Bipolar disorder: You are not alone

Every year more and more people struggle with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is an illness that produces dramatic swings in mood with other symptoms. A person with bipolar disorder will alternate between periods of mania and periods of depression. In between these two extremes, a person will have periods of normal mood. According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the U.S. population age 18 and older every year. Bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder completes suicide. Cite your source- you need to attribute where you learned this information


I have struggled with bipolar disorder since I was 14. My aunt, Lynn Trimmer, and my father, Mark DiVito who is no longer with us, have struggled with bipolar disorder as well. From my point of view and theirs as well, bipolar disorder affects or has affected our daily lives. Something as simple as sitting at a family function can be difficult because you never know what mood you will be in or how you will talk to somebody. Having bipolar disorder is simply like riding a roller coaster. You never know what's going to happen until it actually happens. This is not something that’s easy to deal with. One day you are on top of the world and other days you are in a dump and hate every part of yourself. 


Bipolar disorder is something that is taken too lightly. It can lead someone into feeling not normal or an outsider of the world, especially at a young age. According to Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, When manic, children and adolescents, in contrast to adults, are more likely to be irritable and prone to destructive outbursts than to be elated or euphoric. When depressed, there may be many physical complaints such as headaches, stomachaches, or tiredness; poor performance in school, irritability, social isolation, and extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure. More light needs to be shed on this disorder.


Everyday people struggle with this disorder but aren’t sure where to get help or who to talk to. From personal experience, start with someone who you trust to talk to first. Someone like a family member, a friend, teacher, or anyone who you look up to that you are comfortable with talking to is very important to have. If you feel that you have no one to talk to, there is a hotline. If you feel that you are in danger to yourself or others, I encourage you to call 911, but if you just need someone to talk to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is my recommendation. They can be contacted at  (800) 662-4357.  Questions like what are the symptoms of bipolar disorder, how is it treated, how else can I manage symptoms,  will I have to go to a treatment program, and how long does treatment last are great questions to understand more. Remember, you are not alone.

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