Bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that causes extreme changes in mood. Mood can alternate between happy, energetic highs and feelilng sad. These mood swings can occur between days and years. Many professionals believe they know how Bipolar affects someone but I believe many of these experts may not have Bipolar disorder therefore they don’t really know how it affects someone who has it in their daily lives. They can observe but cannot feel what it is like. I believe that if you have not experienced the effects Bipolar has in your live then you don’t really know true effects. It’s all speculation as far as I am concerned. Having Bipolar 1, and that’s what I have, no person on this earth knows some of the struggles we go through on a daily basis except those who have it.

 I don’t look for sympathy ever. I only look for ways of trying to help those still suffering. I no longer suffer from the disease because I am in treatment and know what I need to do to get better. Depression is a tough one to work through because it’s such a lonely disease. Sometimes a hospitalization is necessary to have medications adjusted. And that’s a great way to determine what steps to take by observing the patient.

There are three main types of Bipolar.:

  • Bipolar I disorder: People with Bipolar disorder have at least one manic episode. I can tell you I have manic episodes at least a couple of times a month. That would explain why I have painted my house inside at least 3 times, every wall.
  • Bipolar II. People with Bipolar II have one or more major depressive episodes lasting at least twoweeks, as well as one or more mild hypomanic episodes lasting at least four days. In Hypomanic episodes, people are still excitable as well as energetic and impulsive. However, the symptoms are milder than those associated with manic episodes.
  • Cyclothymic disorder. People with Cyclothymic disorder, or cyclothymia, experience hypomanic and depressive episodes for two years or longer. The mood swings tend to be less severe in this form of Bipolar disorder.

Some of this may sound confusing unless you have Bipolar disorder. I am no medical professional just a professional on my illness and how it affects me. I was reluctant to even start any of this blogging and feared criticism as if I am defective. I decided of course to tear down the walls that keep me trapped in my own disease. There is so much misinformation out there on Bipolar. I used to think it meant crazy. I am not crazy although I have done crazy stuff just like everyone else. By crazy I really mean stupid stuff. We’re all guilty. I am happy that I made the decision to move forward and share some things that I know to be true. These are some triggers that could send you up or down:

  • Street drugs or alcohol- relapse into depression
  • Antidepressents- could bring on a manic episode
  • Not taking medication as prescribed
  • External stimulation- traffic,clutter,crowds
  • Not maintaining regular sleep schedual
  • Arguments and conflicts
  • New baby
  • Financial issues
  • Death of a loved one
  • Seasonal triggers- mania in Summer depression in Winter

Know your triggers. Communicate with those aound you and let them know what your triggers are. Keep records such a mood chart. If you recognize your triggers and document them, it’s possible to avoid those things that cause you to become unstable and throw you off track.