Bipolar disorder is generally a term that society and the media have stigmatized as something horrid. A mental illness that has labeled the individual as crazy due to the extreme pendulum of mood swings. Where we know the individual diagnosed with the disorder is usually happy, sad, irritated, and depressed all in a short period of time. Often times when typically functioning people cringe at the idea of having the mental illness.
For myself, I would have to honestly state that I was once one of those individuals. Most in part due to my lack of education on the matter, using the term to describe any and everything that had an extreme shift in mood, action, feeling, or thought. Until I ...view middle of the document...
There would be days where things were normal between everyone; we would do our chores together, go to the mall or park, and occasionally out to eat as a family. However there were days where things would start off normal and then quickly turn for the worse. My mom would argue with my dad, myself or my brother and the day would spiral downhill from there. The arguments never seemed to stay between them; they would somehow also manage to end up as a problem for me to mediate.
My junior year of high school I remember my father screaming at my mother saying she was crazy and that she needed to take her medicine, at the time I hadn’t even know that she on any form of medication. And then everything hit the roof my father found out about my mother’s infidelity and all hidden truths came to light. I found out that my mother and been living with bipolar disorder for several years. Unfortunately, she is in denial with the diagnosis and does not take medication as she feels that nothing is wrong with her and if indeed she does have the illness there is surely no reason to medicate. Upon leaving for college everything began to become even more out of control. I would get calls from both parents about things going on back home and I was left to mediate between the two as well as focus on school and my own life. I would have all too often come home and deal with the stress of my parents in addition to the stress of school and my own relationships until one day while spring breaking in Austin where I hit a true breaking point. I was partying until the early morning hours and getting very minimal sleep and still receiving phone calls from my parents until the point where I just snapped. I was lost and angry with everyone. I began to question and doubt my very existence. My thoughts took me to the point where I was confessing to things that had happened years prior. I had a family member express to me that I was beginning to act like my mother, who has bipolar and refuses medication, and that I should seek counseling. For days I played the conversation through my head, I was scared to hear the truth, truly frightened by the thought of living my life as my mother had but I set up and followed through on the appointment.
Thankfully, in my situation everything was due to the amount of stress I was under and the lack of sleep I was getting but it has always made me concerned about my mother. The fact that I often times see her silently suffering. In this paper I would like to define and explore the mental illness of bipolar disorder. What is it? How does it affect individuals diagnosed and what is know in the research about the disorder?
What is bipolar disorder?
The starting point, as stated by Chaemi (2013) to understanding the self in bipolar disorder is to accept, first of all that bipolar disorder is a disease, a pathology of the body producing psychological symptoms. Bipolar disorder is not the disease of having mania or depression. And those states are,...