Living With Bipolar Disorder E36

Podcast episodes on Health & Wellness | 0 comments

Written by #WWR

November 4, 2022
Co-hosts Sareta and Chioma were joined by Jade Sullivan, Writer and Black Activist, Freelance Marketing & Advertising Consultant, Stylist and Founder of The New Ancestors UK Collective, and Outreach Manager at  Brixton Finishing School.

Episode 36 of Women Who Rebrand – The Podcast is honest, raw, and straight to the point, much like Jade. She shares her experiences as a Black Woman in the UK and breaks down the misconceptions about the disorder.

In the past, Jade has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983. From a first-hand account, she explains the difference between private and NHS institutions, including the facilities, level of care and treatment. As someone affected by mental health issues, she feels that most people process her rather than listen, which can lead to unnecessary outcomes.

The common problem of lack of trust in medical practices and practitioners among many people from the Black community has played a part in Jade’s story. The ladies draw attention to Jades’ experiences, and it doesn’t take much to realise why some hesitate to reach out for help or support.

Does the behaviour of celebrities with Bipolar influence the media’s perception of the disorder? Ye has recently been embroiled in controversy after sharing some controversial statements. Is he going through a state of mania? Is he giving people with the disorder a bad name? The ladies break it down, and Jade opens up about connecting and possibly understanding Ye’s public meltdowns.  

Imagine, like, an album, speeded up…and you can’t turn it off.” –Jade Sullivan

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. People with bipolar disorder have episodes of:

  • Depression – feeling very low and lethargic
  • Mania – feeling very high and overactive

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder depend on which mood you’re experiencing. Unlike simple mood swings, each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks (or even longer).

Symptoms – Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterised by extreme mood swings. These can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression). Episodes of mania and depression often last for several weeks or months.

Depression

During a period of depression, your symptoms may include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless or irritable most of the time
  • Lacking energy
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
  • Feelings of guilt and despair
  • Feeling pessimistic about everything
  • Self-doubt
  • Being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Waking up early
  • Suicidal thoughts

Mania

The manic phase of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Feeling very happy, elated or overjoyed
  • Talking very quickly
  • Feeling full of energy
  • Feeling self-important
  • Feeling full of great new ideas and having important plans
  • Being easily distracted
  • Being easily irritated or agitated
  • Being delusional, having hallucinations and disturbed or illogical thinking
  • Not feeling like sleeping
  • Not eating
  • Doing things that often have disastrous consequences – such as spending large sums of money on expensive and sometimes unaffordable items
  • Making decisions or saying things that are out of character and that others see as being risky or harmful
living with bipolar

Patterns of Depression and Mania

If you have bipolar disorder, you may have episodes of depression more regularly than episodes of mania, or vice versa. Between episodes of depression and mania, you may sometimes have periods where you have a “normal” mood.

  • The patterns are not always the same and some people may experience: Rapid cycling – where a person with bipolar disorder repeatedly swings from a high to a low phase quickly without having a “normal” period in between.
  • Mixed state – where a person with bipolar disorder experiences symptoms of depression and mania together; for example, overactivity with a depressed mood.
  • If your mood swings last a long time but are not severe enough to be classed as bipolar disorder, you may be diagnosed with a mild form of bipolar disorder called cyclothymia.

Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a condition of extremes. A person with bipolar disorder may be unaware they’re in the manic phase. After the episode is over, they may be shocked at their behaviour. But at the time, they may believe other people are being negative or unhelpful.

Some people with bipolar disorder have more frequent and severe episodes than others. The extreme nature of the condition means staying in a job may be difficult, and relationships may become strained.

There’s also an increased risk of suicide.

During episodes of mania and depression, someone with bipolar disorder may experience strange sensations and hallucinations. They may also be delusional. These types of symptoms are known as psychosis or psychotic episode.

Depression

You may initially be diagnosed with clinical depression before you have a manic episode, which can often come years later. After which you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

During an episode of depression, you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, which can potentially lead to thoughts of suicide. If you’re feeling suicidal, read about where to get urgent help for mental health.

Written by #WWR

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