Skip to comments.Having BIPOLAR vs. Being BIPOLAR
Posted on 07/31/2009 1:25:45 PM PDT by YaZhynka
HAVING BIPOLAR vs. BEING BIPOLAR (excerpt from the book, "Blessed With Bipolar: 36 God-Given Gifts of Manic Depression)
I have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder does not have me. Bipolar disorder is not, my identity. It is not who I am. Bipolar disorder impacts my personality, emotions, and behavior. It does not dictate what I think, believe, say, or do.
There are blessings that come with having bipolar disorder. Being bipolar, on the other hand, would be nothing but a burden.
If I think of myself as being bipolar (or of bipolar as being my being), then I am controlled by it. I cannot then be anything but bipolar. And not even I (who have embraced the benefits of having bipolar) want to be bipolar all of the time without any choice to ever be otherwise.
So, who is bipolar? The one who says, I am bipolar.
And the one who has bipolar disorder is the one who commands, I have bipolar disorder, but it does NOT have me. It is a matter of how I choose to view myself in relation to the disorder.
This may seem like an inconsequential semantic distinction, but think of how powerful it is to say, I am bipolar. What is that person actually saying? I am this mental illness and this mental illness is me. I am never not, and will never not, be this madness. Or, to take it a step further into defining oneself: My entire identity is completely wrapped up in continuing to be bipolar disorder. Now, lets get extreme. How about this? I am the living breathing, walking, talking, physical, mental, and spiritual personification of bipolar disorder.
To say, I have bipolar disorder, however, is to say: Yes, I do have this mental and emotional trait about me that is different than what most people experience. A lot of it is a real challenge and has made life very difficult for periods of time (some long periods of time), but I have found that there are some things about this condition that do benefit me. Yes, it is a challenge that may always be in my life, but I can deal with it. I can be successful. It does not control what I think, what I believe, what I say, or what I do.
Bipolar disorder is an unavoidable fact of my experience. I have it. It is a part of my life everyday of my life. But my identity (the person whom I am never not) is who I am in Jesus Christ. When I take bipolar disorder and its impact on my personality, thinking, and behavior and submit it to Christ, bipolar disorder is transformed. The Holy Spirit transforms the disorder and He transforms me. He, in His infinite wisdom and power, has used the disorder as He uses all things to make me more like Christ.
If I say, I am bipolar disorder, then I cannot take control of it and surrender it to Christ. If I have bipolar disorder, then I can do anything I want with it. I have it. It does NOT have me!
I long dated someone with the disorder. It is a fairly straightforward medical problem, easily diagnosed, easily addressed. The problem is the horrible mess it makes before diagnosis & treatment, and the lingering effects of that mess, and the ongoing need to never ever miss meds. The question is which is in control: you or it.
On a tangent: I had heart surgery last year. Did it, it’s done, yes it’s a factor in my life but I manage what needs managing and go on. What amazes me is how some people _live_ it, talking about being a “survivor” decades later and attending support meetings and subscribing to post-surgery magazines and ... etc. Again, the question is which is in control: you or it.
You make it sound a lot simpler than my experience of “bipolar” in a loved one.
What book? Only link to that title in Google is this post.
Admittedly, I oversimplified it (as posts tend to be short).
However, I did glean that amidst all the complexities of it, it really did come down to straightforward diagnosis and treatment; it was the psycho/socialogical aftermath of the problem, cleaning up the mess, that made it all so difficult & painful.
IMO any mental illness cannot be put in a box.
There are degrees and other factors that make an illness be that person or the person who happens to be with that illness.
I have known folks who cant manage to function to the point of being a danger to themselves or others and I have known folks who because of a pronounced mental challenge are extremely productive in a good way like laying hard wood floors as an art and making a great living at it (just an example).
Point being is illnesses dont come with a one size fits all.
Being biPolar is not being "nuts" - that is an unfortunate reference based on ignorance. I have a son who is biPolar and there is nothing whatsoever funny about it. FWIW, I am the coordinator for the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family education program in my local community. If anyone here has a loved one diagnosed with a serious mental illness, I urge you to contact NAMI and learn about this program. F-2-F is a 12 week course designed to help family members of those with mental illness. It's a very worthwhile program. Sorry for the blatant plug.
Reading the post I detect a wiff of manic phase....
I am of the conviction that mental disorders and illnesses have a spiritual component, and that faith in Christ and the discipline of Christian living does help. I can’t prove it, I just suspect it is so as I have gotten to know many mentally ill people over my lifetime. Your post seems to support this.
“You make it sound a lot simpler than my experience of bipolar in a loved one.”
I second that.
Bump for later.
A whiff? More than that said I.
Do not just post part of my reply.
I think the doctors of psychology could diagnose every living human with some sort of disorder to a certain extent.
The problem is when these disorders affect a person’s duties to feed and clothe themselves and their interactions with others in a negative way.
Having a big brain compared to the rest of the animals has a trade off. You can see it on the farm, the Cow that always gets out of the best build fences is brilliant in her own right, but she can also be temperamental and you never know when she might decide to charge you.
IMPO (P = professional), bipolar disorder is not hard to diagnose, but the only consistently effective treatment is psychotropic medication. The meds put individuals in a sluggish state. Hence, many bipolars stop taking their meds to get the "manic" high. That's when they can be very destructive of self and others.
It may be treated as a straightforward medical problem, but the current treatment options are limited and in need of further development. If the pharma companies are allowed to do R&D under Obama and the Democrats, there may be hope for better medications. Otherwise ...
I’ll check google. It is available on Amazon.
Do not just post part of my reply.
“I think the doctors of psychology could diagnose every living human with some sort of disorder to a certain extent.”
Read the course description of any college psych program. They ALL peg 1 in 5 - 60 Million Americans - as having a “Diagnosable Mental Disorder”. They’re ALL corrupted by Pharmaceutical money.
The national HQ of NAMI gets 56% of its money from drug makers. And those Drugs are not ‘Meds’. They’re Virulent Neuro Toxins. Half a Billion of FDA’S $2.2 Billion budget comes from the Drug makers as ‘User Fees.’
Check the FDA Adverse Event Reports @ psychdrugdangers.com
Check the Newspaper reports @ ssristories.com
It took FOIAS to dig those AE reports out of FDA. The FDA labels are a joke. Dr Charles Nemeroff (a leading psych Depression Researcher) from Emory University in Atlanta took $2.8 Million in Personal Drug Co. payments between 2000 - 2007. The whole field is Lousy with payoffs, to write Junk Research which the FDA with its Half a Billion from the makers, is only too happy to swallow.
None of those chemicals belong in a dying dog. 48 school shootings have been tied to SSRIs. The antipsychotics, if one Stays on them, take 25 Years off a persons life.
The Science behind Diagnosing those disorders is 100% non-existent. The Chemical Imbalance is Advertising Hype. There is No way to measure the amount of Serotonin in a living brain. The Genetic Research into Mental Disorders is Pure Crap, with absolutely Nothing to show in over 100 years.
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