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Have you come across someone who was screaming for no apparent reason? Maybe they are yelling profanities, talking to themselves, or they are thinking of suicide?
Bipolar disorder has boggled the minds of scientists and researchers since the second century, when it was first recognized as some type of a mental illness (although not called bipolar disorder back then). The old church was quick to recognize mental illness, however, calling people with mental disorders “witches,” or accusing them of “entertaining demons.”
Recognizing that the major characteristic of bipolar disorder is the extreme mood swings from mania (high highs) to depression (low lows), and the sometimes rapid switch between these two extremes, you might question sometimes if you really might have demons in you.
Can evil spirits cause physical disease or mental illness? The Bible indicates that Jesus cast demons out of people, so do demons still possess people today? Do illnesses such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, or bipolar disorder have only natural causes? If not, how would a medical doctor, psychologist, or pastor know if there may be a supernatural cause?
Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder gets its name from the unpredictable mood swings ranging from the pole of extreme highs (mania) to the pole of deep lows (depression).
Imagine the emotional high you feel after a very positive event—like receiving an award at work, falling in love, or reaching the top of a mountain you’ve climbed. Then multiply the intensity of that feeling three or four times, speed it up to “fast forward,” triple your energy level, and imagine feeling that way around the clock for days, weeks, or even months until you collapse from exhaustion. This is a little of what mania feels like.
“At least one person of every one hundred suffers from bipolar disorder.”
What’s the problem with having so much energy? here’s the problem: First, you are probably doing a lot of exaggerated, unwise things during your manic state. Many of your ideas are unrealistic and your perpetual motion and excited, exaggerated talking tend to alienate even the best of friends. Second, your high to end. When it does, you come crashing into deep depression. Ten to fifteen percent of people with bipolar disorder end up committing suicide.
At least one person of every one hundred suffers from bipolar disorder. The illness typically begins in the late teens or early twenties with men most likely to first have an episode of mania, and women more likely to first experience a depressive phase. The earlier bipolar disorder begins, the more severe the course of the disorder tends to be.
Unmanaged bipolar disorder wreaks havoc in one’s personal, vocational, and family life, and the symptoms recur throughout a person’s life. Over a ten-year period, people with bipolar disorder experience an average of four episodes and five hospitalizations. Even those who have few repeated crises can experience significant ongoing problems between full-blown episodes.
People in a “manic episode” are excessively elated, irritable, moody, and energetic. They have little need for sleep (two to three hours per night is common), have rapid and pressured speech, racing thoughts, and may jump abruptly to unrelated topics without transitions. They are also distractible and impulsive. Some drive recklessly. Others go on wild spending sprees, running up thousands of dollars on credit cards or bouncing check after check. Many have an exaggerated sense of their importance and abilities.
In milder manic episodes, the increased energy, rapid thinking, and limited need for sleep can temporarily lead to incredible productivity. People can also become extremely outgoing and sociable and may be convinced that they are brilliant conversationalists or the life of the party.
In severe manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder become psychotic; that is, their thought processes and ability to judge reality are radically impaired. They may begin by being slightly overconfident about their abilities, eventually becoming convinced that they can predict the future or run the country.
The elevated, expansive mood that is part of bipolar disorder is often difficult to diagnose at first. Many people think a manic person is simply a very happy, high-energy, elated person. They do not recognize that the mania may also cause the person to be paranoid, irritable, and excessively intense. Mild mania is easily confused with normal mood fluctuations.
People with the disorder have to see many different doctors over a period of several years before someone diagnoses the real cause of their problems.
Depressive episodes of bipolar illness are characterized by the opposite of the manic pole of the emotional continuum. People in depressive episodes feel sad and depressed. They have low energy levels, an increase or decrease in sleep, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts.
“Some people with the disorder have to see many different doctors over a period of several years before someone diagnoses the real cause.”
Some typically alternate between the extreme moods of mania, depression and normality. Occasionally, however, both the mania and depression are experienced at the same time. This is referred to as a “mixed episode.” Such an episode is characterized by irritability, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts accompanied by high energy and activity levels, decreased sleep, and impulsive behavior. Mixed episodes can be extremely dangerous if the person is suicidal, because the manic symptoms may give a person enough energy to carry out the suicide plans which the depression has triggered.
Both manic and depressive episodes place incredible stress on friends and family. Since people in a manic state can be unreasonable, emotional, and impulsive, family members fear they will do something hurtful or disastrous. They may get the family into serious debt, have several affairs, quit their jobs, and engage in other foolish behavior. Family members of those in a depressed state can become extremely frustrated when, time after time, their efforts to support and encourage them are rejected and rebuffed.
Healing Bipolar Disorder
One of the most difficult things about treating bipolar disorder is that there is no complete “cure.” However, while bipolar disorder is difficult to deal with, it is also true that this problem can usually be effectively managed with proper Spiritual Healing over the time. Spirit Releasement Therapy, Past Life Regression and many other modes of spiritual healing minimize and overcome the most devastating effects of this disorder and enable the sufferers to generally live normal lives at home, work, school.
One of the most helpful things family members can do for a person suffering from a bipolar disorder is to help him keep taking his healing. If you are close to someone with this disorder, encourage him or her to begin or continue spiritual healing and learn to deal with these issues. This will help the person accept dependence on healing the soul—which could be life-saving.