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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seeing that my blog has “bipolar” in the title, and I am the Diva of bipolar, it seems I’ve been slacking on my duty to inform the world of bipolar-ness. Who in the world am I kidding? I had nothing else to write and this seemed easy.

So here are a few fun facts:

Bipolar disorder is usually characterized by extreme swings in moods, from highs (mania) to lows. Really? That’s what it is? I thought that was caused by being a mom to a tribe of grubby pawed bipeds.

Bipolar affects about 5.7 million Americans. That's only the diagnosed ones. The actual estimate is twice that. I am one of the lucky ones. I keep wondering what hat my name was chosen from.

People who have relatives with a history of a mood disorder are at a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder. If you knew some of my family, you’d know how accurate this is.

Symptoms of mania include euphoria, increased self-esteem, racing thoughts and reckless behavior. Uh, hello, isn’t that the definition of “Diva?”

Symptoms of depression include sadness, loss of interest in activities, fatigue and thoughts of death. Once again, I think this pretty much sums up being a mom at times.

Although there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, it is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Finally! Some good news!

Next are some myths of bipolar that really piss me off!

“All you need to do is think positively and it’ll go away.” Um, I think that’s called denial.

“People with mood disorders can’t get better.” So not true. Although my bipolar is mild and was undiagnosed for decades I’m significantly better than before. Millions of people with bipolar lead happy, healthy, stable lives.

“People with bipolar are dangerous.” Research shows that people with bipolar are no more violent than the rest of the general population. However, people with bipolar are twice as likely to be victims of violence. The only things I’m dangerous with are my credit cards and bank accounts. Oh, and I can do considerable damage in the shoe department.

“People with bipolar disorder are not stable enough to hold positions of authority like law enforcement or government.” People with this disorder hold positions of authority everywhere. I wonder why no one ever told Churchill or Theodore Roosevelt they shouldn’t have held their positions because of their bipolar. Check out my list of famous people with the disorder.

We all have things to work through, whether we admit it or not. My something just happens to have a name that's been stigmatized by ignorance. Even my own family treats me differently since the diagnosis and it pisses me off. Don't freaking tip-toe around me or make snide remarks. I know the demons you try to hide from the world, I'm up front about mine.


Unknown October 26, 2010 at 8:21 PM  

LOL on the credit card - so true. I was relieved when I finally realized there is a chemical reason behind my utter inability to manage money when I'm 'up'...then of course, after BEING up, I have no money to manage while I'm down, so that one pretty much takes care of itself.

Donda October 26, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

Poor credit card! That pretty much sums it up.

Copyboy October 26, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

Those are some staggering stats. :(

Dazee Dreamer October 26, 2010 at 8:53 PM  

I love the, just think happy thoughts approach too. great post

Rob-bear October 26, 2010 at 9:40 PM  

Bipolar Diva; Diva of bipolar. Either way works for me.

Being chronically depressed (as per your note), I only have half the fun. IT'S NO FAIR!

UM, er, maybe we should reconsider that.

Oh, and I thought you were dangerous with your gun, too.

Cheryl D. October 26, 2010 at 10:29 PM  

I think things HAVE improved and it's not as big a stigma as it used to be. I think this is term with a lot of things such as depression, etc. I'm sure there's still a ways to go though too!

Dutchess October 26, 2010 at 10:37 PM  

"Just think positive", and "Can't you just get over it?" are 2 statements that piss me off.

The Blogger Formerly Known As October 27, 2010 at 2:59 AM  

Best way to be, lady. If you can’t face it, you can’t deal with it!
The enigmatic, masked blogger

Holly October 27, 2010 at 4:03 AM  

Another GREAT AWARENESS post... Sorry, I'm linking you up, BABE!! ;D

Oh yeah, the myths majorly PISS me off, too. (((HUGS)))

The Mommyologist October 27, 2010 at 4:53 AM  

I commend you for sharing your story with your never know how many people you are helping!

Christy October 27, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

With the exception of the serious fluctuations betweens highs and lows, this could be me. I think there is such a stigma on bipolar that most people forget the difference between norms and bipolar. It's a difference on how high or how low you are. In bipolar, it's extreme. After that, every person who has difficulties in life will experience highs and lows. Bipolar just needs a little help with those. No different than high blood pressure in that people still function in society just fine. Don't you wish people would get past labels?

Unknown October 27, 2010 at 7:47 AM  

I would like your opinion if you don't mind:
I just recently read that sometimes Bi-polar and schizoaffective disorder can sometimes be triggered by drug use, acid, shrooms, and pot.
I am having a hard time thinking that my son being a typical teenager smoked some pot with friends and inturn unknowingly unleashed the demons he now deals with on a daily basis.
Mental illness does run in my family so for some reason I would rather accept that as the reason he got it and not that he triggered something.
I am still at why him.

Mimi October 27, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

Thank you for posting this. I just wrote a post about mania. Would you mind if I link to this post on my blog?

It's so nice to "know" someone who understands.

Hugs & love,

Unknown October 27, 2010 at 10:50 AM  

I like your writing and I like your subject. You're obviously clever and funny. A great combination.

Monkey Man October 27, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

What did we do before medical science and society started labeling people? We adjusted and took action as needed. We talked to each other like human beings trying to figure out our relationships.

Now we can pass shit off as "Oh, he's bipolar" or "She's an alcoholic."

Jesus Christ! We are just human beings working through whatever issues we have trying to do the best we can with our feelings and attitudes.

Love this post, Diva.

Liz Mays October 27, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

I love how you call them fun facts!

I feel for those who are suffering and have not yet figured it out.

Mrs. Indecisive October 27, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

Thanks for the information. I love learning new things!

The Bipolar Diva October 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM  

Tricia- Oh the credit dangerous!

Donda, you know it girlfriend! I'm surprised mine don't have holes worn them!

Copyboy-they really are...

Dazee-thank you!

Rob-Bear- you rock!

Cheryl- I think you're right.

Dutchess- I know! I could kill!

Angie- Thank you!

EMB- so true!

Holly- I tired to link it up but it wouldn't let me for some reason.

Mommy- Thank you!

Christy- I really wish they would. They just choose not to most of the time.

suzie- I emailed you.

Mimi- of course!

Levonne, thank you so much!

Monkey Man- I think I love you.

blueviolet- I know, it's heartbreaking.

Jen- of course!

Snowbrush October 27, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

Diva, here's the blog address of a young bipolar woman from my own home state of Mississippi. She writes about suicide attempts when she's in her manic phase, so I worry about her. I've had friends who killed themselves, and I don't want to go through that again. I'm not asking you to do anything for her. I just thought you might want to check out her blog.

Unknown October 27, 2010 at 7:27 PM  

You're so right Diva! : ) The one that really gets me is how people assume that people with bipolar who are "off their meds" do dangerous things. I hear that in the news all the time how that explains their horrible behavior. Can't a person just be a bad person without blaming it on their mental disorder? And you're right, the person I'm most likely to hurt is myself, not anyone else.

Unknown October 28, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

Never got an email I have changed emails since we moved.
I'll check my google account.

Michelle Pixie October 28, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

I have to tell you lately I have been wondering if maybe this is my issue. And I am not just saying that to say it...I have even asked my hubby if he thinks I am and I am certain he thinks that makes me crazy in itself but sometimes I wonder...

Pat October 29, 2010 at 6:40 PM  

I like how you tell it like it is! We all have our issues!

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