Two weeks ago, popular Furious Seasons blogger Philip was in Florida giving a talk about bipolar disorder. He was asked a question he couldn’t get into the kind of answer he felt the question deserved at the time, so he posted his answer today on …

15 Comments to
Is Bipolar Disorder a Dangerous Gift?

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  1. I absolutely feel bipolar disorder is a multi-faceted “gift” for myself! Let me clarify by saying I am not being flippant as I know it IS a dangerous disorder when Tx recommendations are not complied with.

    I was dx at age 34 & I am now 44. I suspect I had bipolar disorder undiagnosed at LEAST by age 20 – due to my manic/depressive cycles. As a result I lost my childhood sweetheart/husband & went into cycles of mania & depression for 5 yrs. That’s the danger…I never got into legal trouble, but my finances & emotional life reflected the hell.

    Now that I’m dx & comply with meds & TRY very hard to take care of myself, I am not ashamed & people seem to gravitate to my compassion for others. I have many friends who call me “colorful & vivacious”. Believe me – I need the self-esteem boost every now & then..

    I am NOT discounting the fact other people with bipolar suffer with far worse symptoms & to a greater degree. My heart & support reach out to them!

    Sincerely,
    Matha (from Alabama)

  2. Society needs to have a better understanding about Bipolar.
    There are too many people who do not know what it really is, and what it does to those who have it.
    A lot of people do not realize just how many have Bipolar.
    There has to be more education and awareness about this disorder.
    Then there will be a better tomorrow.

    George Vreeland Hill

  3. my daughter moved here to go to college and has met a young man who has been diagnosed bi-polar. my question is can this young man be a physical threat to my dayghter and what would trigger such an event?
    i have a heightened sense of concern as my younger sister was murdered by her boyfriend 3 years ago. we do’nt know his mental history, but he did kill himself also

  4. I guess its just ignorance but I get offended when i read comments like the one above. Bipolar & death in the same paragraph…..It’s amazing how we have so much technology yet we still live in the dark ages. But not once did she stop and ask why is her daughter atrracted to this “Bipolar” This is coming from someone who is a bipolar widow, and he never tried to kill me as he was bipolar himself but he did take his own life. I made decisions that led up to this point and i wish more people would stop blaming the mentally ill when something goes wrong and start being responsible for their own decisions. Like your daughter choosing to date someone who is Bipolar!!

  5. Geesh Kasi, the man was asking a question for clarification. I am married to a man with bipolar. And to answer your question Steve, with people who suffer with manic/depressive swings, there is always a chance of violent outbursts. The question is whether that violence will be projected inward or outward. People with bipolar will have these swings even if they are medicated. The key is learning how to respond and when to see the triggers. Making the right decision when a person suffering from bipolar is having a manic moment can be the key to the outcome. It’s a choice. And she must face the reality of her choice to be with a person with this disorder. there will be pain, and there will be hurt, but nothing two adults can’t handle, if that’s their choice.

  6. I think bipolar disorder is a whole lot more dangerous then they want people to know. They don’t want to tell you it’s out and out dangerous because of the “stigma”, but that line of thinking can ultimately lead to some serious DENIAL about the reality of the situation in some cases.

    Some cases are definitely DANGEROUS, and those people should not be near anyone. They should be in a mental hospital and kept there and forced to take their meds. They have no business carrying on lives with children or making spouses and family members victims of their useless fits.

    We are not PAID to die, or to put up with these extreme cases. If you are a person who is dealing with someone that is dangerous, by all means, don’t just listen to how “safe” they are all the time. They won’t take their meds, be CAREFUL cause they will kill you. Make no mistake.

  7. All preconceived ideas and obviously all conflicting.
    I am 24, was diagnosed with the disorder but
    I would certainly not kill anyone! There are
    really good Successful people with the condition. Still there was a 1 comment which really struck me. (obviously not the murdering thing!) We can tell it was truthful, and not meant to conflict.
    thanks x

  8. People need to do research and quit coming up with preconceived notions about people with bipolar.

    There are other people who don’t have the disorder who are dangerous and kill people. What’s the difference?

    I’m bipolar and I can’t even kill a cockroach much more a person. Dead bodies and funerals freak me out; so based on that would it make sense for me to kill anyone?

