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To: Almondjoy

My medication is not MASKING any problem. And obviously you have not done any study of bipolar disorder.

Here is a beginning summary for you.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. But there is good news: bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

About 5.7 million American adults or about 2.6 percent of the population age 18 and older in any given year, have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, some people have their first symptoms during childhood, and some develop them late in life. It is often not recognized as an illness, and people may suffer for years before it is properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

Bipolar disorder causes dramatic mood swings—from overly "high" and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, often with periods of normal mood in between. Severe changes in energy and behavior go along with these changes in mood. The periods of highs and lows are called episodes of mania and depression.

Like other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder cannot yet be identified physiologically—for example, through a blood test or a brain scan. Therefore, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made on the basis of symptoms, course of illness, and, when available, family history. The diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV).2

The scientific evidence is found in the cycling through the symptoms. On medication, the depression or mania (in my case hypomania) goes away. Without the medication, I slip into severe depression needing hospitalization with advanced treatment that can even go beyond medications. ECT has been an effective treatment for me, as well. The ECT does "something" to the brain chemistry. It is kind of a mystery as to why it works, but it DOES work.

Psychotherapy is an important part of dealing with the illness, especially in identifying stressful "triggers" that can bring about a mood change that can rapidly evolve into more serious symptoms.

I do not believe that I get a free pass. Then again, there is nothing that I have done that deserves a pass to begin with. I'm able to function at a reasonable level. So much so, that if you saw me on the street you wouldn't know I am bipolar. Bipolar people do not stand out in a crowd.

I didn't say that life is one big accident. I believe that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. I'm bipolar, my uncle had cancer, my father is diabetic, and my friend in grade school was blind. None of us were "punished" with these. God allowed them to happen in our lives for varying reasons. That's just the way life is.

IF your depression that you overcame was CHEMICAL in nature, not just in your mind or heart, you would understand the difference that I am trying to stress for you.

Bipolar is a genuine medical condition, that can ONLY be treated. It will NOT disappear in my life. And if I am diligent enough, I will be able to control it well. If I do NOT control it, I will suffer greatly.

Even though episodes of mania and depression naturally come and go, it is important to understand that bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that currently has no cure. Staying on treatment, even during well times, can help keep the disease under control and reduce the chance of having recurrent, worsening episodes.

Lastly, I don't appreciate your tone. As I said, I'm not masking anything, God didn't punish me with this, life isn't an accident, and focusing on the "good" in life isn't enough.

Even though mania feels good for some people, waltzing through my days on a bipolar high of hypomania or even mania is NOT a walk in the park. I am not blessed with the specific high of of mania, the opposite of depression.

It isn't a matter of PRAYING more. I have prayed, and many, many people have prayed for me... to get the correct treatment, find the correct medications, meet the correct therapists and MANAGE my illness. God HAS answered those prayers.

This is the last I have to say on the subject.

Read more here:

Good day.

19 posted on 03/21/2007 8:51:22 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all.--William Goldman)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife

Oh geez.. there you go again quoting a defintion.

You realize this comes from the same people who have also told the world that homosexuality isn't a disorder.. people are born with it.. even though they don't have any proof of it.

Science has also given us global warming or the thought that it's all going to doom us anyways.

Have you ever heard the line "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." If not you should check it out.

Bipolar disorder could also be described as people who refuse to take any responsiblity for their actions and their hi's and low's are the result of them failing to learn how to regulate their own moods.

So no tests can be taken to prove that bi-polar disorder is an actual problem with the brain... don't you find that interesting?

My depression that I overcame was Medical.. I'm not sure where you get that it wasn't.

Of course you are entitled to your opinion but I believe that Bi-polar disorder can be controlled by realizing that you have the power to change yourself.

I'm sorry that you don't like my tone. You never addressed why ritalin is a drug that the medical industry likes to say can only control ADD but there are plenty of non drug alternatives that can do the same thing.

Do you really think there are no non drug alternatives to severe depression and the like? Why does it apply to ADD which is classified as a severe mental disorder but not other types?

You can't just pray for something to happen and then it happens. Often times God won't change it because we have to change something in ourselves first.. a lesson learned usually. Once we change what needs to be fixed our prayers get answered and we are able to move forward knowing that the change was part of what allowed us to move on.

That's why we can pray for a million dollars but it never comes.. we have to prove that we are worry of money.. we have to prove that it's safe in our hands. It's when we prove that, that opportunties arise for us to seize our "dream/prayer".

You feel entitled to have to tell everyone that you have a severe illness and you may very well have an illness that cannot be correct through any sort of ability to connect with God.. only medication can help you. But just because you have that right to that opinion it doesn't mean you get to present it as fact. Because it's not.

21 posted on 03/21/2007 8:37:21 PM PDT by Almondjoy
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