From: Patrick Kiefer
Because May is Mental Illness Awareness Month, I would like to share this information about bipolar disorder. Bipolar is a form of mental illness that is chronic and has recurring episodes of mania and depression that could last a day or months. Bipolar Disorder can have a negative impact on relationships and creates a decline in job or school performance. When a person experiences mania they experience talkativeness, pleasure seeking and risk taking behavior. On the depression episode, a person feels sad, hopeless and a loss of energy. Because of its irregular patterns of ups and downs the disorder is considered to be a hard illness to diagnose. Itís believed that 10 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder. The illness can occur at any point in oneís life, but usually starts between the ages of 15 - 25.
Right now there is no cure for bipolar disorder, but there is treatment available. The journey of recovery is unique for each individual. One of the most important principles of recovery is that recovery is a process, not an event, so oneís unique recovery must be respected. Medications can be used for treatment, but an individual must monitor for potential side effects. Many people fear to get treatment because they are afraid the medications will make them feel flat or less creative, but these medications are important to wellness. Itís important to know that all individuals that have bipolar can move towards wellness.