  9. I have finally had enough of dealing with my soon to be ex who was diagnosed as bipolar by a trained psychologist(and adhd, ocd, among other things) and asked him to leave.
    He was stealing adhd meds from my kids (he had generic adderrall) but he stole theirs. He also acquired xanax.
    Apparently just taking these meds weren’t good enough for him, he snorted them.
    Our five year old daughter found them within days of his leaving along with his razor he used to cut the drugs and the cut straw with residue on it.
    Last year I helped him get a pardon for what I thought was only vehicular homicide. (He had been out with a friend watching a game, drinking beer & eating wings. He fell asleep and rear-ended a car killing his friend).
    In order to receive his pardon he had to have a psychological exam and a psychiatric exam. He didn’t like the results of either.
    After we spent thousands of dollars, he had to go to each and every police station in every city, town and county to gather all of his arrest records. I composed a letter begging for a pardon.
    But that was the beginning of the end.
    I had written a book about my childhood abuse and it was published. He refused to read it even after all that I had done for him.
    He got his pardon (apparently I’m a better writer than I gave myself credit) and he thought he was home-free. But after having found out all the things he had done, I was sick and wanted out of the marriage.
    The more success I got from my writing whether through people reading about it, my editor, etc. the angrier he became.
    This summer he started cutting himself. He also said he heard voices telling him to “do bad stuff” but he didn’t do what they said.
    His mood shifted quicker than sand falling through an hourglass…and he was never the blame for anything that ever happened.
    This past September he was fired for stealing & for violation of OSHA rules (the second time in 6 months).
    He then got worse…more mood swings, more anger, more crazy behavior.
    He was shown the door when he said demons in his closet came out at night to speak to him…that was it. We had separate rooms for over a year at this point.
    I went downstairs & brought up several trash bags. He left the way he came…with his stuff in trash bags.
    He screamed at our 10 year old telling him I was going to make him sleep in his car & he would probably die so he would never see him again.
    He was going to live at his mom’s house. She has 5 bedrooms & she also has 9 rental homes, an efficiency apartment and several trailers she rents out.
    Our son had an asthma attack afterward and never wants to see or talk to him. I am taking him for counseling.
    Right after my ex was fired our 5 year old was diagnosed with 2 life threatening diseases. We couldn’t receive any medicaid because my ex had been arrested for distribution of drugs unbeknown to me.
    If she had cut herself on his razor blade it could have caused her serious harm.
    He constantly calls or texts wanting to come & see the kids. I let him visit several times a week until our 5 year old said he stole medicine (adderrall) from her sister’s suitcase (she was visiting for Christmas).
    He doesn’t think he has any issues at all & accuses me of being a “control freak”.
    He was also arrested for punching an officer who tried to break up a fight he was in “just for fun”. His defense was that he didn’t know it was a cop.
    This is the “fun” late night reading of his pardon that I’ve done to find out that the man I married is a complete stranger & very dangerous.
    Bipolar can probably be treated if someone wants to take the correct meds & receive counseling.
    However, when someone self-medicates, lies, cheats, steals, etc. at some time you get to a point where you say enough is enough.
    His mother, sister & nephew were diagnosed as bipolar last year as well. So, genetics play a role, but I believe so does environment.
    I’m leaving as soon as I possibly can. I don’t want anything from him except to be left alone.
    I’m afraid he’ll “zero out” & try to take everyone out before he kills himself.

  10. My daughter is 31yo. She has always been a little on the heavy side and had not had much attention from men. We were always very close until recently; she has met a man that has been diagnosed as “Bipolar”. He has 2 large dogs and she has a small dog. Since they have been together he has put her dog on an extreme diet. Her dog has gone from 25lbs to 12 lbs in 3 months. Not the other dogs who are stocky. He puts a shock collar on her for if she barks. His pit bull always beats up my daughter’s dog but if the dog tries to protect herself she gets shocked by the collar. Now he is putting a large “Pinch Collar” on the small 12 lb dog. He is a 240lb man. I had bought the dog as a gift for my daughter 6 years ago, I have the sister. This is breaking my heart for the small dog who is very loving and loyal to my daughter. My daughter does nothing to protect the dog. I asked if I can take the dog back and he writes “The dog is mine forever” then says “I had a special shock vest made for her”. I think the guy is a total Nut Case, but I am even more disappointed that my daughter is condoning this behavior. I think he has more going on than just being Bi-Polar I think he is Psychotic! She has suddenly become very ugly to me writing very nasty letters to me when I tell my concern about the dog, I don’t even recognize her. I was told the guy was put into a military boys school when he was about 9 and left ther till he was an adult which makes me wonder what may have caused them to “drop and run”. Even photo’s of him are concerning, he has a “crazy look in his eyes” that everyone talks about. What do you all think?

