Are There Successful People Who Live With Bipolar
People with bipolar disorder can live a good life, be happy and be successfuljust like anybody else. In fact, you might be surprised to find out that some of the greatest and most creative minds have had bipolar disorder. Some of their greatest work has been done during their darkest times.
Living with bipolar disorder can feel lonely and discouraging. By hearing the stories of other people with bipolar disorder, you can begin to see your own experience echoed in theirs. You realize youre not alone. You are part of a community. You start to think If they can do it, I can too.
You belong to a brilliant community.
Jess Y, New Mexico
Here are some people with bipolar disorder who not only achieved great success while dealing with the disease, but also used their success as a platform to help others.
Does Bipolar Disorder Run In Families
Numerous studies have found that people with bipolar often have at least one close relative with depression or bipolar disorder.
Children who have one parent with the disorder have about a 10%-25% chance of developing the disorder themselves children with two parents with the disorder have a 10%-50% chance. If a non-identical twin sibling has the disorder, the chance that another sibling will have it is about 10%-25%.
Studies of identical twins have shown that genetics are not the only factor in determining who is at risk for bipolar disorder. Because identical twins share all the same genes, if bipolar disorder were purely hereditary, then all identical twins would share the disorder.
However, it has been found that if one identical twin has bipolar disorder, the chances of the other twin also having bipolar disorder ranges from 40% to 70%. It is important to note that bipolar disorder can show itself in different forms in individuals in the same families.
Scientists believe that bipolar disorder is not likely caused by any one single gene but more likely multiple genes, each contributing only a small amount to the vulnerability, acting together in combination with other environmental factors such as stress, lifestyle habits, and sleep. Scientists are working to identify these genes in the hopes that this will help doctors to better diagnose and treat the disorder.
Bipolar Disorder Due To Another Medical Or Substance Abuse Disorder
Some bipolar disorders dont have a specific pattern or dont match the three categories of disorders listed above and yet, they still align with the criteria for abnormal mood changes. For example, a person may experience mild depressive or hypomanic symptoms that last less than the specified amount for cyclothymia. Additionally, a person might experience depressive episodes, but have symptoms of mood elevation that are too mild or brief to be diagnosed as mania or hypomania.
These instances can be determined to be characteristic of bipolar disorder, but arent classified under the aforementioned types of bipolar disorder.
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How Is Nimh Addressing Bipolar Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health conducts and supports research on bipolar disorder that increases our understanding of its causes and helps develop new treatments. Researchers continue to study genetics and bipolar disorder, brain function, and symptoms in children and teens who have bipolar disorder, as well as family history in health and behavior.
Learn more about NIMHs research priorities and current studies.
Why Theres More To Borderline Personality Disorder Risk Than Just Genes
Even though there are strong genetic ties in the development of BPD, thats not the entire story. John Oldham, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and the author of the classic personality-type guidebook The New Personality Self-Portrait, talks to families about the interplay between genes and the environment. Think of two men who both have family histories of type 2 diabetes and have exactly the same genetic risk, he says. One is highly active and watches his diet and never develops diabetes. The other never exercises, becomes overweight, and thus develops diabetes. The predisposing risk is not enough alone, but the right environment will turn on those genes and lead to the disease, he says. This is also true of BPD.
There are some eventual results of a genetic predisposition to develop the condition. Once its been turned on by repetitive or continued stress because of bad luck or an unsupportive environment, its hard to get back on track, continues Dr. Oldham. While this can be chronic invalidation at home, its often a traumatic event physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect that pulls the trigger. One systematic review of 10 studies in 2018 found that maltreatment during childhood was a risk factor for developing BPD symptoms. Another new study in 2018 linked childhood sexual abuse to BPD.
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What Is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
If a child is prone to severe irritability with explosive outbursts, but the behavior is not episodic, its possible that he may fit the criteria for the new diagnosis, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, or DMDD. DMDD was added to the list of diagnoses in DSM-5 when it was published in 2013, to identify children with severe mood dysregulation who would previously have been diagnosed with pediatric bipolar disorder. The problem was that children who fit this description often did not go on to develop adult bipolar disorder.
Children with DMDD are prone to outbursts that are out of proportion to the trigger, and are irritable in between outbursts, but this behavior differs from bipolar mania in that it does not alternate with periods of depression or normal mood.
If a child fits the criteria for DMDD, he may still have ADHD, in fact Dr. Carlson estimates that about 75 to 80 percent of children in clinical samples do have ADHD, and treating the ADHD that underpins the explosive behavior may be the most important opportunity to help them. However, emotion dysregulation may be a severe problem with its own burdens leading to emergency room visits and psychiatric hospitalizations. Many children do not respond either to ADHD medications or to mood stabilizing medications. Finding appropriate interventions for these children, Dr. Carlson adds, is a high priority.
Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Religion And Spirituality
Many individuals with bipolar disorder experience hyper-religiosity during mania. Fifteen to 22 percent of those with bipolar mania in the U.S. experience religious delusions, such as thinking that demons are watching them or that they are Christ reborn.
The complex phenomenon of spirituality involves networks of multiple brain regions. Parts of the parietal lobe are associated with feelings of spiritual transcendence, parts of the temporal and frontal cortices are involved in the storage and retrieval of religious beliefs in memory, and still other parts of the frontal lobe and limbic structures are responsible for rational and emotional aspects of religious beliefs. Dopamine levels in those with bipolar disorder may play a role in elevating religious and spiritual experiences.
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Can Bipolar Disorder Be Prevented
There is no known method to prevent bipolar disorder. Because its exact cause has not yet been determined, it is especially important to know its symptoms and seek early intervention. Regular and continued use of medication can help reduce episodes or mania and depression. Some people who experience bipolar disorder may become suicidal. By knowing how to recognize these symptoms, there is a better chance for effective treatment and finding coping methods that may prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays, and suicide.
What Are My Chances Of Passing Mental Illness On To My Children And Could It Potentially Get Worse
For mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder, genes are an important risk factor. But your genes are certainly not your destiny.
Here are some numbers to illustrate: On average, the risk of developing bipolar disorder is a little less than 1% . For people who have a parent with bipolar disorder, the risk is about 8% . You could see that glass as half empty, but you could also see it as half full. Even if your child would be 10 times as likely to develop bipolar disorder as the average person, there is still a greater than 90% chance that she or he would not develop bipolar disorder. These numbers come from studies that use a strict definition of bipolar disorder. If we use a broader definition, the percentages are higher, but the message is the same. Having a parent with bipolar disorder means risk is increased, but the absolute risk is still low.
If you havent already read Andrew Solomons book, Far From the Tree, I recommend it highly. Its filled with remarkable stories about families with children facing all sorts of developmental and health challenges. A DBSA Honorary Advisory Board member, Andrew Solomon is a person who both lives with a mood disorder and has had a child with health issuesso he knows that territory well.
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So Are All Bipolar People Creative Or Genius
No, and no again. I would love to say this was the case. Trust me, its tempting, when one has a mental illness, to try to redeem some sort of positive element. So, of course, if I truly felt that everybody diagnosed with bipolar was special or a creative stalwart or a goddamn genius I would be shouting it from the rooftops. .
But while it is true that there has been research into links between bipolar disorder and creativity, , and plenty of creative people have had the disorder, this does not mean that people with bipolar are born with an easel in one hand and a Smith Corona in the other. Hell, doctors cant even decide whether people are born with bipolar at all.
So, as much as I would like to say that bipolar is responsible for huge talent, incredible charisma and Einstein-esque genius I dont think it plays a part in any of these things that I definitely do possess.
Are You Destined For Bipolar Disorder
But even if youre not born with bipolar disorder, I suspect some people are so heavily burdened with genetics its mostly a foregone conclusion anyway but maybe these people wont develop symptoms in childhood. After all, none of us makes it into adulthood without suffering some traumas. Life is unpredictable for all.
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Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
If you think you or someone in your family may have bipolar disorder, its helpful to know what symptoms to look for. The type of bipolar disorder a person has determines the symptoms they will experience. In general, the main symptoms of the different types of bipolar disorder are mania and depression.
The symptoms of bipolar mania include:
- restless and impulsive behavior
- an unrealistic perception of abilities
- happiness, even to the point of euphoria
- participating in risky behavior, such as gambling, drunk driving, or impulsive sex
- talking quickly
Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.
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What Are The Long
Bipolar disorder is a life-long and often recurring illness. You may need long term support to help manage your condition.
What medication options are there?
Your doctor will look at what medication worked for you during episodes of mania or depression. They should ask you whether you want to continue this treatment or if you want to change to lithium.
Lithium usually works better than other types of medication for long-term treatment. Your doctor should give you information about how to take lithium safely. If lithium doesn’t work well enough or causes you problems, you may be offered:
- Olanzapine, or
Your doctor should monitor your health. Physical health checks should be done at least once a year. These checks will include:
- measuring your weight,
- checking your liver and heart, and
- checking your pulse and blood pressure.
What psychological treatments are recommended?
You should be offered a psychological therapy that is specially designed for bipolar disorder. You could have individual or group therapy.
