May 19, 2017: Continuation on Bipolar

Hello to Everyone!
It has been a month since I touched base on Bipolar Disorder.  If you have been following..things have been changing over the last couple of weeks.  For that, I thank you for your patience.
What is the cause of Bipolar Disorder?  Back in 2008 by the Hazelden Foundation, the exact cause of bipolar disorder was unknown.  However, it was believed that the biological, genetic and environmental factors contributed to its onset.  (MNT) posted an article back in August 2016 reviewed by a Timothy J. Legg, PMHNP-BC, GNP-BC, CARN-AP,MCHES.  Bipolar is a mental disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, with fluctuations in eery and activity levels.  Well Dang, I could have told you that, and I don’t have several letters following my name.
During these episodes of abnormal shifts, the patient commonly finds it difficult to complete everyday tasks.  Bipolar disorder used to be known as manic-depressive illness.  Bipolar disorder can seriously destroy relationships, as well as careers.  The American Psychological Association say that the emotional shifts can become so overwhelming that individuals may choose suicide.
I can only speak for myself when I state this…  This was me.  Most of 2014 was a complete blur to me.  With rumors & finally knowledge that the company in which I worked for was closing its doors on May 30, 2014.  With more than a 100 + attempts to find a job, nothing surfaced.  My unemployment ran out the second week before Christmas.  By this point, I was drinking like a fish.  My mood swings were so frequent, that lead to my engagement ending the day after Christmas.  By the beginning of 2015, that’s when my phone wouldn’t stop ringing in regards to employment.  However, by that time, I was very depressed.  Months went by with this feeling of regret, depression and certainly no self-worth.  By March 2015, I was seriously contemplating suicide.  All I could think about was suicide, and how I would go about it.  Towards the middle of Summer 2015, I was so far gone.  I was timing trains.  Train locations.  I was thinking of hanging myself.  I was drinking 24/7 and popping Tylenol PM’s like tic-tacs, and praying that I wouldn’t wake up.  That became a nightly routine.  Then, I would wake up again even more depressed.  My ex-fiance didn’t and/or wouldn’t even try to understand what was happening to me.  Heck, who could blame him?  If I didn’t understand what was happening to me, how could I expect him to understand?  By August 16, 2015, I was taken away by my mother & aunt and brought to Robert Wood Johnson/Somerset Hospital in Somerville, NJ.  It was there, that I learned I had Bipolar 2 disorder along with severe depression.  I had never even heard or knew anything about bipolar disorder.  The depression part of the deal was no shock to me.  Hell, I couldn’t stop crying for days on end.  I had lost everything.  
It wasn’t until I went to Richard Hall Mental Health Center, Bridgewater, NJ., did I learn that I did not just have bipolar disorder, but I had suffered from PTSD (Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder), OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), Insomnia, severe depression, and Anxiety disorder.  A grand potpourri of illnesses.  Yippie to me!!  However, I learned I was not alone.
Bipolar disorder has nothing to do with the ups & downs we all experience in life; it is much more severe, debilitating, and incapacitating.  Fortunately, it is treatable, and with proper care and the right medication, patients can perform well at work and academically and lead a full, productive life.
Causes of bipolar disorder:  Most experts agree that bipolar disorder has no single cause.  It is more likely the result of many factors acting together.  Genetics have indicated that it could be a contribution to bipolar disorder.  Biological traits, Brain-chemical imbalance, Hormonal problems, Environmental factors can cause bipolar disorder.
Symptoms of bipolar disorder:  A feeling of being on top of the world.  (Not with Leonardo DiCaprio), but feelings of exhilaration, or euphoria.  Over-self-confidence, an inflated sense of self-esteem.  The patient’s judgement may be impaired.  A patient talks a lot, and very rapidly.  Thoughts come and go quickly (racing thought).  Sometimes, bizarre ideas come to a patient’s mind, and they are acted upon.  In this phase, the individual may be extremely aggressive.  The patient can be easily distracted.  Missing school and/or work.  A feeling of gloom & doom, blackness, despair, and hopelessness.   Anxiety over trivial things.  Guilt, a feeling of everything that goes wrong or appears to be wrong is their fault.  Extreme tiredness, and fatigue. Low attention span.
There are so many factors, the list can go on and on.
Since my diagnoses, I have gone through outpatient programs.  I have had one on one therapist meetings.  I  joined an Anxiety Group.  But, most importantly…  I have educated myself, in order to understand what I am going through.  There are still factors of my illness that I still don’t quite understand, but at least I am trying.  
Until my next entry…  Stay strong, and utilize coping skills.  I will get into that a bit more the next time around.
Take care of yourself,

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