Living with bipolar disorder is hard to understand for those who have never experienced it. Not only can episodes of depression or mania occur if a patient encounters a trigger, but at times they can completely lose touch with what it means to be their self. Here are some of the realities that a person with bipolar disorder must face:
- Getting treatment: Bipolar disorder is an illness. Just like any other illness, it does not mean that you are weak. It, means, like any other illness, that you have to go to your doctor. Treatment can take some time to yield positive changes, but it is important to stay with it and important to build up a treatment team to support you. This can include your physician and psychiatrist. Also, inform friends and family members about your illness so they can become your support when times get hard and if you need some help along the way.
- More than one illness: Bipolar disorder usually does not come alone. 95% of bipolar patients have another illness such as anxiety, personality disorders, substance abuse or ADHD. It can also come with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis or migraine headaches. These illnesses must be identified and treated as well.
- Worse symptoms: If you’ve had an episode of mania, you will most likely have another. You may also have to deal with psychosis, a loss of touch with reality at some point, which 60% of bipolar patients experience. Additionally, 50% of bipolar patients attempt suicide, so hospitalization is also a possibility. The best way to prevent these from occurring is to stay on task with your medication and treatment.
- Keeping up the fight: Having bipolar disorder means you must always monitor yourself and your symptoms even when they are under control. At times it can be tough to maintain a sense of “you”. If mania and depression break through, you have to fight to maintain control. It is a tough battle, but it is important to try your best to avoid your triggers, prevent episodes from occurring, and maintaining balance.
Do you or a loved one suffer from Bipolar Disorder? See if you qualify for Segal’s clinical research study today!
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