Essay about Bi-polar Disorder - How I live with it

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Bipolar is defined as manic-depressive illness, a psychiatric condition characterized by episodes of mania (exaggerated euphoria) alternating with periods of depression. (http://my.webmd.com/content/article/1680.50558)

I inherited the condition from my father. I am told that at the time there was no treatment other than spending time in a mental institute.
I had 2 aunts and one cousin that also had the disease. They all killed themselves. My days used to begin with me trying to convince myself to get out of bed and go to work. There was a boulder on my chest that I had to lift just to get to the shower. Once I was at work, I would sit at my desk, praying that no one would ask the most dreaded of questions. Inevitably someone would say,
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I would have times when I was in a great mood. I always knew that they would be followed by a deep depression or low. I hated it. I couldn’t enjoy being up. It scared me.

My family and friends tried to understand. I know that most of them hated to be around me. Who wants to be around someone that is always down? I couldn’t tell them why and they needed a reason. They would invite me out in an attempt to cheer me up. I either didn’t want to go or I’d agree and back out at the last minute. It is difficult for people to understand that bipolar is a disease. My body doesn’t produce seratonin. Seratonin aids the body in sleep and keeps Mary a “happy, normal person.” It is like being a diabetic. Diabetics need insulin. It is a chemical imbalance. My body needs seratonin. It, too, is a chemical imbalance. All most people see is depression and to most you should just be able to “snap out of it”. They think you are having a pity party. I suffered all of the classic symptoms:

1.     I was always sad or depressed
2.     I was tired. I didn’t want to do anything.
3.     I couldn’t sleep. I could go to sleep, but I was up every hour on the hour.
4.     I went from a size 8 to a size 4. I was 99 lbs.
5.     I couldn’t concentrate. I had to call my family to help with decisions. Should I or shouldn’t I?
6.     I always felt guilty

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