The aim of your therapy is to stop you from becoming unwell again. This is known as relapse. Your therapy should help you to:
If you live with your family or are in close contact with them, you should also be offered family intervention.
Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships. This should be offered to people who you live with or who you are in close contact with.
Can Lifestyle Habits Increase The Risk Of Bipolar Disorder
Lack of sleep increases the risk of having an episode of mania in someone with bipolar disorder. In addition, antidepressants, particularly when taken as the only medication, may also trigger a switch into a manic state.
Excessive use of alcohol or drugs can also trigger bipolar symptoms. Research has shown that about 50% of bipolar sufferers have a substance abuse or alcohol problem. Sufferers often use alcohol or drugs in an effort to reduce unpleasant feelings during low mood periods, or as part of the recklessness and impulsivity associated with manic highs.
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What Race Is Most Affected By Bipolar Disorder
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the disorder has similar symptoms in all races however, certain conditions may have a higher risk in certain races. In whites, bipolar disorder is most commonly diagnosed in adults aged 20 to 39. In blacks, bipolar disorder is most commonly diagnosed in adults aged 40 to 59. In Latinos, bipolar disorder is most commonly diagnosed in adults aged 20 to 39..
What Gender Is Most Affected By Bipolar Disorder
According to studies, women are twice as likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than men. Although men are less likely to develop the condition, they are far more likely to commit suicide. This is due to their reluctance to seek medical help. It is also very likely that some men may have the condition but are undiagnosed..
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Does The Cause Of Bipolar Disorder Matter
Well, certainly to researchers it does, and it should, but for any individual, I would say no, not so much. Because whether you jar was full of genetics or other risk factors for mental illness, the fact is youre stuck with bipolar disorder now anyway. The thing to know is that being born with a disorder doesnt make it any more or less real than one you developed along the way. And saying no one is born with bipolar disorder is just another way of trying to suggest that bipolar disorder is a less-than illness or trying to blame someone for causing your mental illness.
Well, no one did. You didnt cause your bipolar disorder and neither did any other one thing. Mental illness is complicated and no one knows where their marbles all come from. The causes dont have to be genetic, and the causes certainly dont have to be known, for a disease to be real.
After all, no one knows why someone who smokes all their life escapes cancer while the person with an über-healthy lifestyle dies of cancer at 34.
And bipolar is the same. No one really knows why some of us end up sick and others dont. But that doesnt make it less real, less devastating or anyones fault.
Do People With Bipolar Disorder Know They Have The Condition Before Getting Diagnosed
Sometimes. For example, Ayetoro had suspicions for years before officially being diagnosed in 2014.
I experienced what I thought were abnormal swings in mood from very high energy to very low energy for a very long time before. My moods would get so low that I was spending unusual amounts of time in bed depressed, she recalls. It was strange that this depression would follow periods of extremely high spirits.
She experienced two manic episodes before receiving her diagnosis. It was somewhat of a relief to put a name to what was with me, but then began the hard road to stability.
On the other hand, Howard was surprised to receive a diagnosis of bipolar I with psychosis at age 25. As for what made me believe I may have had an illness literally nothing. I was tricked into going to the hospital. Up until the moment I was admitted, I thought everything was normal. It was quite the shock.
Who would I be without bipolar disorder? Id love to find out, he adds. But harnessing my mind and using it to the best of my ability has been my lifes work.
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Did You Ever Try To Kill Yourself
SOMEONE I DIDNT KNOW ONCE ASKED ME THIS. It was at a really bad gig at a rundown club, and I honestly didnt think the night was going to sink any further. Then a friend-of-a-friend asked me this. Dont ask someone this. I mean, obviously do ask if you are friends and youre having a one-on-one heartfelt conversation four pints in, but, in general, I wouldnt ask this until youre 99.9% sure it wont make you a dick for asking this.
What Is Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a chronic or episodic mental disorder. It can cause unusual, often extreme and fluctuating changes in mood, energy, activity, and concentration or focus. Bipolar disorder sometimes is called manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, which are older terms.
Everyone goes through normal ups and downs, but bipolar disorder is different. The range of mood changes can be extreme. In manic episodes, someone might feel very happy, irritable, or up, and there is a marked increase in activity level. In depressive episodes, someone might feel sad, indifferent, or hopeless, in combination with a very low activity level. Some people have hypomanic episodes, which are like manic episodes, but less severe and troublesome.
Most of the time, bipolar disorder develops or starts during late adolescence or early adulthood. Occasionally, bipolar symptoms can appear in children. Although the symptoms come and go, bipolar disorder usually requires lifetime treatment and does not go away on its own. Bipolar disorder can be an important factor in suicide, job loss, and family discord, but proper treatment leads to better outcomes.
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