The beautiful and talented Catherine Zeta Jones recently disclosed she is being treated for Bipolar II disorder, a psychiatric condition that is less severe than bipolar I.
It's estimated one out of every 40 Americans has one of the two types of bipolar disorder, which translates into about six million people. Of course the struggle with bipolar affects many more millions of people because the friends, neighbors, co-workers, and especially family members of the bipolar person also suffer.
Here are some of the telltale signs of bipolar disorder. Keep in mind that if a person exhibits these symptoms they probably won't see what everyone else thinks is obvious, so they will deny that they have a problem. As difficult as it may be, it is crucial that people who exhibit signs of bipolar get properly diagnosed and treated. If they don't get help, they may harm themselves or others.
1.) People with bipolar disorder have unpredictable, severe mood swings, most of the time with normal moods in between. The "up" phase, or the "manic" phase, is marked by increased energy, happiness, and restlessness.
When you talk to them, you'll notice they jump from subject to subject and talk very quickly. Even though they have loads of energy, they require very little sleep during these manic phases.
2.) Unfortunately, manic phases are often marked by poor judgment, which results in reckless behavior. People may go on spending sprees or engage in other irresponsible behavior, including sexual.
This stems from an unrealistic belief in their own abilities and powers. They have feelings of invincibility and a sense of grandeur. People experiencing mania are often irritable and distracted, and have difficulty concentrating, which can pose problems especially at work.
People in manic phases often abuse alcohol and drugs, particularly cocaine and sleeping pills.
3.) The flip side to the manic phase is the depressive phase. In fact, a bipolar person used to be called, "manic depressive."
At its worst, the depressive state can be deadly. A high rate of people who are bipolar commit suicide. Sadly, many of these people could have been saved had they been diagnosed or treated.
During the depressive stage, the person experiences symptoms that are pretty much the opposite of the manic stage.
- The person has very low energy.
- They feel sad, empty, and are filled with despair.
- They feel overly pessimistic, guilty worthless and helpless.
- They no longer enjoy the things they used to, such as sex.
- They sleep a lot. Strangely, they may also not sleep much at all.
- They may experience chronic pain, discomfort, and other bodily symptoms with seemingly no known causes.
- They may be very forgetful and have difficulty concentrating and making decisions.
I applaud Catherine Zeta Jones for revealing her battle with depression. It's important to remove the stigma associated with bipolar and other types of depression.
Some of the notable people who have suffered from depression include Abraham Lincoln, Vincent Van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe and Edgar Allen Poe.
Christians, especially should not be afraid to get help for depression. In fact, two great men of the church, Martin Luther and Charles Spurgeon, spoke of their frequent battles with despondency.
Several biblical characters also spoke of it, such as Moses, Job, Elijah, Jonah and Jeremiah.