You think your friend acts weird at times……It may be Bipolar

Courtesy- EmpowHER

When out of all the poets who received the Pulitzer — the prize awarded to those who made the biggest contributions to the human spirit — 38 percent of them were bipolar, how can we simply label it a human disorder? Think how much more they could contribute to the human spirit if they knew it could be used as a gift to humanity, instead of something to hide from humanity?

Paul Dalio, Filmamker

What is Bipolar

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.

Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.

I will quote my one amazing friend i met at poetry retreat (and dude i love you ) “I admit that i have done things that I’ve regretted. The overdose, which sent me into hospital, was one of the things. I then knew i needed help. I don’t even bother to count how many times a year I have to go through this. Medication helps keep me in some control, especially with the manic side.Mania brings with it the thought that you’re this amazing person, who can do anything, someone who deserves to be with people. The bad side of mania is that loss of control. Nights become sleepless and the thoughts running through your head won’t stop.  You smoke up, you take weed, a lot of weed and you are always energetic.”

I tried to understand Bipolar through his life, his silence, his laughter and his poetry. So let’s come to movies that show Bipolar.

I start with Mr Jones(1993) where Richard Gere playing a manic patient is shown in a romantic relationship with her Psychiatrist played by Lina Orin, too much romanticizing bipolar was what this movie did wrong with the tagline ““Everything that makes him dangerous makes her love him more.”

George Clooney’s  Michael Clayton shows exactly what Bipolar people face in real life- Their real aggression is passed off as manic episodes. With Corporate corruption being the plot, Tom Wilkinson plays a bipolar character whose claims are always dismissed as those moods of paranoia.

Director’s David.O.Russel struggle as a father seeing his bipolar son dealing with his mental condition led to the making of Oscar winner amazing movie dealing with mental illness- Silver Lining Playbooks. Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, who is trying to get his life back together after a court-ordered psychiatric hospitalization. The main plotline concerns Pat’s efforts to win back his ex-wife by agreeing to enter a dance competition (it’s complicated). His dance partner, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a sex addicted widow dealing with depression. And his father, played by Robert De Niro, has obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a gambling problem that drives a lot of the action. from De Niro to Cooper, this movie is one hell of acting.

Writer and director Maya Forbes writes the story of her own father in Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana play a mixed-race couple raising two daughters,The father doesn’t work because of his bipolar disorder, so the mother decides to accept a scholarship to graduate school in New York City so she can make more money for the family. The kids are left with their dad, who makes parenting mistakes making it one beautiful film.

What’s the treatment?

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. Treatment is directed at managing symptoms which include medications from mood stabilizers, anti psychotics, anti depressants to substance abuse treatment. Visit your nearest psychiatrist and seek medical help if you face such kind of symptoms. Drop us a mail at Bachpan Project if you think your child is dealing with Bipolar disorder.

Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are. Because my bipolar went untreated for so long, I spent many years looking in the mirror and seeing a person I did not recognize or understand. Not only did bipolar rob me of my sanity, but it robbed me of my ability to see beyond the space it dictated me to look. I no longer could tell reality from fantasy, and I walked in a world no longer my own.”
― Alessa Reyans, Letters from a bipolar mother.

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