What is Bipolar? What isn’t Bipolar Disorder?

I can’t stress enough the inconsistent natural of the illness we call bipolar disorder. If you can grasp the very nature of our mood swings- that they come and go and are NOT consistent- you can better understand this easy to diagnose, but very difficult to treat illness.

Bipolar changes. The person with the illness will have a stable mood that you can see either in yourself or a loved one. This is the real person, unencumbered buy mood swings. This person is balanced and reasonable. He or she is able to make smart decisions and to move forward in life. When bipolar is managed, the real personality emerges. When undiagnosed or unmanaged, there will be changes in mood. The mood is not consistent. The person will not be the same all of the time.  There will be periods of kindness and then periods of great anger and meanness. Or, periods of great despair and then periods of where life is joyful and carefree!

This is one reason why bipolar disorder two is missed for an average of 7 to 9 years before a person is correctly diagnosed. A person can be stable for quite awhile and then go off the rails. Then be stable and then go off the rails. People will say,

  • Why can’t she just get her act together?
  • Why can’t he learn from his mistakes?
  • Why does he crave so much change?
  • Why is she so moody?
  • He was so happy! Now he is just a mess!

We do well when we are stable. We are not sick all of the time. As bipolar progresses or we miss our sleep, take on a job that is too much for us, have a child or use substances that are too much for our bipolar brain, it will appear that we are sick all of the time. This is not reality. Longer term mood swings are created by triggering the mood swings through life choices that make bipolar worse. We all do this. It takes a long time to learn to manage this illness, but management is possible.

When we understand the nature of bipolar and manage our moods through life style changes which can include medications, we will get glimpses of the stability that is always possible.  Then we can move forward in life once again.

I wrote Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder with one goal. To make it easy to digest by people with bipolar. I wanted a book that is not confusing or hard to follow. I believe this book accomplished the goal. It works for family members and health care professionals in the same way. It is easy to understand.

Start your management plan today. Think of what you want in life. What are your goals? How can you manage this illness so that the real you sticks around more often?

Bipolar disorder has inconsistent mood swings that have a beginning, middle and end. Bipolar isn’t your personality. Bipolar isn’t emotional. It’s an illness that can be managed.





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