It is very unfortunate that in this day and age, there is stigma surrounding mental health issues. Very many people would prefer to suffer in silence than seek help. It is very sad though. Today, I have taken this platform to speak on this matter, specifically addressing the mental health condition, Bipolar. Bipolar is a manic-depressive condition that causes mood fluctuations that can last for several weeks at a time. Individuals suffering from such conditions may end up committing suicide If they are left untreated.
Sadly here in Africa, It is not a well known condition. Many people refer to it as "seasonal madness". Very many individuals suffering from this condition end up being locked up in their houses. They suffer more because they poorly fed, and live in unsanitary condition where they are prone to contacting diseases.Society isolates them because it is said that they have been bewitched. Furthermore, few people would want to be associated with afflicted individuals because they are worried about how others would perceive them. This inhumane treatment stems out of ignorance.
I know of a close friend of mine suffering from this condition. At first nobody knew what he was suffering from, his parents thought he was just acting out- the typical teenage attention-seeking antics. So he was taken to local church for counseling as well as prayer to "cast out his demons". However, nothing worked. His parents decided to take him to hospital when one day, he almost committed suicide after taking a bunch of pills. His folks thought he was depressed, but the doctor informed them that their child might have been bipolar based on what they narrated to him. A series of physical, lab, and psychiatric tests confirmed his diagnosis.
It is now ten years down the line, my friend is okay. He takes his medication religiously. His manic episodes are now a thing of the past. As a matter of fact, he has taken an initiative to educate the community of this little known mental condition. In my own small way, let me educate you readers on how to recognize bipolar disorder, and how to go about it. The signs may include the following:
· Euphoria- intense feeling of well-being or happiness
· Restlessness or feeling agitated
· Anger, Aggression
How to go about this condition, is by taking the affected person to hospital. Treatment is mainly through therapy as well as taking medication. Medication for bipolar is taken throughout an individual's life since there is no known exact cure. Medication is necessary to stabilize moods and control manic episodes.
I always believe in disseminating useful information to create awareness, as well as help even if it is just that one person who may gain access to my blog. Mental illness is not a curse, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Speak up, let people listen. You never know the impact you could be having on a person suffering from a similar condition.
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