Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depression, is considered by the psychiatric community to be a mood disorder and is classified as a mental illness. It is characterized by extreme and unpredictable shifts in mood as sufferers cycle through bouts of mania followed by depression.
Like most diseases, the severity of BD varies from person to person. In severe cases classified as Bipolar I a patient will experience full blown mania (characterized by rapid speech, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, hypersexuality, euphoria, psychosis, grandiosity, irritability, and increased interest in goal-directed activities) in an alternating cycle with clinical depression (characterized by fatigue, anxiety, guilt, anger, hopelessness, sadness, apathy, depersonalization, melancholy and suicidal ideation).
A person with Bipolar Disorder is 10 to 20 times more at risk for death by suicide than the average “normal” person. In fact persons diagnosed as Bipolar II (instead of manic they experience hypomania but spend more time in a Major Depression state than Bipolar I) have higher rates of suicide compared to other mental health conditions including sufferers of straight Major Depression.
Current studies into Bipolar Disorder say many things. One of those is that as much as 50% of adult sufferers of BD manifested symptoms as children (17 and under). There is a growing concern about catching BD early because some research claims that BD, like depression, is the result of a deficiency in the brain. However BD cannot be cured only managed through the use of medication.
I was recently tagged by ilkeryoldas to support an initiative by a group of bloggers to request that adult webmasters require password protection on their websites in order to access the adult material. Currently, adult webmasters are required to by law to display a plain page with the warning that the content of their website contains adult material only to be accessed by the legal age limit set by the state. When you click the link, visitors are taken to the actual site where they are bombarded with all the nekkidness they could ask for. What these bloggers want is for these webmasters to require their visitors to register and have to enter a password to even enter the site.
About two millennia and three centuries ago, Rome was battling hard against its foes to reestablish itself. Emperor Claudius II was also battling internally to get men to enlist into the army. After much thought, he came to the conclusion that men did not want to enlist into the army because they did not want to leave their wives and girlfriends. The logical solution to that problem was to put a ban on marriage.
Believing the law to be barbaric, Saint Valentine, a catholic priest, refused to follow the new law and secretly continued to join lovers in holy matrimony. But no good deed goes unpunished and eventually he was found out. Enraged, Claudius sentenced him to death. While languishing in jail Saint Valentine made friends with the jailer’s daughter. On the day of his execution he sent her a note, thought to be the very first valentine, thanking her for her friendship and signing it, ‘Your dear Valentine’.
Beautiful story isn’t it? Too bad 99% of isn’t true. But that’s the thing with legends. They usually start out as a true story but through time and human nature, they are blown grossly out of proportion.
I have a hard time separating life into right or wrong. Mainly because there are too many, an infinite amount almost, of unknowns and exceptions that makes categorization difficult. Let’s take for an example something as volatile as murder. In our society we have laws against the killing of other people including our own self. Yet conversely, and perhaps ironically so, we have the death penalty as a means of punishing those who do.
The justification for this is that a person who takes the life of another has committed a crime so morally reprehensible that they lose their own right to life. Yet in America, you can legally kill someone if they are threatening either your life or that of another person albeit the threat has to be immediate, unmistakable and unavoidable. You can’t shoot someone who says they are going to kill you but yet do nothing that actually indicates that they are going to follow through. Even if you believe they have something in store for you at a later date, the threat against your existence must be immediate or else you will find yourself on trial.
Recently, I experienced an epiphany. Well not really an epiphany. More like a shift in reality. I am an atheist but I hadn’t explored all that that meant beyond the realization that I no longer believed that God exists. For awhile, coming to terms with this startling revelation was really all I could handle. Imagine the feeling you had when you learned Santa Claus was a myth and the fact that your parents used that myth to bribe you into being good all those years. Now multiply that by a hundred and you’ll get an idea of what it is like to “lose faith”.