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The following is an Editorial Resource from YourTotalHealth.

bipolar

I have an illness, no different than someone with diabetes or arthritis. I have to take medicine and I have to take it as prescribed. It took three doctors and countless medicines to finally get it right. Be patient, be real, and be open to other ideas and support. Stay one step ahead, educate yourself and your family, recognize stressful situations and handle them accordingly. Get family advice, doctors, whatever you need to help you get through tough times. That was my biggest problem; I felt venerable and weak because of my illness. I am now starting to feel comfortable with taking my meds and admitting my illness. There are no excuses for not getting help now. If you are reading this, then you know where to find help and support, and that’s a huge step. I feel very fortunate to have all of you understanding what I am going through when I have a tough time.

—momagainyikes

Being different isn't necessarily a bad thing. I believe that sometimes being different can be a good thing. God has his special people and he has a purpose for us. Many people who are bipolar are very creative. We write poetry and stories. We are artists or musicians. We believe in making the world a better place.

We never feel like we fit into society. Perhaps we are aliens from another planet. We have been abducted to the planet earth, where we must suffer and exist. People are so cruel or just plain stupid. Why are we here? What purpose must we serve?

Don’t apologize to your children for who you are. Be proud of who you are. Teach your children to be proud of who they are. Teach them to use their talents for whatever good they can use them for. Teach them to be good citizens. Teach them that we should care about each other. Practice "The Golden Rule:" Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It’s other people who can bring us down. Don't let them! Don't focus on your shortcomings or differences. Focus on your strengths. Our emotions, thoughts and ideals can be like a magic dust that we sprinkle on the whole world to help create a better place for society to live and be happy.

Mary Magdalene was different. Jesus was different. We all have something to share is my view on life!

—kathryn2009

As bipolar women and men, we are faced with a few choices: Either struggle and wallow in it, die for it, or do everything we can to tame it. We will never beat it. We must learn to coexist with it, better than we’re doing now. Ah, make no mistake. We are survivors. We have weathered the storm and our very presence here bears witness to the tale. We are not liars and fakers. We have not conjured this mental malady as a tool for manipulation or slacking or self-pity. We have not manifested this hell upon ourselves through want or need or imagination.

We are not incompetent. We are not deaf and blind. Our voices go mute at times because the world is too much. Regular physical exercise levels the playing field. It builds our self-confidence, lightens our step and our outlook on the world. It helps quiet that constant negative voice that tells us we’re not good enough, that other people can tell by looking at us that we’re not “one of them.” Feeling good about ourselves extends itself to good will toward others. We know we’re receiving what we project, yet we are prone to forget this small universal law when we’re spiraling in the throes of Bipolar disorder.

Exercise is at least as important as the pharmaceuticals#&8212;it's another means of altering chemistry. Aerobics and weight-bearing exercise are another form of self-medicating#&8212;the good kind. These forms of exercise release feel-good hormones, improve our memory, better our balance, purge toxins, build muscle, and strengthen and increase our bone density. In dual studies, regular exercise was proven to drastically reduce the risk for cancer. I recommend lifting weights three times a week, every other day, as well as walking and/or bicycling for one hour on the other days. Take Sundays off if you wish. You’ll notice the overall mood change after three weeks. By week eight, you’ll look better. You’ll see the physical difference. Another mood burst.

You’ll feel strong, experience less aches and pains and feel less depressed. You have no control over your disorder, but this is something you can control#&8212; you can better your body, thereby bettering yourself overall.

—somaphx

I was initially diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 13. Bipolar disorder can be traced back several generations in my family. My paternal grandmother had the disorder and passed it on to her two children, my father and aunt. All of my cousins have the disorder along with all of my siblings. Now my daughter is showing the symptoms early at age 7.

I guess I have a different outlook on the disease. Yes, it can be hard. I have experienced life among the clouds and the fall to the ground of sadness below. I believe that God or nature (or whatever you believe created us) made me this way for a reason. Because of this disease, I have creativity and a brilliant mind. I have learned to empathize with basically any emotional plight of another (because I have experienced most of them). Overall, it has allowed me to become a stronger and better person. I don't allow the disorder to get me down. I am highly aware of myself and I know if my medication is not working anymore, then I go and see my doctor. I have learned that it is okay to ask for help and okay to give it. I am able to function in an abnormally "normal" society. I work full time, attend college full-time and consider myself a good mom. I believe it is all the frame of mind one takes.

My older brother is the opposite of me. He uses his disease as a means to an end. He feeds into it to enable him to manipulate his way through life. He lacks the perseverance of my sister and I. We refuse to allow it to handicap us, while he lets it control his life. Truly, it is just another mountain to climb in the trail of life. Yes, I know the mountain will occasionally will jump into the path, but I am aware of it and expect it. I know that it can inhibit my life, but I have to see the positive aspects to move on. I survive by taking my medication, being highly self aware, and seeing life for what it truly is. . . a gift. Don't allow it to bring you down, and never give up!!! It is all in your outlook.

—perfectlyhuman

I don't have bipolar myself, but my oldest sister had it. We found out she had it when she was in her 20s and did not know much about the disorder. After much struggling, we tried to educate ourselves on how to help my sister and really just how to live with her. Being her sister and her best friend, I find myself at times feeling guilty for maybe not doing enough, or maybe doing too much. There were many years, where we as family members found it easier to just stay away from her then learn to deal with her illness. I know now that if I could give any advice to families with bipolar relatives, it would be to never give up on your loved ones. Do as much research as you can about the illness. They need a huge, strong, loving support network that will never give up on them. One thing that I did learn is that you can love a person and hate an illness. Sometimes I forgot this, and I find myself having a hard time with that. I urge you ... Please, please, don't give up. Don't lose your friends, family and loved ones to this illness. Fight it and learn about it.

wemissusis

 living with bipolar disorder.

What's Next: One Step at a Time

 

Review Date: May 01, 2009

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Ask Your Doctor

bipolar disorderBefore you go to your doctor’s office, be prepared to ask these questions, according to your situation:

 

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