Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Please help me my child has bipolar disorder

The most popular question that I am asked by families of those who have mental illness is; "How can I convince my daughter (son) she has bipolar disorder and needs effective clinical  treatment for it?"  These care givers are often at the "end of their rope". They are are devastated that their loved one is undergoing a brain storm.  They want to know how they can help her and why are they so resistant to treatment.

I have bipolar 2 disorder and it is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact it gives me great empathy in helping others with brain and mood disorders. It also makes me more of an effective pastoral counselor in relating to those who are "branded" because of their awful painful disease.
Let us not be deceived, being a Christian does not make you or your family not have bipolar disorder.  With the risk of being called nonspiritual; I would like to give some educational points about it in the next few blogs. 

What is Bipolar disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness. It is also called manic-depressive illness. People with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy and “up,”and are much more active than usual. This is called mania.And sometimes people with bipolar disorder feel very sad  and “down,” and are much less active. This is called
depression. Bipolar disorder can also cause changes in energy and behavior.

Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and
downs everyone goes through. Bipolar symptoms are more
powerful than that. They can damage relationships and
make it hard to go to school or keep a job. They can also be
dangerous. Some people with bipolar disorder try to hurt
themselves or attempt suicide.People with bipolar disorder can get treatment.
With help, they can get better and lead successful lives.

Who develops bipolar disorder?

Anyone can develop bipolar disorder. It often starts in a person’s late teen or early adult years. But children and adults can have bipolar disorder too. The illness usually lasts a lifetime.

What causes bipolar disorder?
Several factors may contribute to bipolar disorder,
1. Genes, because the illness runs in families
2. Abnormal brain structure and brain function.

The causes of bipolar disorder aren’t always clear. Scientists
are finding out more about the disorder by studying it. This
research may help doctors predict whether a person will
get bipolar disorder. One day, it may also help doctor prevent the illness in some people.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Bipolar mood changes are called “mood episodes.” People may have manic episodes, depressive episodes, or “mixed” episodes. A mixed episode has both manic and depressive symptoms. These mood episodes cause symptoms that last a week or two—sometimes longer. During an episode, the symptoms last every day for most of the day. Mood episodes are intense. The feelings are strong and happen along with extreme changes in behavior and energy levels.

 People having a manic episode may:
 Feel very “up” or “high” Feel “jumpy” or “wired"
Talk really fast about a lot of different things.
Be agitated, irritable, or “touchy”
Have trouble relaxing or sleeping
Think they can do a lot of things at once and are more active than usual
 Do risky things, like spend a lot of money or have
reckless sex.

People having a depressive episode may:

Feel very “down” or  feel worried and empty
Have trouble concentrating
Forget things a lot
Lose interest in fun activities and become less active
Feel tired or “slowed down”
Have trouble sleeping
Think about death or suicide.

This material is from the NIMH of the United States.  It has no copyright.

Broken Minds was coauthored by Steve and Robyn Bloem and published by Kregel Publications
If you would like to view actual pages of the book please go to the link below.