerous members wishing to have knowledge about your claims. Myself, included.

This is not a "personal issue" for me; it's truly not. It is more of an informative one, in which I cannot sit back and tacitly read posts that are potentially harmful or destructive to those with bipolar disorder. I also cannot sit back and passively read posts that are misleading in terms of raising suspicion for those who are believers, but for whom information regarding Christianity and mental illness could prove helpful.

"Pychotherapy" along with "psychiatry" and "mental health" and "Christianity" need not be mutually exclusive. In practice, and as regards the lives they save, they are not. The illusion that there is something "suspect" about the two relates back to what Miss Blue initially said: That religion can provide "tools" by which to help individuals suffering from mental disorders, should one wish to think of it within that context. I, for one, would be the LAST ONE to invalidate anyone's religious belief as regards that....

I think, however, your best information, your best "witnessing" has come from those brave individuals who have posted on this thread. --And even the "liberal, secular nonbelieving atheist" has to admit that something tugged at her heart in reading the following:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene Wright View Post
How, as a Christian, do I look at bipolar disorder?

I look at it from the perspective of someone who has it. Medication is a God send. I am Bipolar Type I, which is the worst and what you described above. Being a christian has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with bipolar disorder. It's like asking a goat what it's like to be a sheep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunjee View Post
My experience with mental disorder is less direct but just as intimate. My brother has been schizophrenic for nearly four decades now, four decades of true mayhem that only family can understand. His current medication is Risperdal. Christianity defines this disease no more than it defines colors. It is a disorder of the brain.

Indeed, opposite the extreme religious views that it's a purely mystical crisis there have been movements that make a parallel secular claim to the very same end of rejecting conventional clinical treatment. R.D. Laing and his ilk, for example, who turned therapy into romantic philosophical vanity.

I will say that certain meditative spiritual practices do help my brother in his more pensive episodes. I wouldn't attempt an epistemological/ontological debate with him as to its value anyway. That would be futile and possibly destructive were the episode to worsen.
As a Christian, I would think that you would want to at least enlighten them as regards your "research" as opposed to being withholding. They are, after all, Christians.

And after that, there is no doubt in my mind that Harvard University, along with Duke, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins would more than welcome your thoughts....

As would I...

Take gentle care.
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:24 AM
 
8,099 posts, read 7,065,854 times
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[quote=Sub-Blue;14783652]How many thinks its more physical then spiritual and that it can be controlled spiritually or only with medication?, or both only?
I have seen older people who are challenged by memory lose and through prayer through the Blood of Jesus cleaned the incoherent disruptor demons out will no medicine and go on with clear thought to their lives.. Glory to God...So you can never rule out faith in Jesus .. in Matthew 17:14-21.... A man came to Jesus for mercy for his son was a lunatic who had burns through an accident and Jesus deliver him , then the disciples questioned ``Why could we not caste this devil out? Jesus said ``Because of your unbelief.. however this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting``.. Why would this kind of demon not go out but by prayer and fasting, is bacause this person was bothered by a lunatic spirit who block his mind to acknowledge the Lord with any faith on his part with would go against his will, so pray and fast to build a need before the Lord for his mercy to move.... There should be both prayer of the Authority of the Blood of Jesus Christ to clean out all evils spirit and demons and Jesus can heal the body and medicine might heal any damage that these spirits might have brought.....
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:36 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 1,875,836 times
Reputation: 642
With all due respect, you have posted on this thread claiming many things. You advocate for one thing, yet despite repeated requests made in good faith by myself and other members to substantiate your posts, you clearly state that you do not wish to engage in this debate, and that you are not willing to provide the information (cites) that could substantiate your position, despite your claims that this is an area of interest that you have heavily researched, to the point of writing a book about. Forgive me for challenging you, (despite your prior claim of not wishing to engage in a dialogue around this issue) but you are putting out broad sweeping statements that you, yourself, are unwilling to substantiate.

