The Struggles of Treating Bipolar Disorder

The Struggles of Treating Bipolar Disorder

Just having the disorder is half the problem.
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Automatically whenever I say that I have bipolar people automatically assume that I go through seven different moods in one day. I enjoy educating people that it isn’t that simple. I go through episodes of hypomania (which means I’m very impulsive, excited, euphoric, I do have the occasional delusion and hallucination, etc.) and phases of depression (My symptoms are usually depersonalization, apathy, lack of motivation). These phases aren’t within days of each other. They’re usually in phases of weeks.

The problem with treating bipolar is that the only two choices of medications you can take are mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics. Also, when you experience bipolar, chances are that’s not your only problem. I also had to be on anti-anxiety medication and a sleep aid. And you have to find the perfect combination with the least amount of interactions. Some drugs can’t be mixed together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against therapy, there was a time in my life where I went once a week. But therapy alone doesn’t help mitigate the impact bipolar makes on your life.



My first problem with the medication is mostly the side effects. With any medication, there are going to be side effects. But with me, my anxiety causes me to have ridiculous hypochondria. Of course, when I’m on my anti-anxiety medication, I don’t worry so much about it. I study the side effects to watch out for, so when I notice one, I immediately freak out. These aren’t simple side effects like nausea or sleepiness. The symptoms I have to watch out for is sleep paralysis, seizures, bleeding from my nose, heart attack, etc.

The second problem I have with treating it is the stigma. A lot of people believe that I should give up medication and just use therapy and just use “holistic medicine”. They have a problem that medication doesn’t cure the illness. I agree. It doesn’t cure it. Right now there isn’t a cure. And for the most part, medication can help make it easier to deal with. Life is already hard enough, why not make it a little bit easier?

But regardless, the brain can be sick. If you think the brain can’t be sick, it’s probably because (drum roll) your brain isn’t sick. Just let people be because medication isn’t for everyone. So the three people who can cope without medication shouldn’t be the spokespeople for medication. And I swear, if anybody tells me I can get the same impact of my medication by eating 17 oranges in one day, I will throw a fit.

The absolute last problem I have is the cost. Some of my medications with insurance have been upwards of $50 a month. And that’s only one. Every month. Without insurance, it was around $600. I don’t have to explain how wrong that is. The price of mental health should not be this expensive. People should not have to struggle so hard every day just to pay the bills and their medication.

I was raised in a very supportive family that did not make me feel bad about having a mental illness. I have heard horror stories from friends that their parents completely reject the idea of mental illness as a whole. Dealing with a mental illness is hard but that’s only the half of it. We have to deal with the rest of the world against us at the same time.

Cover Image Credit: samadi

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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