The facts.

This has been quite an over due post, I was thinking of doing it a while back but thought it would seem too ‘random’ a topic to talk about, but with recent happenings and going’s on via certain people’s blog’s and general talk + gossip I thought it was about that time to talk about mental health issues such as Manic Depression/Bi-Polar disorder and Schizophrenia.

Before I start I just want to mention that I have had first hand experience with all of the above illnesses.  Especially Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia:

From my experience, people always mistake Schizophrenia with Split or Multiplepersonality Disorder. This is absolutely false.

The film ”Me, Myself and Irene” have somewhat glamorised mental health issues, giving the public an inaccurate view as to what Schizophrenia entails and making symptoms and treatments portrayed as a joke. This really pisses me off when ill-informed people say that schizophrenia is a split personality disorder then someone would say ”oh like that film Me myself…” etc, because coming from first hand experiences I know it is NOTHING like Multiple personality disorder.

People who suffer from Schizophrenia are often also diagnosed with Paranoia and Manic depression. 90% of patients suffer delusions of illogical or bizarre ideas or fantasies, hallucinations involving all the five senses, disorganised speech i.e, unable to keep on topic with no connection from one thought to the next, disorganised behaviour such as lacking ambition or self control.

There are common myths about the illness, which I will discuss and sort the fact from the fiction:

  • FACT: There are 3 types of this illness, 1. Paranoid Schizophrenic. 2. Catatonic Schizophrenic. 3. Disorganised Schizophrenic. All are treatable with prescribed medication.
  • FACT:People with Schizophrenia do not have split personalities. Rather, they are “split off” from reality. Not knowing what is real, having loss of contact with reality and having an altered perception of reality.
  • FACT:Multiple personality disorder is a different and much less common disorder than Schizophrenia.
  • MYTH: People with Schizophrenia are dangerous.
    This is perpetuated in the media and in movies and television shows. Some people with schizophrenia may be dangerous, but most are not. Some people with schizophrenia may be prone to violent outbursts with the help of drugs & alcohol, but the vast majority of people with this disorder are more often frightened, confused, and despairing than violent. Statistics show that the incidence of violence in people who have a brain disorder is not much higher than it is in the general population.
  • FACT: Schizophrenia is found in 1 out of 100 people, it is common amoungst men more than women and it hereditary.

Bi-Polar/Manic Depression:

I have second hand experience as to what this disorder is like, and how to live with a loved one suffering from it.

”Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.”

Separating the Fact from Fiction in Bi-Polar Disorder:

  • FACT: Many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers, happy family lives, and satisfying relationships. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging. But with treatment, healthy coping skills, and a solid support system, you can live fully while managing your symptoms.
  • MYTH: People with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between mania and depression.
  • FACT: Some people alternate between extreme episodes of mania and depression, but most are depressed more often than they are manic. Mania may also be so mild that it goes unrecognized. People with bipolar disorder can also go for long stretches without symptoms.
  • MYTH: Bipolar disorder only affects mood.
  • FACT: Bipolar disorder also affects your energy level, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, sex drive, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and high blood pressure.
  • MYTH: Aside from taking medication, there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder.
    FACT: While medication is the foundation of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help strategies also play important roles. You can help control your symptoms by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating right, monitoring your moods, keeping stress to a minimum, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.

People who suffer with Bi-Polar disorder often don’t recognize the warning signs and get the help they need. Since bipolar disorder tends to worsen without treatment, it’s important to learn what the symptoms look like. Recognizing the problem is the first step to getting it under control.

Common signs and symptoms of mania include:

  • Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

The common signs and symptoms of Manic Depression/Bi-Polar disorder can easily be looked amongst teenagers as just attention seeking antics or hyperactivity, such as ”highly distractible and unable to concentrate”. While yes I agree that illnesses such as these should never be looked over as something else, I can tell when young teenagers are just reaching out and looking for more ways to gain attention. Mental illnesses are serious chronic diseases and should never be thrown around in stereotypes or as ‘jokes’, it is far from something to laugh or lie about. Because someone somewhere will get offended by it. Whether it is the sufferer themselves or people who have to deal with their loved ones suffering from the illness.

** Information gathered from the helpguide.org and the mayoclinic.com websites**

The certain person’s who drew this topic to my attention really pissed me off, it is clear that young teenage girls with nothing better to do in their lives and don’t have enough drama being spread to them need to find more ways of creating attention and gossip by making up lies about mental illnesses they supposedly suffer from. This is insulting to sufferer’s and their loved one’s.

Mental illness is not a fad, and that is what you (you know who you are) have been doing. Pretending you have a chronic disease as if it’s a fashion statement. Which is really low and pathetic. When really, your just a pathetic little girl who needs to grow up and get over yourself and your lies.

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