Although bipolar disorder is more well known than BFRBs, many do not fully understand the bipolar spectrum. It was previously called manic-depression. Many people associate major mood swings of extreme depression and maniacs with this mental illness. These are considered some, but not all of the symptoms and are not present in every type of bipolar disorder. For example,I suffer from Bipolar II disorder, which means I am depressed about 75% of the time and although I do get hypomanias, I have never had a full blown mania.
Bipolar disorder is a life long mental illness that can be managed to allow for a happy, healthy, well balanced life. Suffers must be aware of and strive to minimize triggers (including self medication). A strong support network and willingness to seek help are crucial. Medication, including mood stabilizers, are a necessary part of treatment. They should not be stopped even if the condition seems completely under control, as relapse would be inevitable. Instead, medication can be slowly lowered to reach a minimum level. If a relapse occurs, the medication could be increased again.
However, under care of a mental health professional, these many be stopped for a brief time. For example, I did not take any medication while pregnant or breastfeeding. That was a personal choice that I wouldn’t change. It required an acute awareness of my triggers and slight changes in my mood, energy level, anxiety, and mental clarity. For the most part, I managed to stay relatively balanced. After 4 children and years of medication, my symptoms are strong. I have recently started a mood stabilizer that will help to level me out.
The following 3 part series provides a great overview of bipolar basics.
By, ED WELCH
Starting with a case study and a biblical framework, this article takes us through a review of four books on the topic of bipolar disorder. Ed summarizes and interacts with these secular materials, gleaning what we can learn from them, while he builds a distinctly biblical interpretation of the struggles and symptoms of those facing this problem.
Part 1 of 3
Diane, a thirty-five-year old wife and mother, was becoming increasingly irritable. Her flashes of anger at the slightest provocation put everyone on high alert. Adding to the family tension, she was sleeping erratically—staying up late and getting up early. The family didn’t really know what she was doing with her time. Half-finished projects littered the house, none in synch with family priorities. These tensions weighed on her husband and were compounded by Diane’s apparent unwillingness to listen to the concerns he or others…
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