Bipolar Disorder is….
“…..a chronic illness with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from one day to months. This mental illness causes unusual and dramatic shifts in mood, energy and the ability to think clearly. Cycles of high (manic) and low (depressive) moods may follow an irregular pattern that differs from the typical ups and downs experienced by most people. The symptoms of bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on a person’s life. Damaged relationships or a decline in job or school performance are potential effects, but positive outcomes are possible.
Two main features characterize people who live with bipolar disorder: intensity and oscillation (ups and downs). People living with bipolar disorder often experience two intense emotional states. These two states are known as mania and depression. A manic state can be identified by feelings of extreme irritability and/or euphoria, along with several other symptoms during the same week such as agitation, surges of energy, reduced need for sleep, talkativeness, pleasure-seeking and increased risk taking behavior. On the other side, when an individual experiences symptoms of depression they feel extremely sad, hopeless and loss of energy. Not everyone’s symptoms are the same and the severity of mania and depression can vary.” (Taken from NAMI’s website)
You can also read more about BP here: http://www.bphope.com/BipolarIndepth.aspx
The DBSA’s “Steps to Recovery”: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=recoverysteps
Websites & Organizations
DBSA Online Support Group:
- Mondays at 10pm Eastern (9pm Central, 8pm Mountain, 7pm Pacific, 3am Tuesday GMT)
- Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern (8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific, 2am Wednesday GMT)
- Fridays at 8pm Eastern (7pm Central, 6pm Mountain, 5pm Pacific, 1am Saturday GMT)
Read Up…Knowledge is Power!
- BP Magazine’s List of Helpful Reading
- Darkness is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness
- Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide
Take the pledge to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness: Bring Change to Mind
Share your story, find support, and know you’re not alone: Band Back Together
Articles on Bipolar Disorder, Depression, & Anxiety
- Bipolar Happens ( bestselling author Julie Fast)
- Ask A Bipolar (author of Fall Girl, Marybeth Smith)
- Black Snob (Commentator, activist, social media maven, you name it, Danielle Belton is doing it all…while being Bipolar…and African American. Her site covers politics and pop culture, but her posts on BP are very good.)
- Lithium & Lamictal (my wonderful friend Andrea’s insightful blog)
- Bipolar Lives (includes links to scholarships for college students who are BP!)
- The Unknowing Might Hurt Me (my friend Pam’s raw look at being newly diagnosed)
- Make Mom Go Something Something (hilarious, feisty, and beautifully strong-My friend Kim’s journey through motherhood, PPD & BPD)