Recognizing and Coping With Bi-Polar

by Tracey Wilson - Date: 2006-11-30 - Word Count: 751 Share This!

Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) is a mood disorder, which means that the symptoms are disturbances or abnormalities of mood. Major depression is a more common illness, the symptoms of which are mainly those of 'low' mood. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of both serious mania and depression. The person's mood swings from excessively 'high' and irritable, to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. Different from normal mood states of happiness and sadness, symptoms of manic-depressive illness can be severe and life threatening. However, because many artists, musicians and writers have suffered from bipolar illness, the effect of the illness has sometimes been trivialized, and regarded in some way as beneficial for artistic creativity. In fact, for those afflicted with the illness, it is extremely distressing and disruptive.

Bipolar disorder is the third most common mood disorder after major depression and dysthymic disorder. It affects about 1% of adults during their lifetime. Symptoms typically begin during adolescence or early adulthood, and continue to recur throughout life. Men and women are equally likely to develop this disabling illness. The consequences of the illness can be devastating, and may include marital break-ups, unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse. Bipolar illness is often complicated by co-occurring alcohol or substance abuse. Without effective treatment, bipolar illness leads to suicide in nearly 20% of cases.

Effective treatments are available that greatly reduce the suffering caused by bipolar disorder, and can usually prevent its devastating complications. However, bipolar disorder is often not recognized by the patient, relatives, friends, or even physicians. People with bipolar disorder may suffer needlessly without proper treatment, for years or even decades. Also, many patients do not respond to at least one drug, and many show no response to several. This means that combination treatment is often the rule because a combination of different drugs with different methods of action can be more effective without increasing the risk of side effects. Lithium is still the most used drug overall in mania, but mood stabilizing, anticonvultants are also widely used.

Fifteen Styles of Distorted Thinking

1). Filtering- You take the negative details and magnify them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation.

2). Polarized Thinking- Things are black or white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you're a failure. There is no middle ground.

3). Over-generalization- You come to a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen over and over again.

4). Mind Reading- Without their saying so, you know what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, you are able to divine how people are feeling toward you.

5). Catastrophizing- You expect disaster. you notice or hear about a problem and start, "What ifs? What if tragedy strikes? What if it happens to you?"

6). Personalization- Thinking everything people do or say is some kind of reaction to you. You also compare yourself to others, trying to determine who's smarter, better looking, etc. . .

7). Control Fallacies- If you feel externally controlled, you see yourself as helpless, a victim of fate. The fallacy of internal control has you responsible for the pain and happiness of everyone around you.

8). Fallacy or Fairness- You feel resentful because you think you know what's fair but other people won't agree with you.

9). Blaming- You hold other people responsible for your pain, or take the other track and blame yourself for every problem or reversal.

10). Shoulds- You have a list a ironclad rules about how you and other people should act. People who break the rules, angers you and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.

11). Emotional Reasoning- You believe that what you feel must be true automatically. If you feel stupid and boring, then you must be stupid and boring.

12).Fallacy of Change- You expect that other people will change to suit you if you just pressure or cajole them enough. You need to change people because your hopes for happiness seem to depend entirely on them.

13). Global Labeling- You generalize one or two qualities into a negative global judgment.

14). Being Right- You are continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct. Being wrong is unthinkable and you will go to any length to demonstrate your rightness.

15). Heaven's Reward Fallacy- You expect all your sacrifices and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel bitter when the reward doesn't come.

- References from Pensacola, Florida Local Stress Unit Brochure

Related Tags: help, care, love, pain, advice, depression. death, harm, hurt, hotline, therapist, counselor, friend

Tracey Criswell Wilson is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ Many of Tracey's writings which include, non-fiction, poetry, prose and many different fiction genres, can be found on this site, which is a site for Fiction Writing. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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