New Week, Better Grip

Days alive: 12,148

Current number of ebooks: 4,182

Hours slept: about four

Number of lipsticks I own: 81 (estimated. I actually have no idea because I can’t find them all.)

I haven’t been sleeping. So I’ve done a bit of research. I know a little more about my diagnosis. Still not happy about it, but I can’t seem to quite put into words why I am so upset. It’s frustrating because I try to explain that while I understand that life may be a little easier with treatment now that a specific problem/source has been identified, but I still don’t like the diagnosis at all.

About bipolar, with sources because I am not Zelda’s husband and plagiarism does not begin at home, as she was fond of saying.

Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder affects a person’s energy levels and moods.

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Zelda Fitzgerald, with a cat. Because why not

“Symptoms of bipolar include manic states of ecstatic nature, and depressive states of severe hopelessness. Extreme irritability, restlessness, and irregular sleep patterns are all signs of bipolar.

While periods of productivity and joyousness can occur, extreme swings in mood are prevalent, possibly leading to relationship issues, substance abuse, or social impairments evident in work or school.

Common Symptoms of Bipolar

  • euphoria
  • over-excitement
  • severe sadness
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • irregular sleep patterns
  • risky behavior
  • poor performance at work or school
  • poor judgment

Causes

The cause of bipolar seems to be somewhat hereditary, with environmental and experiential factors taking part as well. Bipolar also seems to be the result of hormonal imbalance.” (Source 1)

“According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown. But several factors may play a role, including:

Physical changes in the brain: both biochemical and environmental factors play a role in bipolar disorder. Researchers think that imbalances in neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that regulate mood, may trigger this condition. While the meaning of these brain changes is not known, this discovery may help identify bipolar causes in the future.

Genetics Experts believe that of all mental health problems, bipolar disorder has the greatest linkage to genes. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition.

Risk factors for an episode of bipolar disorder may include having times of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or another traumatic event. Drug and alcohol use are also often associated with bipolar disorder.” (Source 2 )

Types

There are four ‘types’ of bipolar disorder: bipolar 1, bipolar 2, cyclothymic disorder, and a so-called unspecified bipolar disorder.

“The main difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorders lies in the severity of the manic episodes caused by each type. But with bipolar 1 disorder, the mania is more severe than it is with bipolar disorder 2. Bipolar 2 causes something called hypomania, which is essentially a less severe form of mania.” (Source 3)

Treatment

The treatments suggested seem to be based on controlling symptoms and are primarily medications and therapy. The combination of both is supposed to help control the severity and frequency of manic or depressive episodes in one with any form of bipolar disorder. Not everyone has access to medication or the budget for it; similarly for therapy, sometimes it is just out of reach. I’m lucky enough that, with a great deal of personal effort to actually go and with much hoop-jumping for work, I can go to most of my appointments without issue.

There is treatment. Something to remember:

We aren’t alone.

Our glorious Space Mom (who drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra)  the one and only Carrie Fisher had Bipolar Disorder.

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Our glorious Space Mom.

The list of successful people, of names that we remember in a multitude of ways stretches down a long city block.

It includes: Vincent Van Gogh, Vivien Leigh, Demi Lovato, Mariah Carey, Sinead O’Connor, Russell Brand, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Amy Winehouse, Linda Hamilton, Kurt Cobain, Zelda Fitzgerald, Winston Churchill, Lily Allen, Delores O’Riordan, Adam Ant, Ludwig van Beethoven, Emilie Autumn, Jeremy Brett, Rosemary Clooney, Francis Ford Coppola, Connie Francis, Sia, Mel Gibson, Patrick J. Kennedy, Mary Lambert, Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, Ada Lovelace, Edgar Allen Poe, Brittany Spears, Frank Sinatra, Pete Wentz, Brian Wilson, and Stephen Fry in its ranks (Source 4 and Source 5 ).

And to provide a point, the below is an image from my Amazon account. I plan to read them all and then read some more. Because books are my haven, my life. img_0627And I have a Kindle Unlimited account and I’m going to use the hell out of it.

Still lost in the forest. But it’ll get better. We aren’t alone.

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