Title: The Basics, Diagnosis, and the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder for Patients and their Families
As I am filling out the webinar form for the July 11th program titled: “The Basics, Diagnosis, and the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder for Patients and their Families"-- I can’t help but think about the title…And thinking about the basics of bipolar disorder has me intrigued. When I think about the basics of my diagnosis, the only thing that comes to mind: “how it totally and utterly sucks!” A new study just came out showing that the average time now to get the "correct" diagnosis for bipolar disorder has increased from 10 years to 13 years from the onset of symptoms. I’m not a mathematician, but I think that brings the ratio down to one out of eight people walking around with bipolar disorder or some other serious mental illness.
I’m all for misery loving company. Getting the right diagnosis is key to finding the proper treatment plan for our own recovery. Since recovery is our goal, I mean we’re not bipolar just to be bipolar, it’s not the in thing as it was a few years back. You know, back when bipolar was trendy. I think that went out the window with Mel Gibson and a few other well-known famous people publicly showing the dark-side of this diagnosis.
What are the basics of bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. – www.nimh.nih. Free Bipolar Disorder Book
Basically your life will suck!
Basically you will ruin your marriage and other relationships!
Basically you will have financial problems!
Basically you’re screwed!
Do I sound a bit cynical? Of course, I am a cynic. It took twenty years from the onset symptoms and depressive symptoms when I was 13 years old. By then, I was already cutting and dealing with self-abuse. Most of my moods and rage got passed off as the “old boys will be boys!” When I was lashing out and acting out, it was contributed to dyslexia and the frustration I was dealing with when it came to reading and writing and arithmetic…No, I am not kidding! It was around that time I was put into remedial educational classes with other children dealing with severe emotional issues as myself. I guess, the concept was that isolation would not “ferment the whole flock”...take the leaven out of the bread and we won’t rise up. In the 1980’s, they basically had no clue of bipolar disorder.
Treatment and Diagnosis
I’m 42 or am I 41? that doesn’t matter much when it comes to my treatment right now. However, as we get older we start dealing with more health issues other than bipolar disorder. One who has been on medication a long time...statistics show that we could be dealing with problems with our liver, our weight, diabetes and many other health issues. You can only take medications so long before they start harming your body. A fact I’m sorry to say is true. Still if it wasn’t for medications, I would not be able to function; that’s a fact. So getting to our diagnosis and treatment, I look forward to the webinar to see what Dr. Joseph Calabrese, MD who holds the Bipolar Disorders Research Chair and is Professor of Psychiatry has to say about treatment and the diagnosis process and why it takes so long to get the correct diagnosis? I also look forward to hearing what Dr. Calabrese who also co-directs the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) -funded ‘Bipolar Disorders Research Centre, whose projects include child and adolescent research, has to say about diagnosing children and what type of treatment works best?
(READ ALL OF Dr. Joseph Calabrese credentials )
Patients and their Families
Individual Patients and their families experience bipolar disorder differently. Yet, there are many similarities that affects everyone. Not to generalize bipolar disorder, but the fact is that for the professional diagnosis, the family, loved ones receive the brunt and full-force of the negative and dark-side of the disorder. Bipolar disorder and any mental illness for that matter is like taking a wrecking ball in full swing to a glass house. Yes, it shatters lives, and from the point that we are diagnosed, we are always trying to put together what we have destroyed ourselves. It seems like a never-ending process filled with sharp edges and points that hurt us all on the way towards recovery.
While I’m sure Dr. Joseph Calabrese gets into this during the webinar, here’s the kicker with all the seriousness of bipolar disorder, and all the negative effects that it has on one’s life the facts are:
Basically recovery is possible!
Basically with the correct treatment living a full enriching life is possible!
Basically you will have a relationship with ups and downs, but you can work through them!
Basically you will recover basically…
Mental Health Humor