People with bipolar disorder often feel so disheartened at times, because this is not a disease that one can be cured of. Those who live with bipolar disorder or with a family member who suffers from the illness know how important it is to reach out to the medical profession for help and understanding to deal with it, for it is a lifelong disorder. The three most significant reasons for seeking treatment are having a better understanding of the disorder, letting your loved ones know how they can help, and staying on the medication your doctor places you on to control the manic moods.
I had to ask my doctor three or four times if he was absolutely sure when he told me that I suffered from bipolar disorder. I had suffered from depression off and on for about 10 to 12 years before I had been diagnosed with the illness. Eight of those years I had been told that it appeared that I was going through the change of life and depression was part of it. I was placed on Prozac a number of times during the eight years. It helped for a while but was not effective when I had manic episodes.
Two years ago I finally received the help I needed to be treated for the disorder. I had decided to see another doctor to seek a second opinion as to why I had so much depression all the time. He talked with me for over an hour and a half about the moods and symptoms I have been suffering from. He referred me to another doctor who deals with bipolar disorders, because he wanted to make sure I had the disorder. When I met with the other doctor, he gave me several questionnaires to fill out in order to better understand what I had been dealing with over the years. When he confirmed what the other doctor had suspected, he took me off of the Prozac that I had been taking for the depression and put me on several new medications. After about eight weeks of being on the medication, I just could not believe how great I felt. What a change. The depression had left me, and I did not have the manic episodes that used to occur.
When having the manic episodes I would have several weeks of wild spending sprees, buying things I really could not afford or didn't need. After the manic episodes would come the depression and feelings of worthlessness. I started two home-based businesses and ran up credit cards to finance both businesses, only to close up the businesses after three or four months, having such feelings of being a total failure. I refused to be comforted by my husband, and for days on end I would refuse to go out anywhere or to see anyone at all. My husband suffered much from my disorder, but through it all he stayed right in there with me, encouraging me all the way. I thank the Lord God for giving me such a loving husband who has been there for me, showing me so much love and concern every day. I'm also thankful for the wisdom of the doctors who rescued me from such a debilitating lifestyle.
If you know someone you suspect of having bipolar disorder, read all you can about the disorder, gather all the facts, then lovingly talk with that person, assuring him or her of your concern and the desire you have to see that he or she receives proper help. The effects of bipolar disorder can be controlled, and one can live a very happy and fulfilling life by accepting help and staying on the medication a good physician prescribes for you. Medications vary—what works for one person may not work for another.
Always stay focused on the great Physician, our Creator, and let Him guide you on your quest of seeking the help you need to have a fulfilling and joyful life.