With all due respect June, YOU are contintingiung to mischaraceterize my position on "Christianity and Mental Health", to the point of now making claims about my claims that are simply FALSE and INACCURATE. In fact, you and I, despite repeated attempts on my part to CLARIFY, are still unable to agree exactly on what "the issues" are that we are supposedly "debating."

The only reason I have responsded to your posts is because you have twisted my words to such a degree--and done it with so much verbage and so much assumption of authority and superiority-- that many readers will be as a result, I fear, influenced by your misinterpretations and misreadings to such a degree that they will read things into my posts that are NOT THERE. Thus the need to come back, log in, and one again ATTEMPT to correct you.

You, in "True Believer" form, keep trying to redraw the boundaries of this discussion to fit your terms--a proposition which I have explicitly and politely rejected, going to the point of even explaining to you the reasons for my rejection!

The reason that I raise this piont is due to the fact that there are members who either suffer from, or have loved ones who suffer from bipolar disorder. The OP has specifically asked how Christians deal with this particular illness. For you to provocatively put out there the fact that you have "research" claiming that which is radically contrary to modern medical mental health, at the same time that you withhold it strikes me as somewhat unfair to the believers on this forum who are reading, and who have posted/engaged on this thread.

You and I will have to "agree to disagree" on this particular issue--you have expressed your feelings, and done it with conviction. Now allow me to express my feelings with conviction:


What I think is somewhat unfair, and potentially dangers to some readers, is your continual mischaracterizing of what I have said in my posts (see above for more detail).


NB: There are a lot of things that happen on this forum day to day that have nothing to do with this particular thread or the topic of "mental health" that some of its members--some of whom may be suffering with painful and terrible circumstances and conditions of which you are personally unaware--view as "unfair" and even destructive and hurtful.

In short: I simply don't understand. You stated that you did not wish to engage in a discourse around this issue, and yet, you persist in doing so, despite numerous members wishing to have knowledge about your claims. Myself, included.

I realize you don't understand my points--AT ALL. That is clear from your posts. See my answer above--I am attempting to correct your mischaracterizations of my statements.

This is not a "personal issue" for me; it's truly not. It is more of an informative one, in which I cannot sit back and tacitly read posts that are potentially harmful or destructive to those with bipolar disorder. I also cannot sit back and passively read posts that are misleading in terms of raising suspicion for those who are believers, but for whom information regarding Christianity and mental illness could prove helpful.

June, in my humble opinion, many of the very axioms on which your profession is based are "misleading" and thus potentially harmful to all the readers here.

Moreover, I've actually posted a little bit of this information before, for the benefit of my Christian brethren here. I will dig up the link and post it again.

"Pychotherapy" along with "psychiatry" and "mental health" and "Christianity" need not be mutually exclusive.

I have never claimed that "Chrsitianity" and "psychotherapy/psychiatry/mental health" are mutually exclusive.

In practice, and as regards the lives they save, they are not. The illusion that there is something "suspect" about the two relates back to what Miss Blue initially said: That religion can provide "tools" by which to help individuals suffering from mental disorders, should one wish to think of it within that context. I, for one, would be the LAST ONE to invalidate anyone's religious belief as regards that....

I think, however, your best information, your best "witnessing" has come from those brave individuals who have posted on this thread. --And even the "liberal, secular nonbelieving atheist" has to admit that something tugged at her heart in reading the following:

If you think that human suffering in any forms tugs at your heart any more than it does mine you are seriously misinformed. To imply so is extremely unethical.

Moreover--and please don't take this personally--but I would not regard an atheist who does not even grasp the basics of Christian doctrine as it works as regards "denominationalism" to be in a position to evaluate what and is what not valid "Christian witnessing."

As a Christian, I would think that you would want to at least enlighten them as regards your "research" as opposed to being withholding. They are, after all, Christians.

