Jean Claude Van Damme. Catherine Zeta-Jones. Demi Lovato. Vincent van Gogh. Jenifer Lewis.
What do these five people have in common? They know how to live with Bipolar Disorder. Formally known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness causing dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to process thoughts.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies four types of bipolar illness:
- Bipolar I Disorder
- Bipolar II
- Bipolar Disorder “other specified” and “unspecified”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) illustrates Bipolar Disorder as follows:
Two of my Instagram buddies break down Bipolar Disorder in their own art forms. @bipolarnotes has a series of YouTube videos that allow an uninformed audience to view the mental illness through bipolar eyes. @the_bipolar_barbie is raw and authentic on her YouTube channel. She takes us with her through every experience she has, and puts Bipolar Disorder on a spectrum of eye opening perspective. I find them both to be simultaneously selfless, brilliant, and resilient through their struggles for expression. Here’s in inside look at Bipolar Disorder through their world.
Bipolar is something we often joke about with our Gemini friends, our Cancer friends when they seem extra moody, or anyone we know when their personalities seem to be on a rollercoaster ride. For those actually battling Bipolar Disorder every day, let us try to be more mindful of our nonchalant behavior towards their waging war.
It’s important that we pay attention to our behavior and the behavior of others. There is a lot to learn from actions and reactions when determining whether or not to seek help.
To learn more about the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, NAMI gives you the run down on their website.