“I'm convinced that I'm gonna kill myself soon or later, I have too many disorders, and I can't help myself. It's been years that I'm not socialising, working, or relating myself with reality. All I do is pop meds.
“I failed with school, with my parents, with society, with my future. I f***ing can't keep going living so sick. Lithium is great, lamictal is great, even that crazy olazapine is great, but they can't fix my real problem.I can't keep pretending to be strong or anything. I'm a mess.
“Depression is eating me alive. My past, my mistakes are killing me. Please forgive me,” wrote a Reddit user who goes by uDestroyedmywholelife.
Reading this post, my heart aches for uDestroyedmywholelife and the millions of others who live with bipolar disorder.
Medical experts define Bipolar disorder as a complex mental health condition that can manifest itself in many different ways. At its core, bipolar disorder is characterised by shifts in mood and energy levels which can range from extreme highs (mania) to extreme lows (depression).
For those living with bipolar disorder, these mood shifts can be debilitating. The highs can cause overconfidence, impulsiveness, and an inability to sleep, while the lows can lead to hopelessness, worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts.
These mood swings can make it difficult to hold down jobs, maintain relationships, and stay focused on day-to-day tasks.
The statistics surrounding bipolar disorder are sobering. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), an estimated 2.8% of US adults live with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world, and those living with bipolar disorder are at an increased risk for suicide.
While in the context of South Africa, there is limited research on bipolar disorder. However, studies suggest that mental health conditions, like bipolar disorder, are on the rise in the country. Still, access to mental health care is limited, particularly in rural areas. Additionally, cultural factors and stigma surrounding mental illness can prevent people from seeking treatment.
The health implications associated with bipolar disorder are significant. People with bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing other health problems, including substance abuse, heart disease, and suicide. Treatment is essential for managing the condition, and it typically involves a combination of medication and therapy.
In modern-day life, bipolar disorder can manifest in various ways, depending on the individual. It can impact a person's relationships, work, and daily function.
People with bipolar disorder may struggle with maintaining social connections, experience difficulty in relationships, and have trouble with employment and productivity.
There were several comments left on the post, but there was one that I think anyone would be able to relate to, and that is the one that said, “Hey, past is past. You can't keep living it. How are you supposed to read the whole book, if you're stuck on chapter 4? Hey, you make mistakes. I made mistakes. Hell, I still do. We will never stop making them. A life without mistakes isn't a life lived. Ending it only stops it from getting better. Please don't. Add me on snap, text me, anything. You're NOT alone”
It is important to remember that those living with bipolar disorder are not alone. There are effective treatments available, including medication and therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with bipolar disorder, know that there is help available.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG, www.sadag.org) lists toll-free helplines for general depression and anxiety and has free support groups around the country for various issues. Call 0800 21 22 23 for help and information..
Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.