Eh, I don't think you and I can find common ground on this one either. You and I will have to "agree to disagree" about whether many of the members here are Christians. My guess, although I haven't been around here for awhile and only came back because someone contacted me, and I decided to give it a go again--about 80% of the regular posters here are actually Gnostics, not Christians. With that said, their suffering matters as much to me as it does to you. It's why I jumped in on this thread in the first place.

And after that, there is no doubt in my mind that Harvard University, along with Duke, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins would more than welcome your thoughts....

Eh, Harvard Schmarvard (that was a joke)

There are a lot of people working in this area who are far more "degreed" than I am. Their research has been marginalized by prestigious institutions similar to those you cite because it is counter-cultural. Moreover, viewing said institutions as authoritative sources on "mental health and suffering" as you are seeming to do is, in my view, misguided.

But we will have to "agree to disagree" yet once again.

By all means, respond to anything I say. I am well able to hold my own when it comes to correcting your mischaracterizations of my statements. I would also be happy to debate you at a conference where there is no "imbalance of power" (in other words, whether neither of us is a "forum moderator). Perhaps someday we will find ourselves on a panel somwhere....not likely though, since the book I am working on is not a "psychology" book per se, or even a book about "mental health treatment" but rather is in the area of the sociology of religion.


As I said earlier though, I really did not wish to engage with you because I felt it would possibly "get nasty" as well as be unfruitful. I do think the former is still very much a risk. And I do suspect that we will remain at "permanent loggerheads."

Last edited by DreamingSpires; 06-27-2010 at 07:03 AM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:42 AM
 
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Default A few resources to get started

This is a copy of something I posted in March 2010:

The question of the relationship between modern psychology and Christianity is a complex one, and whether the two can be reconciled remains open to dispute. The fact that there are many "Christian psychologists," and Christians who seek out psychological counseling, does not seal the matter--any more than the fact that some Christians openly practice yoga "proves" that yoga and Christianity are compatible.

Most of the scholarship in this area is lay scholarship. From the Protestant point of view, the Bobgans and attorney Debbie Dewart have contributed enormously over the years:

Christian Discernment Home

Introduction to Psychoheresy Awareness Ministries

From the Catholic point of view, Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD, has written the seminal work "Introduction to the Science of Mental Health." Paul Vitz has also written a couple of books on this subject, which in my view are inferior to Ripperger's work.

I am adding this information not because I wish to actively join this debate (I don't) but only to point out the fact that there are serious scholars working in this area who question the prevailing notion that "secular psychology" and Christianity are compatible. That they are fundamentally incompatible is a minority point of view that, unless one really digs deep, is very hard to find.

There is also an increasing body of secular scholarship--much of which has been written by practicing psychologists and former psychologists--that questions many of the premises of modern psychology. This body of work provides valuable insights to augment the Christian scholarship above which, again, because they cut against the grain of the prevailing assumptions in our culture about what "psychology" is and is not, are not easily found. One of the best writers in this area is Robert Fancher, PhD.

Anyone with a serious interest in this subject can do their own research using the above leads as a starting point.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:52 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,007,507 times
Reputation: 58210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Blue View Post
How many thinks its more physical then spiritual and that it can be controlled spiritually or only with medication?, or both only?

thank you!

Overview
Bipolar disorder involves periods of excitability (mania) alternating with periods of depression. The "mood swings" between mania and depression can be very abrupt.

Symptoms
The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms:
  • Agitation or irritation
  • Elevated mood
    • Hyperactivity
    • Increased energy
    • Lack of self-control
    • Racing thoughts
  • Inflated self-esteem (delusions of grandeur, false beliefs in special abilities)
  • Little need for sleep
  • Over-involvement in activities
  • Poor temper control
  • Reckless behavior
    • Binge eating, drinking, and/or drug use
    • Impaired judgment
    • Sexual promiscuity
    • Spending sprees
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
You forgot to list the symptoms of depression, which can be just as devastating or worse in some cases than the symptoms of mania. If you're going to talk about something that you have no idea what it is you are talking about, then at least provide the right information. Here is the proper information about symptoms and types:

Symptoms & Types
Bipolar is a complex illness. There are many different symptoms -- and several different types -- of bipolar disorder. The primary symptoms of the disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings. The various types of bipolar disorder range from mild to severe.


