The Bipolar Question

It has become a topic of conversation in our home, wondering at the fact I might have bipolar disorder.  That would explain a lot about my history and current behaviors. If you’ve ever looked at the symptoms and knew me, you’d probably agree with that assessment.

I have come a long way from attending a church which dismissed all forms of mental illness as spiritual problems, finally breaking away after 20 years in that cultish environment and seeing a psychiatrist as I approached my 50’s. Now, after several years on an antidepressant, it has become more clear as to what I am dealing with.

The problem is that of the some 5 million people who have this malady, the majority go undiagnosed. The symptoms aren’t extreme enough to appear on the radar of a professional, and therefor, people go on unchecked and struggling to cope. They rise to manic highs and plunge into deep darkness, and we all just think that person has character flaws or a spiritual problem.

In regard to this, something to be careful of is the application of not enough knowledge and making what little we know dangerous. This is especially so in an age in which information is so handy. We can know more than we ever could before with simply a few clicks. We speak as an authority but may only have a simple understanding of the subject, filling in the blanks with our own beliefs and philosophies.

Thats why I will be seeing a mental health professional this week. If, through the application of medications and therapy, I can find freedom from the constant soaring and debilitating crushing… perhaps, just maybe, I can finally live.

Yes there will still be skeptics, but I really don’t care what they think anymore. I have allowed others to shape and form my life and found emptiness and un-fulfillment all along the way. I will instead pursue a different course that offers the possibility of real and lasting relief from the rollercoaster I have been on my entire life.

More information on bipolar disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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