I am writing this because I want you to know how important it is that as a family member that you never give up on your loved one with a mental illness and that your being their advocate is so very important.
Before you quit because the road seems too long, turn around and look how far you’ve come.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
When your self worth goes up, your net worth goes with it. ~Mark Hansen
Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. ~Einstein
Make today count. You’ll never get it back.
When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.
There is only one success; to be able to spend your life in your own way.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
A positive attitude is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.
Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.
I have many problems in my life, but my lips don’t know that. They always smile.
Love who you have become because you have fought to get there.
Always remember that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.
It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.
Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.
Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expect it to change, the realist adjusts the sails.
They did not know it was impossible so they did it.
Where you start is not as important as where you finish.
Seek to be worth knowing rather than well known.
Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not, it’s not the end.
Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.
Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.
Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great.
Decide that you want it more than you’re afraid of it.
Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only give I have-the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.
I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.
Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.
It is important to congratulate those who have succeeded. However, it is more important to encourage those who have not.
- People with bipolar disorder, on average, suffer 10 years before receiving treatment y and only 49% of bipolar individuals receive 1
- The average age of American bipolar disorder onset is 25 years old 2
- 83% of bipolar cases are considered severe. 3
- More than 66% of people with bipolar disorder have one or more relatives with bipolar disorder or clinical depression 4
- Bipolar individuals’ average bipolar episodes last 3 – 6 months 6
- The bipolar suicide rate is 60 times higher than that of the general public and one in five people with bipolar disorder commits suicide. 8,7
- Bipolar disorder is the 4th-highest reason for disability WebM.D. AND 200,000 people with bipolar disorder are homeless 9
- 69% of bipolar patients are mis-diagnosed at least 3.5 times 10
- 10% of bipolar disorder patients have onset of symptoms in their 40s-50s 11
- Bipolar relapse rate 80% within 2 years without meds; 40% with meds 12
- Except for side effects, 90% of bipolar patients are satisfied with their meds 13
- Mood disorder patients are more likely to be obese, smoke and have heart disease 14
- Adults who earned high or top school grades are 4X more likely to develop bipolar disorder than their peers 15
- 80% of those with bipolar disorder have at least one bipolar family member 16
- The bipolar suicide rate is 60X higher than that of the general public 17
- Bipolar disorder affects males and females 18
- 50% of bipolar folks abuse drugs and/or alcohol 19
- Following the first bipolar episode is a 90% chance of recurrence 20
- Bipolar disorder is more common in high achievers [than the general population 21
- 10% of bipolar disorder patients have onset of symptoms in their 40s-50s 22
- People with bipolar disorder live 9.2 years less than the average 78 years 23
- 50% of bipolar individuals abuse drugs and alcohol 24
- 35% of people with bipolar disorder are obese and are 2X as likely to die of heart disease, diabetes, stroke. 25
- People with bipolar disorder live 9.2 years less than the average 78 years 26
- 2.4% of the world population has bipolar disorder 27
- Less than 50% of the planet’s bipolar population receives any treatment 28
- More than 33% of world’s Bipolar Disorder people have substance abuse disorders 29
- Bipolar disorder is the 6th leading reason for disability worldwide 30
- A child’s risk of having bipolar disorder is 30% if one parent has bipolar disorder, 75% if two parents suffer the disorder 31
- In children, bipolar disorder is the 3rd highest reason for doctor visits, 2nd highest reason for hospital ER visits 32
- 3.4 million children and adolescents suffer bipolar disorder 33
As I have mentioned many times before, my mother has been very supportive of me during my life regarding my mental illness. She went into psychiatric nursing to learn as much as she could about my mental illness, she has listened to me so many times and seen me shed many tears. She has loved me unconditionally even though during times I was the sickest I have been outright cruel. Because of her, I am still alive.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day and therefore I want to talk about how supportive my dad has been too. He has been there when I need to talk. He gives great advice and I wouldn’t be here if it went for his support and love. I have been blessed with two wonderful parents. They both have accepted me for who I am.
I admire my dad. He has always been a hard worker. He is creative, intelligent, goal-driven, a leader, and loves his family. I am so proud to be his daughter.
There have been so many times he has listened to me when I have been in tears. Neither one of my parents allow me to have self-pity. However, they both understand that my depression and mania are chemical imbalances.