Symptoms

Bipolar Symptoms
The primary symptoms of bipolar disorder are dramatic and unpredictable mood swings.
Mania Symptoms
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
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.

Types

Bipolar Types
There are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a degree. They include bipolar I, bipolar II, cyclothymic disorder, mixed bipolar, and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.
Bipolar I
A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.
Bipolar II
Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the "up" moods never reach full-on mania.
Rapid Cycling
In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10% to 20% of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.
Mixed Bipolar
In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.
Cyclothymia
Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder) is a relatively mild mood disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.

Complications

Bipolar Disorder Complications
Self-injury, often referred to as cutting, self-mutilation, or self-harm, is an injurious attempt to cope with overpowering negative emotions, such as extreme anger, anxiety, and frustration. It is usually repetitive, not a one-time act.

Warning Signs

Bipolar Warning Signs
When a person's illness follows the classic pattern, diagnosing bipolar disorder is relatively easy. But bipolar disorder can be sneaky. Symptoms can defy the expected manic-depressive sequence.
Emergencies & Suicide Prevention
Suicide is a very real risk for people with bipolar disorder, whether they're in a manic or depressive episode -- 10%-15% of people with bipolar disorder kill themselves. But treatment greatly lowers the risk.

Now, I have already said that I have bipolar disorder and it's Type I. Does that scare you? Are you afraid of me now or do you look at me differently? That's what it does to people who have no clue what bipolar disorder is or what it involves. June has tried her very best to educate everyone about it and she did a fantastic job, she understands as much as anyone can who doesn't have the disorder.

My life has been a living hell and I thank God that I FINALLY got diagnosed at the age of 44 and I now have medication that keeps me at an even keel. Even so, I have fantasies about going off the medication just so I can be manic.....there's nothing like it!! I was superwoman and I could do ANYTHING!! I felt fantastic and on top of the world, but that world quickly came crashing down and four years later I'm still trying to clean up my mess. It's like some other Ilene possessed me and totally screwed up my life and then disappeared and left me with the mess and the depression.

But I miss that euphoria and that "high" that comes with being manic. There's no guarantee that if I went off my meds that I would become manic...I could spiral down into a deep, dark depression and try to commit suicide again. That's right, I said SUICIDE You people have no clue....you can sit in judgment and say I'm not "spiritual" enough and it's all in my head.....and you would be right about the "in my head" part!! LOL! You have no idea what it's like living with this disorder and just let me say.......I thank God for the peace He has given me and I'm better thanks to medication and my relationship with God. They go hand in hand, one doesn't work without the other, not for me anyway. Get it?

I have to be honest and say that I am very offended by some of the comments here and I wish people would not be so quick to judge and educate themselves before they go spouting off about something that they know nothing about. I don't like being on disability because of this....I want to work and make more money but I can't hold down a job. I've probably had over 100 jobs in my working life and I won't go there because I'll end up writing an entire book.

I hid my disorder from C-D folks for a long time but it was evident in my posts....they just thought I was mean and crazy, I suppose. Someone brought up something similar in a thread one time and I went off and the truth came out. Ever since then I've been open and honest about it here and in real life....it's the only way to be and I'm not ashamed of it anymore. It is what it is. So judge me and others all you want, makes no difference in my life because I know I am more sane than most people. There is something wrong with EVERYONE when it comes to mental issues whether they see it or admit it or not. I am proud of myself for admitting it and dealing with it the way that I have. My life is so much better now because of the meds and God and it's what works for me.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:00 AM
 
