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The Invisible Illness
by Rob Price
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An Invisible Illness
By Rob Price

In the world today there is a never-ending list of physical illnesses that plagues society like cancer, HIV, Parkinsons, and other severe ailments. These diseases cause those who are cursed with them to deal with fear, rage, loneliness, and despair. The cost of being physically ill can be enormous and the emotional toll can last for a lifetime; however, when mental illness comes up in conversation the mood rapidly changes.

I have an illness called Bi-Polar, and the price I have had to pay, with this very real illness, has been unbelievable. This writing is being pieced together by a sufferer who deals directly with Bi-Polar; however, it is not meant to replace a doctorís council or help. I am simply a guy who struggles daily with a mental beast called Bi-Polar, and it is my wish to help and encourage other fellow strugglers who need support.

So letís break it down into laymanís terms. The basic fundamental understanding of Bi-Polar is the evidence of severe highs (mania), accompanied by severe lows. (depression). Bi-Polar has a wide range of sub-symptoms so for the point of this paper we will only cover a few.

Bi-Polar manifests itself in ways including: severe depression that can last up to weeks, manic behavior causing its victim to have unlimited energy and grandiose thinking, suicidal ideations, hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions. The symptoms can vary from person to person; therefore the treatment regimen aligns itself to that particular persons needs. I believe it needs to be stressed again that only a doctor and licensed therapist can diagnose the problem, but the public can become familiar with the symptoms and know what steps to take when dealing with a loved one who has any mental disorder.

I believe bi-polar, along with other mental illnesses, appear to be invisible, almost like a ghost or phantom; leading the general populous to doubt the severity or proof that such disorder exists. Society has come a long way with having an open mind towards those who have mental illness of any kind; however, the stigma attached to being mentally ill still remains.

A little about me, I deal daily with bi-polar and itís symptoms. My set of symptoms includes extreme anxiety, depression, paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. I know some of you are having a jaw dropping moment at the idea of me having hallucinations and hearing voices; however, the fact of the matter is, bi-polar comes in many guises and forms. It took me a while to accept and get used to the fact that my form of bi-polar came with a whole bag of exciting tricks, but with time I have come to accept my illness as an aberration of me.

For those of you reading this article, sufferer or not, realize that there is hope. The invisible demon, of this disorder, is tricky because itís not like cancer or a common cold, things that can be seen with the naked eye, it is invisible and mental. If you, the reader, are struggling with any form of it, realize itís not your fault. Once you realize that you didnít purposefully cause your mind to act in ways that are a bit bizarre or different, or that depression and mania are not coming from some hidden wish to be crazy, you will be miles ahead of the game.

I am here to offer hope to the sufferer, parent, friend, and any other support system the sufferer may have. Always remember that Bi-Polar or any mental illness is unseen, and the best way to treat it is with the proper medications and therapy. Using the right tools, like the ones just mentioned, you will be on your way to overcoming this restrictive and sometimes frightening condition.
My fight with Bi-Polar is a daily and gruesome one; however, it is one worth fighting. There have been times I have been stuck in bed for days, completely covered by depression with suicidal thinking, but I find those days are getting less and less. I know what itís like to just want to end the mental pain and die. I know what itís like to hate yourself, due to your illness, so bad that self-destruction seemed like a good idea, but let me encourage you: there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The invisible tyrant can be tricky and outright evil, but with the right tools under your belt, you can live a happy, productive, and hopeful life. Fight for your right to live life to the fullest; instead of barely surviving, hoping for an end to the pain someday. Let me stress one more time, Bi-Polar is a very real illness and can have very real symptoms; however, it can be overcome with determination and the right support system.

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Member Comments
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veronica cressey  09 Apr 2012
Hiya Rob! How so brave of you to speak of Bi-Polar, when basically, Society still has to come to terms and comfortably accept mental health issues! I would lie if I were to say to you; 'I know how you feel" In truth, I haven't a clue as to how you feel day by day. However, I have a beautiful Grandson who has A.D.D.Yes, I have lost my temper with him, yes, I have loved him, still do! Yes, he has brought me a whole new understanding of his world, yet, I'm still standing outside of him, hoping to be brought into his mind and his concept of humanity. Let's both hope the miracle of Easter has played it's part in our communication.


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