1. What condition/dilemma do you/your child have?
– Bipolar affective disorder type II
– Substance abuse disorder
– Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
2. How has it affected your life?
3. Are people tolerant/ accepting/ accommodating of this?
4. What would you like society to know?
5. What can society do to make it easier for you?
Believe me when I say I am suffering. If I can’t push myself as hard as everyone else, trust me that I will make it up in some other way. Sufferers of these disorders tend, on the whole, to be highly creative people, whose contributions can be incredibly valuable to everyone. Believe me when I state my limits They are not arbitrary, and adherence to them can often be life-saving.
6. Has it inhibited you from joining any engagements?
For years, after the discovery I had a substance problem. I was unable to attend social events which included alcohol. I’ve slowly reintegrated into attending all social events. I can’t work excessively long hours, as my sleep patterns and energy levels must be carefully monitored for the sake of the bipolar disorder.
There’s a saying in the substance abuse recovery community: if you go to the barber shop every day, eventually you’re going to get a haircut. That is to say, repeated risky behavior will eventually lead to relapse. Regarding the bipolar, remaining stable has a lot to do with circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycles), and maintaining predictable chemical release patterns in the brain. I also have to take various medications, which have a range of potentially dangerous side-effects.