When I was first diagnosed, it was devastating to our whole family. However, my parents stuck by my side and helped me get through it all. There were nights I would not sleep at all and one of them would stay up with me. There were times when I was manic that they had to literally rescue me.
They would have take time off and travel from NY to Florida to get me admitted to a psychiatric hospital or take me back to New York. There was one time that I disappeared and they had to use law enforcement to find me. I had bought a new car and had gotten engaged (using their money for the engagement ring). My dad was able to get the car salesman to take the car back and got the ring returned.
Out of all the things that my dad has done for me, I vividly remember one night he stayed up with me when I was about 17 and got me through the night. We talked about so many things and him caring meant so much to me. Another time, I remember him trying so hard to get me to relax when I just couldn’t because I was manic. Yes-he was probably frustrated, but him wanting to help me meant a lot.
When I was diagnosed, I would have understood if my parents were embarrassed. I know they kept my illness from others mostly at my request. However, they never let me know think they were ashamed of me.
They have continuously throughout my life let me know that they are proud of me and admire my strength.
I love my parents so much and have never doubted their love for me. I have heard of so many people that have been abandoned by their families. Some are told that they don’t have a mental illness. Others have no desire to learn anything about their mental illness. Living with someone who has a mental illness is not easy. However, my parents have stuck by my side and I know they will continue to do so. I sometimes wonder why. I am not sure if I would have stuck around the way I have treated them.
Thanks Mom and Dad! Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!
In addition to managing Bipolar Bandit’s Facebook page, I also am an administrator for the FB page Mental Health Advocates United. I designed these facts for that page and thought I would share them here too.
I have been depressed for the past week. In fact, I had not left the house in a whole week. It is now 6 am and I have not been able to sleep. If you know anything about bipolar disorder, you know that a lack of sleep can lead to mania.
My ex-husband told me one time that he thought I worried myself into manic episodes. There is a lot of truth in that. Because I panic when I am not sleeping and think I am going to get manic, I get stressed about that. The more stressed I get, the less I sleep I get. This stress and lack of sleep will oftentimes lead to mania.
I would get nervous about not sleeping and having to go to work the next day. My mom pointed out one time that everyone has nights that they can’t sleep. Even though she knows that not sleeping can lead to mania, she tried to assure me that I would be fine. (She did know that I still could get manic. She was just trying to point out that it could be nothing, also.)
I had a psychiatrist one time tell me that if I can’t sleep after a half hour to get up and do something for awhile and then try again. If I can’t sleep, then just stay up until I crash. She told me to do this even if it meant I stayed awake more than 24 hours.
I have taken that advice a few times since. There is no reason I should just keep lying in bed with my mind racing when you can get up and accomplish something. This is where worrying can come in. If I were to sit here thinking right now that a manic episode is on the horizon, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Yes, I need to take every precaution that I have in my action plan. If I don’t sleep sometime today or the next night, I need to make an appointment with my doctor.
I know that right now I am in trouble because my medication need to be adjusted. To be frank, I am sick of this roller coaster since my medications have been changed. I had to switch medication because my insurance no longer covered the medication I was on. Don’t get me wrong, I was still cycling when I was on the medication that my insurance no longer covers. Therefore, I was hopeful that trying something new might be the answer. I have not given up as I have not been on them very long.
I know I will be ok and will stay out of the hospital. I know that I can do things that will keep me out of there. I need to lay low, eat right, not going anywhere or spend any money. I need to let the people in my support system know that I am in danger right now.
I have confidence that everything will be ok. I am not worried because I know that I will be ok. I have a great doctor, a wonderful supportive fiancee and a loving family. We have gotten through so many things together in the past.
I am so sick of this. I am sure they are too.
I usually am not so open about my current struggles. I was not intending on sharing my current situation when I decided to write this blog.
Can Worrying Lead to Mania? The answer to my question is yes. I do think worrying can lead to mania.
If you are reading this and think you are getting manic and worrying about it, I would suggest that you take a second look at your situation. Worrying and stress definitely can lead to mania. Try and remove the stress. Even if you have to take work off for a few days, do it. It is better to stop the mania in its tracks before you end up getting full-blown manic and end up in the hospital missing a lot more of work.
There are a lot of cliches about how worrying is a waste of time. However, it is easy to get trapped into the web of worrying.
My suggestion is to realize that you are going to be okay. I am going to just keep saying that to myself.
The good news is that by writing this blog entry, I have gotten tired enough to go to sleep.
Good night! Zzzzz