Opening the Conversation Gates for Mental Illness, particularly Bipolar Disease. #14

Let’s be honest with each other and have a tough conversation.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an emotional and/or mental health disorder, please know that you have NEVER been alone.

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Speaking from personal experience, I know that sometimes you may feel hopeless but if you give me a chance continue reading, my words could possibly shine some light in your dark and damp tunnel.

This conversation is to remind you that you are…Strong, Smart, Empowered, and Purposeful. STICK WITH ME AND I WILL EXPLAIN WHY I BELIEVE IN YOU.

If it is okay with you, I would like to discuss the most common and misdiagnosed disease, Bipolar Disorder.

First of all, there is absolutely NO QUICK FIX. If you are unaware, this is a mood disease that causes extreme emotional mood swings, from very high to very low. The high is termed: mania. The low is termed: depression. These mood swings typically impact all areas of life and the people around us.

Also, during these mood swings psychosis can occur. What is psychosis, YOU ASK? It is very simple. It is when a person has a loss of reality. Please understand that psychosis is a symptom, NOT A MEDICAL CONDITION. So, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STAY STRONG AND ALWAYS GET A PROFESSIONAL OPINION. Do not feel weak because accepting help gives you EMPOWERMENT. When you feel empowered, you live with greater PURPOSE.

There will be moments when you will feel angry and lost, that’s okay. Try to notice the signs, symptoms, and listen to your friends and family. This way, symptoms can be managed but remember…take baby steps. Also remember, they love you.

PARANOIA is a strong symptom of Bipolar Disorder. With paranoia a person exhibits exaggerated mistrust and suspicion. The suspicion is never based on facts and can lead to delusions. Depending on the severity of the person’s condition, an individual will feel nervous and defensive.

The clinical diagnosis of paranoia would require a Psychological understanding to evaluate the delusion and/or suspicion of other people. According to the American Psychological Association, the issue of paranoia relies on unreasonable mistrust that is not based on facts.

Now let’s be honest. The things we, as humans, say can either build someone up or break them down. You have heard the phrase, “Talk is cheap”, right? Well, it definitely pays to use positive words when speaking to someone. NEED I SAY MORE?…

Last but not least, know your rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is meant to protect people from any discrimination. It does not matter if the disability is mental or physical. Yes, the ADA law is very complex and you should always ask for legal advice if you have questions. Also, The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can come in handy if you need some time off work. This allows a person to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from work without any consequences.

If it’s okay with you, I would like to end our conversation reminding you that you are not your illness.

You are a human being. You have a mind, a body, a name, a personality, and a grand story to share with those who need it.

Above all, remember that I BELIEVE IN YOU and I am not the only one.

I am Katrina.

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