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test-traveler/polar star

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desks
salt water solution
polar star
crumbling
miracle manor
lithium
woodstock nation
63 frozen sirloins
cleansing the senses
main street


© photo by Dona McAdams 2000

scene 3

polar star

Bi-polar disorder or manic-depression is a mental illness involving episodes of mania and depression. A person's mood usually swings from overly high and irritable to sad and hopeless and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. The cycles of mood changes vary from person to person.

Bi-polar disorder begins in adolescence or early adulthood and never goes away. It is often not diagnosed and people who have it suffer needlessly for years. The repercussions of the disease are devastating. Bi-polars lose their friends, relationships, families, jobs and often become alcoholics, drug addicts, are committed to mental institutions or commit suicide.

Families and friends have to cope with acute behaviorial problems like wild spending sprees or delusions of grandeur. Bi-polar disorder tends to run in families and is believed to be inherited. There has been progress in identifying the specific genetic defect associated with the disease. There are effective treatments to alleviate the suffering. Although many resist, taking salt-based lithium is the most effective medication for keeping the disease under control.

I was finally diagnosed as a bi-polar in 1987 and began taking lithium sporadically. I was not compliant and had a manic episode in 1990. I'd experienced cycles of severe and less severe manic and depressive episodes almost every three years from 1970-1990.

I have avoided hospitalization or more serious consequences since by taking my medication, blood tests to determine the therapeutic level of lithium travelling through my system and maintaining a relationship with a trustworthy professional in the field.

Bi-polars can be bilingual, bisexual, bicoastal, ride bicycles, use binoculars, wear bifocals, fly a biplane or be bipartisan. One can be a 'test traveler' without having bi-polar disorder. And you can have bi-polar disorder without being a "test traveler." I am the only bi-polar 'test traveler' I know although I'm sure there are more of us out there.

 

 

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