No Cure for Bipolar Disorder

Hey, y’all –

I was thinking about this “no cure for bipolar disorder” thing. They say it’s a “lifetime illness.” But when I think of a lifetime illness, I think of something like diabetes, not bipolar disorder.

I think the word “illness” to us implies something physical, but the term “disorder” implies to us a mental illness.

Either way, we’re stuck with this – there is NO cure for bipolar disorder.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to let it get the best of us. We determine how that goes. The more control we have over our disorder, the less control it has over us.

Like other lifetime illnesses, we have medication that doesn’t cure us, but does control the symptoms of our disorder. As long as we take our medication religiously, we can stay stable.

Being stable means having a relatively normal life. Which, fortunately, we can have as long as we manage our bipolar disorder well.

It’s not like it’s a terminal illness with stages, like cancer, which will eventually kill us. Ours is a different type of illness. One with no cure, and yet one that doesn’t have to be that different than if we didn’t have it.

So we adhere to our medications, go to see our psychiatrists, therapists, and doctors, and do things like live a healthy lifestyle to manage ourselves and our disorder. We are actually the ones in charge, not the illness, because it can be managed.

We do what we can to keep ourselves healthy — both physically and emotionally. And each day we can wake up expecting that, “No, I won’t have a bipolar episode today.” Again, we are in control.

We do that by keeping mood charts and journals, watching our triggers, and being on the lookout for signs and symptoms of our bipolar disorder so that we can catch an episode before it even begins.

We also manage our disorder by having a good support system that is sort of a “reality check and balance” for us.

It’s ok for me that there is still no cure for bipolar disorder. I do the things I’ve talked about, and I’m stable. Each day doesn’t feel any different, like it would if I even had a broken foot. I am confident that as long as I do my part and manage my disorder to the best of my ability, the bipolar will take care of itself.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Michele

6 Responses to “No Cure for Bipolar Disorder”

  1. L.RabbitGirl says:

    “It’s not like it’s a terminal illness with stages, like cancer, which will eventually kill us.”

    I beg to differ.

    It most certainly can be terminal if left untreated.
    What is the percentage of successful suicides by bipolars?
    quotey quote time:
    “Suicide is the cause of death in up to 15% of patients with bipolar disorders, and about half of them make at least one suicide attempt in their lifetime. The suicide rate of (untreated) bipolar patients is 25 times higher than the same rate in the general population.”
    [http://www.springerlink.com/content/n15t71522n1k8137/]

    It’s well known that the suicide rate of bipolars is scary.
    It IS looking down the barrel of a gun if you don’t take your meds, and unfortunately, even if you do, your chances are still increase.

    Not to stomp all over hope or anything.

    But let us not beat around the bush and diminish the seriousness of the situation, hmm?

    Like your blog, by the way.

  2. Michele says:

    I stand corrected. I should have specified that I was referring to people with stable bipolar. You are right to bring up the suicide stats. Staggering, absolutely staggering. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I was diminishing the serious of the situation. I never meant to do that. I KNOW how serious this disorder is – I tried to kill myself 5 times, all because of my bipolar disorder. Thank you for clarifying things and for your comment.

  3. 6661 says:

    this illness cause me alot of pain and sometimes i wish i didn’t have it…. yes ,take your meds yet i still get sick it is so strong sometimes and hits me when i least expect it im tired of always fighting it. This illnes caused me some serious problems for one being young and untreated i end up becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol to self medicate….which now makes me dual diagnosed i have to take care of myself my kids my illness my recovery from drugs and alcohol hope to get the right help and anymore that;s running out . I would like there to be hope one day for a cure cause i feel it sucks to be me and i wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy.

  4. katrina says:

    i know what you mean it has hit me really bad i have done some really stupid things when my moods have hit and then i have had to deal with the consequences after and it is a bad thing to do. i have just found out that i got diagnosed when i was 12 but mine went untreated and i found my self wanting to shoot my self because of it.

  5. DC says:

    Meds work for some but not for me, Ive been prescribed every med out there and even the newer stuff as well and I get worse or have a serious reaction. We are a pill popping nation……….Everything will be better if you just take this……….that is alot of crap…………..12 years of suffering and life is like a broken record the same old stuff………Can they just be honest and say that they dont have a real solution at the moment and are diligently working on one instead of making me feel like the medication test subject………..this is not funny anymore.

  6. Emily says:

    Thank you for telling it like it is! If I have to read one more person telling me that bipolar can be treated or ‘cured’ with everything from positive thinking to fish oil I’m going to scream! We need medication to try and keep well and escape the hell that is bipolar something few people understand. I started a new college recently and when asked by a new friend why I had a huge gap since I was last in college (I was ill with a bad bipolar episode before I found a better mediation) when I explained that their response was, ” oh, cool you must be really creative then, wish I had something like that. Do you notice how all the great famous people have something like that…”. I almost fell off my seat! I couldn’t decide if this response upset me more or less than the girl who when I told her. Backed away from me, moved seats and whispered not to let me have scissors!
    In the end I had to laugh- perhaps ignorance is bliss!

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