    • My heart goes out to you ma’am. Bipolar, I think is not the same thong for all those who have it. Forces we cannot see are behind things and I cannot tell you what. To be brief, I wish things work out wonderfully in the end for both your daughter and yourself :). I’ll keep you in my thoughts regarding this sincere matter of yours. Take care.

  11. bipolar to me seems like it can easily be mistaken of schizophrenia… the both illnesses have the same effects althou in not all cases … people with bipolar illness .. we’ll around them we must look out for ourselves and them also .. they can be dangerous, but just like every normal person too … any mentally ill cases can be much more harm to only themselves and not anyone else… which we have to remember ….

  12. Knowing that you don’t know. Respect the humanness of uncertainty. Knowing people leads to wisdom. Knowing others leads to enlightenment. Ever-changing paradigms. Fluctuations of the simultaneous workings of the parts of the universe in tandem to create the unity of the whole and vice versa (alpha & omega). Etc. Such thinking comes from openness in thinking and not claiming authority (humility). I thus like Thomas Jefferson’s view on Jesus Christ and how his direct words are the ones we need care to focus on. The rest are inspired, but a far cry from what is basic. Ah, basic core knowledge is perhaps the best? You decide. bipolar people are open minded people in many cases and this can a great thing of they use the realizations streaming in from the interpolated bits of gleaned knowledge here and there that match up logically with evidence to the further enlightenment of not just themselves, but the world. But this is subjective opinion. Any consensus is what I’d call “subjective fact”…is that not by definition what the essence of consens(e)us is?

    • I just want to remind everyone that is completely ignorant of two things. If you look up the statistics on the number of murders caused by a specific race (wont tell you which one) in the United States and compare that to the number of murders caused by people that have been released from mental hospitals and almost everyone in a mental hospital now days has some form of bi-polar diagnosis(its like the new ADD of twenty years ago) you will find that when you compare the statistics that certain race is a much higher risk and you cant group races together just like you cant group bi-polar people together. You must judge a man or women one at a time anybody who does otherwise is a peawit. 24% of New York City is (blank) and they account for 61% of the murders in the city. 7.5% of New York City has been documented as having a mental health problem and mentally ill people only account for 4.3% of murders in the United States. I used New York stats as a somewhat representative sample of the United States. Mentally Ill people probably account for very close to 4.3% of the murders in New York. So that means that a certain race in New York that makes up a quarter of the population is involved in over half of the murders while 7.5% of the population that is mentally ill and the targets of all your insults only account for 4.3%… The mentally ill would have to be responsible for atleast 15% of all murders in the city to be close to as destructive as this specific race is. SOOO are you saying that we should target this specific race and not let our sons and daughters date them and maybe we should take away their right to bear arms as well (Keep in mind anyone diagnosed with bi-polar disorder cannot buy firearm accept in Colorado and I think maybe New Mexico). The fact is Bi-Polar is still not understood by any sense of the word and I know for a fact that when I start to go on the manic side I am way more productive than anyone that is “normal” because I get way more productive than I ever was and I was a 3.8 gpa student at one of the best business schools in the country before I had my first break and diagnosis. Lets also not forget that our most beloved president Abraham Lincoln was bi-polar as well as the first successful pilot to take the USA to the moon beating Russia. Ignorant remarks like this almost make me regret that my people ever helped contribute to society. In the end science will prove that true bi-polar people are the most gifted people in the world and will find a medicine that allows us to perform at our highest manic state without ever going overboard. I know I will be alive to see that day because medical advancements are growing at a astonishing rate and I can’t wait for people to realize just how ignorant they have been. I do give you that it can be a dangerous gift because it is not fully understood and people should always stay on their meds but it is a gift not a disease time will tell.

