Bipolar Disorder

3 Jun

There is a plague that is currently ailing 222 million adults worldwide. It does not discriminate between wealthy and poor, white or black, men or women, educated or uneducated, and it is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world. In fact, 1 in 5 patients suffering from this epidemic will take their own lives to end the struggle.

It is bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that involves periods of excitability, also called mania, alternating with periods of depression. The “mood swings” between mania and depression can be very abrupt and disruptive to normal life.

The manic phase may last from days to months and can include the following symptoms: irritation, elevated mood, inflated self-esteem, racing thoughts, insomnia, poor temper control, violence, and reckless behavior, among others.

The depressed phase of bipolar disorder involves very serious symptoms that include: memory loss, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, sadness, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and withdrawal.

Bipolar disorder effects men and women equally, and it usually appears between ages 15 – 25. It is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, and since it is so easily misdiagnosed, most people with the disorder suffer through an average of 10 years of coping with symptoms before being accurately diagnosed, and then the process of experimenting with dozens of drug cocktails begins.

The reality of this disorder is horrific. Those suffering from the disorder have nightmarish hallucinations, claw violently at their bodies, and scream in frustration. They often are kept up late into the night, unable to quiet their racing minds. Often, they resort to drinking themselves into a stupor, and tragically are at high risk for getting into trouble with the law, car accidents, and even death. In many cases, patients are put on medications that rob them of their personalities, more often than not leading them to avoid taking them. Sadly, bipolar disorder can also lead to violence, destroying marriages, relationships, and families. It also can be detrimental to the person’s ability to hold down a job and be a productive, functioning member of society.

But God has a promise for His children. He tells us in John 16:33, that

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! For I have overcome the world.”

God has made his children overcomers, in His very image, fully capable of regaining control over our lives and minds through His help. I believe our God is forgiving, compassionate, and mighty to save. I believe that His heart breaks for those suffering from this devastating mental illness, and that whether it is in this life or the next, He will restore the mind of every believer, making it fully healed and entirely whole.

I urge you to pray. I beg you to hit your knees in intercession for those struggling to regain control of their mind. Pray for those who have lost hope of ever feeling “normal,” of ever being able to be a healthy and functioning member of society. The prayers of the saints are powerful.

But I also urge you to do more than pray. I urge you to get to know someone with bipolar disorder and listen to their story. Let their pain touch your heart, and encourage them. Be educated, be prayerful, and be involved.

For more information about bipolar disorder, please check out the following websites:

www.bipolartreatmentinfo.com

www.nimh.gov



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