Bipolar Disorder as a Medical Condition…not just headspace based!!

ImageI have just managed to avoid a manic episode for the second month in a row.. My appendix got infected, and because of my hypomania, I was in agony all over my body without reprieve of rest nor sleep. 

Then being told that nothing was wrong with me, I assumed my pain etc was due to mental health and going on a new medication. Now after spending a week being filled with three different IV antibiotics, and trapped by protocol was not able to up my dose of Seroquel, which I really needed to double.. And although I requested psych consult three days on multiple occasions, it was only when I started to really lose it that I was heard, and seen.

the team were my knights in shining armour.. Preventing any more deprivation in my regimine. I must remember to make a hypomania treatment protocol for myself.. I’m mind mapping it after I finish my rant here!

i just had to share that Bipolar Disorder may be classified as a mental illness, however this is not the full story! It is a Medical Condition, which can literally kill, by putting your physical body on constant Red Alert Battlestations!! Starvation, malnutrition; sleep deprivation, misfire of the temperature and elimination of waste systems.. Inadequate management presents more than a (just) mental health and suicide or self harm risk of injury or death… Yet some medical practitioners seem to treat this diorder as either hypochondria, or secondary to primarily physical illnesses.

survivors of bipolar, we battle every day until we can’t fight anymore.. Then we rest, depressed, trying to recharge for the next battle… All the while, berating ourselves for being inadequate or lazy or..(insert negative refrain here!!)

so really, try and be understanding with yoursel and cultivate self kindness at every opportunity! To survive this Bipolar Disorder we need every coping mechanism we can develop.

A comment on the state of mental health care

What do you think of the state of mental health care in your area?

In Australia, we have access to public hospital mental health acute services, but jack all case management to prevent major episodes of illness. I get Medicare so I don’t have to pay for my psychiatrist visits, but I prefer my gp as he spends more time with me. My psych has to look at his notes during session to remember my name, he asks me what medication I’m on, when I asked him for help with a persistent depression he asked me what I thought was causing it, my transport is broken, I said, he said.. Well then you should get it fixed and you will be all better.

More patients need to become psychiatrists. There is more value in peer support and self help than in professional visits. We all need to stick together and bring light to the subject… Don’t be afraid to talk about your mental health, if we are brave in this way we can help alleviate the stigma attached to being mentally ill. I think that considering the mortality rate of bipolar, we should be given every aid in coming to grips with it. Do not let the doctors fob you off, if you are not getting help from your particular psych, switch. Unfortunately, there are only three choices for me and I’m on my third. And if I had health insurance it would only mean private hospital cover and no other benefits than I have already. Therefore, I believe strong strides in self- management and developing peer support networks is the new way we must pave to survive.

I would love to hear others’ opinions. How do you cope with mental health issues? What can be done to strengthen peer support networks and aid us in living productive, enjoyable lives?

Be well, live long and prosper.
Trudy