1. Bipolar Disorder is a serious and a potentially life-threatening condition So don't tell someone with bipolar disorder: "At least you don't have cancer" because bipolar disorder can and does kill. This research reveals people with bipolar disorder suffer from higher rates of suicide, as well as death from circulatory-system diseases. We also have increased risk for HIV infection, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)and neurological conditions such as migraine.
2. It can be treated I am living proof of this. According to The Black Dog Institute: "Everyone is different and therefore the appropriate treatment for a particular individual is a matter for a skilled medical practitioner." It says the good news is that its severity and the frequency of episodes can be reduced or prevented with medication and other supports.
3. Bipolar disorder is generally treated with drugs and psychological therapies And before you ask me if I need to be on 'all these drugs', listen to what the Black Dog Institute has to say: "Physical treatments are necessary for bipolar disorder - psychological approaches by themselves are not sufficient but, alongside drug treatments, serve a valuable complementary role."
4.With the right medical management people with bipolar disorder can achieve stability and live successful lives. Just look at me - blogging ranter and Twitterattzi. Seriously though at my lowest I never imagined I would get this well. (Thanks Dr E and Dr F)
5.I will have to be on this medication for the rest of my life The Black Dog Institute says Bipolar disorder is an illness which can require long-term treatment. Skilled medical management is needed.
"Different medications are used to treat acute episodes of mania and of depression, and other medications ('mood stabilisers') are used to keep episodes at bay or to augment acute treatments," it says.
So barring some medical breakthrough, I will be with my happy pills for life. There are worse things, though.
6.Language has power So don't tell me you are a bit bipolar or manic today unless you have been there. Trust me, you don't want to go into mania. Some may love it. I hate my hypomanias.
7. It runs in families Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition.
8. Find a good doctor This is how I did it.
9. Yes, a lot of famous people have/had bipolar disorder but that does not automatically mean you are a genius. When I was sick and people would tell me that, it was zero consolation.
10. Depression is the absence of hope This is from Prozac Nation and it is the best description I have read of the disease. Day after day, week after week, this wet rag just eats away at you.
I am keen for these messages to circulate so if any of you would be kind enough to forward this on, I would greatly appreciate it.