Location: San Diego
497 posts, read 794,837 times
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Nobody has ever prayed themselves free of mental illness. To suggest that mentally ill people should pray instead of seeking proper medical attention is ignorant, dangerous, irresponsible, and downright sad.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:01 AM
 
264 posts, read 435,755 times
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Originally Posted by allenk893 View Post
Oh Goodness don't remind me. I'm sorry but I have been dealing with Bipolar Disorder for the last few years of my life and it has been a living hell! I am at my wits end! The thing is, I'm not the one with Bipolar Disorder. It's my mother. She only told me up until last year she was diagnosed with it. I had no idea. I knew she suffered from depression and high blood pressure. But I had no idea she was a diagnosed Bipolar. It all made sense to me all the times when I was young, in times of stress or without her medication, she would become very erratic and paranoid and just all around different. And it has manifested worse.

We ran out of money last year for all her medication she takes for blood pressure, depression, and BD. We had to move because of financial complications. And ever since, she hasn't had any. But it's worse because she has felt that she doesn't need it anymore and I personally believe in my heart she does! She argues intensely with me that she went 11 years in the past without it. I told her she can't do it anymore because she is getting older and things are very different. She does things she doesn't remember and has the most vicious fights with family members. Myself included. She can't control her temper. When we run into the money to actually purchase her medication, that's the last thing on her mind and she ends up doing something else. She's perfectly sane but it's the times when she gets stressed, something switches off in her brain and she acts completely different and totally erratic and temperamental.

I love her to death but I told her I can't live with her any longer. When she is in one of her BD mode's, she says the WORST things possible and I say them right back out of emotional anger. I can't handle it. She is not the same person I remember as a child. When I urge her to get help to get the medicine, she doesn't listen and yells and argues with me about it with a vengeful anger. So I said to her finally this year I am done. I am just done. The thing she has done to me, in my mind, qualifies for emotional abuse. We can no longer reach an understanding. She doesn't treat me with respect. She belittles me as young man with her horrible words about my father and men in general. I just can't anymore. It's a sad situation but I have to move on with my life.

I'm about to graduate HS and go off to college. Unfortunately, I've decided to go as far away as possible from any of my immediate family. It's not that I don't love my family but there is too much drama. I have been around them my whole life and it's killing a little piece of my soul every time there is a huge fight or drama going on. Especially with my mother. The time for me to go off alone by myself in a different state and different city, will be in sort, a long term therapy session for me. I feel like I've been hurt and abused emotionally by her specifically for so long that, that kind of break means freedom and putting the pieces of who I am back together again.

A long time ago, all I had was the love of Jesus to help my spirit because of so much hurt at the time. There was no one to help me. I had no true friends, my sister (one of my best friends) had her own issues to deal with, and I was drowning in tears every night with family issues, financial worries, my mother of course, and all the things a 12-15 year old should not be worrying about. So I prayed and prayed and prayed and asked the number one person in my life to please help me. And from then on, I have decided to trust solely in him with everything in my life. Because I can't do it on my own and I definitely can't accomplish what I've accomplished without me knowing he's there. I put him first. Me second. And my family after. Because I figured out there's no way on Earth I'll be able to help them out, if I can't help myself. My main goal for college is to able to succeed in a degree that will lead me to a good paying job so that I can get my family out of the financial mess we've been in our whole lives. My mother thinks I am selfish and take things for granted but she has no idea my true intentions are all the best for this family.
My, your very mature for 18, it's sad how BD can cause the person to be so self destructive and sabotage there own life's.

Your correct that you have to help yourself first before you can help others.

God bless you and your future, stick with the medical field or computers you'll have a better chance at a career
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:03 AM
 
264 posts, read 435,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Occam's Bikini Wax View Post
Nobody has ever prayed themselves free of mental illness. To suggest that mentally ill people should pray instead of seeking proper medical attention is ignorant, dangerous, irresponsible, and downright sad.
You forgot the power of doing both medication and prayer, your response feels like a knee jerk reaction
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