The Roller-Coaster Ride of Bipolar Disorder

The Roller-Coaster Ride of Bipolar Disorder

A Story by Irfan Shah
"

An article of mine about bipolar disorder published recently in a newspaper.

"
‘A bizarre enigmatic mix of huge paradoxes’ is how his behaviour could be best described as. His mood swings were changing from utter melancholy to euphoric agony to ferocious aggression within seconds; and this " coupled with no sleep whatsoever " had been continuing since six weeks. Only after his relationships, career and health were seriously affected was when he got diagnosed as bipolar.

Bipolar disorder " a psychiatric disorder " causes unusual and damaging changes in patient’s moods, energy levels, ability to function, and judgement. Its one extreme ‘depression’ causes melancholic guilt and pessimism leading to non-functionality and even suicide. Its other extreme ‘mania’ may cause such euphoric grandiosity and ‘supermanly’ confidence that one may work endlessly on grand and irrational plans, spend irresponsibly, talk rapidly and constantly, have unconnected racing thoughts and ideas, have little need for sleep, and " due to increased libido " involve in promiscuous activities.

While bipolar-depression may be more responsible for (suicidal) deaths than mania, there have been cases when a manic person became so delusional that " believing he can fly " he jumped off a skyscraper.

Apart from the usual manic and depressive episodes there also exist other states of the illness such as the one described in the opening paragraph which depicts a typical mixed stage of the illness when mania and depression overlap each other.

Bipolar disorder and creative genius have been found to be strongly linked and even overlapped with several noted artists, poets, writers, etc suffering and perhaps even benefiting from it. Perhaps this is why several bipolar patients including international celebrities like Stephen Fry claim that if given a choice, they would still choose to live with their bipolar disorder illness.

While the typical and traditional treatment for bipolar disorder is the use of certain mood-stabilizing pills coupled with some others , it is necessary for patients to not only seek psychotherapy (such as CBT - "cognitive behavioral therapy") but adopt a positive, disciplined and healthy lifestyle consisting of good diet, regular exercise and meditation etc.

It is important to understand that the highs and lows of bipolar disorder " an incurable but treatable illness " are much more severe than normal mood swings.Perhaps that is why in terms of pain, disability and death, its impact is greater than that of HIV AIDS and ovarian cancer. The World Health Organization has found it to be the the 6th largest cause of disability.

Contrary to seemingly popular belief (and borderline stigma) prevalent about mental disorders, bipolar disorder does not occur primarily in weaker individuals nor is it a fault of the patient. Emphasizing that bipolar has no correlation with personality, Professor Allan Young, a distinguished researcher in the discipline at University of British Columbia says, “Early diagnosis and treatment are important because the condition impacts on so many aspects of a person’s life”. It is hence necessary to note symptoms of it in ourselves and our loved ones as soon as possible and to treat its patients with utmost care and respect.

"The writer Irfan Shah is a Bipolar Disorder Patient
The article is also available at my blog 'The Mystic's Muses' and at 'Daily News'.

PS: For my next piece, I am interviewing a psychiatrist about bipolar disorder. If you have any relevant questions, feel free to mail me here, or on facebook (www.facebook.com/irfanx), or via email syedirfanajmal AT gmail DOT  com . Thanks!

© 2011 Irfan Shah


Author's Note

Irfan Shah
Any suggestions or constructive criticism from you is welcomed and will help me for future writings.

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Featured Review

Irfan, this is well written :) It is great to be educated about such things....what we are told, is never the truth, it seems..it is always best to learn from someone who has suffered/experienced such things...they have first hand knowledge of what it is like after all!
This is educational and an eye opener for those who do not know what Bipolar disorder is!
Really interesting friend
xx

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Your post is incredibly brilliant - thoroughly relished going through the various veins in your ink ! Cheers, dear Irfan.

Posted 7 Years Ago


very informative and great transitions into quotes. I do not personally have bipolar disorder, but have other mental health illnesses, so I can relate. One thing that may or may not be appropriate is to appeal to the reader's emotions more; help make them understand on an emotional level, what the disorder is like, instead of being just so 'matter of fact'. Also, For your quotations, not sure if it's just the formatting on the page or not, but sometimes there are spaces after the first quotation mark in a quote...

Posted 8 Years Ago


Walaikum Salam Irfan,good work. What little experience i have of Bi-Polar , I think this condition is extremely complex.You are right I think many great artists live with Bi-Polar. It can be extremely debilitating and yet totally exhilarating and inspiring being around someone when they on a high.
A more holistic treatment is needed , family and friends often need counselling and advise on dealing with Bi-polar.
Wing the Highs and cruise on the downs my friend! Take care


Posted 9 Years Ago


Truth and trust are moral absolutes that writers such as us leave to the imagination of the reader, a great piece, well done

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I found this really interesting and it was very well written, very nice work!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I believe something can be fixed with drugs. I was a wild kid and wasn't able to be controlled. I learn with age and time to control my temper and never needed any drugs or to be treated different. My nephew had a bipolar disorder when he was young. He was on drugs. I took him off the drugs. I talks with him and gave him thing to keep his mind busy. He is fine. Very smart and hard headed. Sometime people need attention and activities. I did sports to release my bad energy. Thank you for the article. Doctors need not to use drugs as the cure. Try other things first. Drugs make the mind weaker.
Coyote

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Awesome piece, Irfan. And, thanks to years of practice of cognitive behavioral therapy, I no longer suffer from my diseases...most days, I enjoy them, because I no longer seek their counsel. As I tell my friends: Dissociative disorder means I always have another poet to speak with. I don't know if I would choose to have the disorders or not, but I can't imagine what it would be like to write without them.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Irfan, this is well written :) It is great to be educated about such things....what we are told, is never the truth, it seems..it is always best to learn from someone who has suffered/experienced such things...they have first hand knowledge of what it is like after all!
This is educational and an eye opener for those who do not know what Bipolar disorder is!
Really interesting friend
xx

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on May 23, 2011
Last Updated on May 23, 2011
Tags: Bipolar Disorder, Manic Depressive Illness, Article, Essay

Author

Irfan Shah
Irfan Shah

Islamabad, Pakistan



About
Hi all and Assalam o Alaikum (Peace be upon you) I am a novice author and poet. I have written a few poems, an article (so far) and I am also working on a short story. But my main aim it to be so pr.. more..

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