    • If the only gift I have from this was the ability to be unjudgemental, I would be eternally grateful.

      The range of emotion and experience is humbling.

  13. There are times when this illness really helps me create music. I just wish I had a switch to turn it on whenever I wanted. I’m learning to ‘feel’ it out now though, so that I can optimize the times of mania that I long for.

  14. Comment by Wendy on 30 October 2012:

    I was diagnosed with bipolar “disorder” when I was in my 30s. I am now 47 and was able to come out of a 30 yr chronic depression. When that happened it was like seeing the world in a whole new light…I became aware of my bipolar gift when I healed myself of co dependency and started to celebrate every feeling I had. I became aware of my higher level of understanding of how life works and where we all fit in. I finally was able to see my gift of being aware of things on a higher wavelength. I came across a name for some of it that made sense..Multi Sensory Perception or MSP..it’s like an awareness that comes from all of your senses and also an extra sixth sense of intuition I guess you could call it. I started to realize that there really are no coincidences in life and that everything that happens has a purpose or a meaning..like failing to get a job..because there is something better that is going to come up. I began to see and speak from my heart and was able to understand where the pain and depression comes from…after feeling my pain of loneliness and isolation that went on for so long I accepted that..understood where it came from..learned how I accepted less for myself and the reasons why and…accepted my part in it and forgave whoever caused some of the pain (because without them I would not be enjoying life as it is today) I learned many things…and began to respect myself, have more self confidence and learned that we do have the authentic power to make up our lives as we want it to be. (I also learned to check in on my reality perception…because smart people can think deep enough to become delusional and that becomes destructive to ourselves..We CAN learn to live life by not settling for less than we deserve or desire if we learn to respect ourselves and other people at the same time. By not being self destructive and Listen to your inner voice and trust in yourself in what feels right in YOUR heart and YOUR mind. Everyone is a soul that lives on forever…coming onto the earth lesson planet as a “personality” (yourself) Your soul lives on forever and when you are done in this life’s purpose your body turns to ash and you move on to your next life in the form of another “personality” and everyone has a purpose or a path in life that will lead to their ultimate happiness and completeness. When you learn to speak through your heart and listen to what feels good and right to you and take care of your body by getting good rest, healthy food, plenty of water and discover that excercise can be fun..I love to walk and listen to music on my ipod..I walk about 3 miles every day..and that also helps my mind and emotions by eliminating everyday stress. I drink water when I feel the need for something and we all need plenty of water. I am stronger now than I have ever been and I still take some medications, as long as I feel they are doing a job I will remain on them..The purpose of the “personality” (You) is to align with your soul to find the path that you were ultimately born to be on to find your true happiness and completeness. One of the keys to this is to always have hope by having more than one choice of jobs for example or relationships or whatever..that way when one thing doesn’t work out where is the hope..in the second? or third? choice. Without hope we feel depressed, powerless, not in control. We reach for food when really we should be feeling the feeling that we are avoiding. We really do have a choice..that’s why we have free will..to choose what fulfills us and only then can we experience the beautiful feeling of love for ourselves and others and appreciate all that life is and has to offer if you live for a positive result that feels right to you..you will feel a peace and sense of control in your life so that you can accomplish so many things..by fulfilling many parts of yourself and not relying on a person to make you happy…you have to have the inner happiness to enjoy your life with a partner that is on the same level and has other interests that fulfill them as well. Then when you come together it is real love that is shared and not taken from someone who doesn’t have it to share. I am a work in progress as is everyone and will continue to learn and find new things that contribute to my overall happiness. Life is Great! (without obstacles..there would be no lessons to learn and life would be just a boring fairytale) Life is an interesting, exciting journey that we should all learn to live and appreciate what we do have..one last thing I have learned..money is only a neccesary evil…it alone does not bring true authentic happiness. I have zero money right now and I am happier inside than I have ever been..now I start my journey to find a job and connect with people..a part of life I have missed so much of! We are all a work in progress…

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