5.3.06

Episode 04 - Mood Swings

Bipolar disorder (aka manic depression)

Our moods are rarely completely stable, if they were the world would be a very boring place. Feeling happy and sad is important. Much of our self learning is done by comparing one against the other.

It's not the recurring pattern of these moods that causes problems, it's the severity. In bipolar disorder aka Manic Depression the mood swings aren't like the normal highs and lows of daily life. It's characterised by extreme mood swings, from deep depression to extreme elation. These severe highs and lows may alternate, or there may be long periods of stability between them. Some people with Bipolar suffer mainly from depression, with only occasional manic phases.

During a manic or high phase, people feel enormously energetic and powerful and tend to become hyperactive, going without sleep and starting totally unrealistic schemes or projects. Some people find they're very creative. However, problems arise when the mood spins out of control and the person behaves in ways that they later find deeply embarrassing. It's quite common for someone to lose touch with reality and, for example, run up enormous debts or invite total strangers to their home. There can also be unfortunate consequences of decisions taken while very high in mood.

The depressive phase is similar to other forms of depression. It's characterised by a lack of energy and interest in life, low self-esteem, and feelings of guilt and despair. Sometimes the person will be suicidal.

In this episode we meet 'Tree', I will leave it to the listener to decide which phase they think he is in right now. He speaks openly and frankly about how Bipolar Disorder has and still is affecting him. One minute he is completing highly paid design contracts for top London agencies and the next he manages to spend a years wages in three months on alcohol alone.

The exact causes of bipolar disorder aren't known, but stressful life events, unresolvable problems, or emotional damage in childhood may play a part, possibly combined with genetic factors.

Listen and watch the mpeg

If you find any of the subjects covered in this podcast effect or relate to you and your life please visit the following links for more information:

http://bipolar.about.com/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/bipolar.cfm

http://www.psycom.net/depression.central.bipolar.html

http://www.mentalhealth.com/dis/p20-md02.html

http://www.bpkids.org/site/PageServer

http://www.mind.org.uk/

13 comments:

Gina said...

Hi, i just wanted to say thankyou for this. I just listened through the online stream but i will be sure to subscribe to your other episodes.

So much of this has opened my eyes as to why my boyfriend behaves the way he does.

I will get him to listen and then hopefully we can see how we can make life a little happier for the both of us.

Thanx again.

GS x

BadgeMan said...

Wow. What a great tale. I am happy tree is alive to tell the story. It sounds like he very nearly wasn't.

g said...

cooooool pal cheers
....links are great
g

John Karen said...

Good work.
Thanks for putting the time in to make this. It is an important topic worthy of serious discussion.

Kate G. said...

Thanks for this. It is warming to hear another like me is managing to keep it together.

johan said...

Really useful. Thanks.
And i thought the internet was for looking at porn... shame on me.

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview my friend, thanks for that

Rob said...

Interesting podcast. However bipolar Tree is, he seems quite level at the moment- The wonders of modern pharmaceuticals! Thirty years ago there wasn't a great deal of treatment for bipolar patients. Now the treatment can make them almost normal. Almost, because who wants to be normal? Many great artists and musicians have suffered from mental illnesses ("Read Touched By Fire" by Kay Redfield Jamison for more on that)and I think Tree himself said there is a very slim line between madness and extreme creativity.

Good to hear a balanced interview concerning the issue and not the normal "Daily Mail" style "Did nutters kill Princess Diana,molest your children and then decrease the value of your house" nonsense.

Rob
Conflict of interest-Yes, I'm a pharmacist I love Lithium

Anonymous said...

cool
...g

ps
depakote....rocks....but i would still rather be normal.

Anonymous said...

I hope you stay sorted mate. A great story.

KP said...

Thoroughly interesting thankyou.

Shira Arrrr said...

I found your blog by backtracking links to bpkids.org, where I work. The interview was great, and I love your site. I forwarded links to all my coworkers.

Christian said...

Thankyou for taking the time to listen and goood luck.. :)