Bipolar disorder, a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania, this used to be called manic-depressive disorder (Myers, 2011, p. 471). On the website I was able to read posts from women with Bipolar Disorder and a Master’s degree in Psychology. Her post is referenced under the title “My Big Fat Bipolar Disorder”.
She suffers from feelings of depression; it is hard for her to just enjoy a relaxing day without worrying or
having severe feelings of anxiety and obsessive negative feelings. Most people would be able to enjoy a day out at the beach, but she is in constant thought and worry. Although physical exertion does help to release stress and worry and help get the restful sleep that bipolar patients seek, it is hard to motivate oneself to go out and function when you are feeling depressed. Your body fights what will make it feel better.
In our book it reveals that women on average suffer from depression more often than men. Men usually have a greater increase of rage (Myers, 2011, p. 473). She tends to like to express herself in artwork. As she express’s her feelings of being trapped in art she then is able to feel better. Our book expresses the fact that mania, in milder forms, shows excess energy and free flowing thinking, which can help one to be more creative (Myers, 2011, p. 472).
We learn that a higher number of reported cases of bipolar disorder tend to manifest themselves in occupations of art and music. It seems a correlation not causation that lends itself to the possibility that those that rely on emotional expression and vivid imagery are prone to this disorder. Many performers have had manic episodes where they compose or write many works of art in a mere number of days and then crash.
Another problem that she experiences that most of us do not have to deal with would be a weakened immune
system. When she comes down with a cold or flu, she will typically have an episode of depression that follows. Getting
enough sleep is essential to keeping episodes at bay. Her husband will help make sure that she stays on her medication
and gets her needed or extra sleep in order to help her depression and episodes of mania. Mania is a mood disorder that
is marked by a hyper active state, one in which a person is wildly optimistic (Myers, 2011, p. 471). While most people
are able to cope with normal stress of a child crying, she gets depressed, negatively criticizing herself, hoping or
contemplating death and feeling hopeless. She is always thinking and analyzing her behavior to a point of obsession. She
is unable to move on without help from others and medication.
Depression mode is when she is experiencing a desire to sleep a lot, isolate, drink alcohol, focusing on negative
thoughts, not taking her meds, she tries to actively change by getting out of bed and gardening, socialize with at least
one friend, reduce alcohol, write a gratitude journal, take meds exactly as directed. The following activities relate to
her mania states, lack of sleep, being over scheduled, stress that comes from overscheduling, too much caffeine, not
taking meds for managing mania. When in this state or mood, she tries to get enough sleep, eliminate tasks, decaf,
bipolar meds. Getting exercise is essential for all aspects of bipolar.
All of these expressions or mood swings correlate in relation to our books over view of bipolar disorder. As the book
states, when in a manic state one tends to talk fast, get upset easily, does not like criticism and has poor judgment
(Myers, 2011, p. 472). She exhibited all of these tendencies’. When triggered she can be argumentative, angry towards
her children and work at excess and not sleep.
I feel sorry for all the emotional mood swings that she suffers without much control. I have a grandmother in law that
suffered from this disorder as well. She drank excessively, which contributed to her behavior. She would go on lows of
depression and highs of spending sprees and drinking. But what goes up must come down.
What I understood from her post, is what many of us also have to deal with and that is real life. We all experience
feelings of anxiety, depression and self-criticism to stressful events and living in this world. I feel that her advice
is great for all of us to manage our moods. Sometimes I wonder if an epidemic of “medicating” everyone instead of a more
holistic approach to human behavior. I can see that relaxation techniques and healthier diet, one with no alcohol, might
help many who suffer from milder forms of this disorder. My husband’s family has a history of bipolar on his Aunts’ side
and I do see a need for counseling and or medication as a last resort.
Myers, D. G. (2011). Exploring Psychology eighth edition. New York: Worth Publishers.