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  • Pedro Magrin Tannús

Accounts of a Life with Bipolar Disorder

Updated: Mar 15

Margoth P. Duncie

Picture of a woman slit in two representing bipolar disorder
Foto transtorno Bipolar

Since a very young age, I realized that my mind was like an emotional roller coaster, with highs and lows that went beyond normal control. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20, but the seeds of this disorder were planted long before.


During the periods of euphoria, known as manic episodes, I feel on top of the world. I have uncontrollable energy, my mind races, ideas flow rapidly, and I feel invincible. It's as if I'm floating on a cloud of extreme happiness. I sleep little, but I don't miss the rest as excitement takes over me. During these moments, I am able to accomplish complex tasks at an impressive pace, I have unwavering confidence, and my creativity reaches astonishing levels.


However, just like the peak of a roller coaster, the fall is inevitable. Depressive episodes come as a suffocating darkness, swallowing all the happiness I previously experienced. I feel trapped in a box of loneliness and sadness. Finding any kind of motivation is difficult, and activities that once brought me joy now seem empty and meaningless. I sleep too much, but the rest is not rejuvenating. Fatigue settles into my body and mind, and I feel an inexplicable weight in every movement I make. Negative and self-deprecating thoughts haunt me, undermining any trace of self-esteem I may have.



One of the most challenging aspects of this disorder is the abrupt transition between extremes. In a matter of days, or even hours, I can go from overwhelming happiness to deep sadness without apparent reason. This affects my personal life, my work, and my relationships. Friends don't always understand my sudden mood changes, and often, I withdraw to avoid hurting them or feeling misunderstood.


Therapy and medication are a fundamental part of my treatment. Through therapy, I've learned to recognize signs of imminent mood changes and develop strategies to cope with them. Medication helps stabilize my mood, reducing the intensity of manic episodes and shortening the duration of depressive episodes.


Although bipolar disorder is a daily battle, I've also learned to see its positive aspects. During periods of euphoria, I can be incredibly productive and creative. Moreover, the experience of living on the extremes of the emotional spectrum has given me a deep sensitivity to the emotions of those around me.



For those who don't live with bipolar disorder, it can be challenging to comprehend the emotional roller coaster I ride every day. I ask for patience and empathy because, even though my moods may seem perplexing or incomprehensible, they are an integral part of my journey as a person with bipolar disorder.


During moments of euphoria, for example, I ask not to be seen merely as someone 'animated' or 'too happy.' Behind this facade, there may be internal restlessness, racing thoughts, and an uncontrollable need to seek new emotions. It's a state of extreme energy that, while it may seem fun, can lead to impulsive behaviors and unnecessary risks.


In moments of depression, I ask not to be seen merely as someone 'sad' or 'unmotivated.' The darkness that surrounds me goes beyond common sadness. It's like a dense cloud enveloping me, affecting all areas of my life. As much as I try to break free from this sadness, I often feel trapped, hopeless, and struggling to find meaning in things.


Understanding that these mood swings are caused by a medical condition and not a conscious choice is crucial. Bipolar disorder is not something I can simply 'overcome' or control with willpower. It's a complex condition that requires ongoing medical supervision and the support of friends and family.



Furthermore, it's essential to remember that not every day will be the same. I may go through periods of stability, during which my mood remains relatively balanced. But I can also face mixed episodes, where I experience symptoms of mania and depression simultaneously, which can be extremely confusing and exhausting.


The journey with bipolar disorder is challenging, but there is also hope. With proper treatment, regular therapy, and a strong support system, I can learn to better manage my emotions, identify triggers, and adopt healthy strategies to cope with the highs and lows.


So, I ask not to be judged solely by the labels associated with bipolar disorder. I am much more than this condition. I am a person with dreams, passions, and skills. I know that my journey may be complicated and unpredictable, but with understanding and support, I can achieve emotional stability and a meaningful life.

*The narrative presented above was created fictitiously based on real information available about the depression disorder. It is not based on any specific personal experience and does not violate the professional confidentiality between patient and professional. Learn more in the article below.



"Bipolar Disorder - Characteristics and Treatment


Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mental health condition that affects a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. It is characterized by episodes of mania and depression that can last for days, weeks, or even months.

In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of bipolar disorder, as well as the benefits of online cognitive therapy as a treatment option.


Description and Symptoms


Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that involves changes in mood, energy, and activity levels. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary from person to person but typically involve episodes of mania or hypomania (a less severe form of mania) and depression. Some common symptoms of mania include:


• Elevated or irritable mood

• Increased energy or restlessness

• Decreased need for sleep

• Racing thoughts or pressured speech

• Impulsive or reckless behavior

• Grandiosity or inflated self-esteem"


On the other hand, symptoms of depression in bipolar disorder may include:


• Depressed or irritable mood

• Loss of interest in activities

• Fatigue or decreased energy

• Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

• Thoughts of death or suicide


Causes and Risk Factors:


The exact causes of bipolar disorder are not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Some risk factors for bipolar disorder include:


• Family history of the illness

• Stressful life events

• Substance abuse or dependence

• Imbalances in brain chemistry


Treatment Options and Benefits of Online Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Bipolar disorder is typically treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can help individuals with bipolar disorder identify and change negative patterns of thinking and behavior that may contribute to their mood episodes.


Online CBT can offer various benefits for individuals with bipolar disorder, including:

• Flexibility in scheduling sessions

• Increased accessibility for individuals with physical limitations or transportation barriers

• Reduction of stigma associated with seeking treatment

• Improved therapy engagement due to increased comfort with technology

It teaches people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to situations to help you feel less anxious and fearful. CBT has been well studied and is the gold standard for psychotherapy." - NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health)


Conclusion


Bipolar disorder is a complex and challenging mental health condition that can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. However, with proper treatment, including medication and psychotherapy such as CBT, individuals with bipolar disorder can manage their symptoms and lead a satisfying life. Online psychotherapy with CBT can be an effective treatment option for those seeking convenient and accessible therapy. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, it's important to seek professional help from a qualified mental health provider.


Read more


National Institute of Mental Health: Bipolar Disorder

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

International Bipolar Foundation

The International Bipolar Foundation provides information, resources, and support for individuals with bipolar disorder and their families: https://ibpf.org/

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers peer-led support groups, educational resources, and advocacy for individuals with mood disorders: https://www.dbsalliance.org/

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides education, support, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness, including bipolar disorder: https://www.nami.org/

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers information and resources on bipolar disorder, including research updates and treatment options: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index



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