I had my 6 month check up with my psychiatrist today and we were speaking openly about suicide after admitting that I was having suicidal thoughts. We were also discussing the differences in being suicidal and having suicidal thoughts (that is a different post.) He said that 19% of people diagnosed with bipolar disorder take their own life and that equals like 1 in 5. Those odds are shocking for some reason. If you think about the big picture 2.3 million Americans are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. If I did my math right that equals out to 437,000 people. That means there are 437,000 people contemplating suicide most with no support from anyone.I am one of the biggest supporters for the AFSP but how do we fix this? What can we as the mental health community do to combat these odds? There are so many people who can’t afford medicine, therapy let alone see a psychiatrist to properly diagnose and help them. This is something we need to recognize and help each other. We aren’t going to receive any help from the government and there is so much of a stigma attached to us people refuse to publicly support it unless it is a celebrity who claimed to “recover” from it. We need to speak openly and honestly about our struggles. I think we can be the change if we become more comfortable being open and knowing even though they might not understand we can make them care. 1 person loss to suicide is 1 too many. Let’s start the conversation and help decrease these numbers.

Bipolar Chronicles- Cognitive Deficit

A quick lesson on Cognitive Deficit- Examples of the kinds of deficits are difficulties with linguistic working memory (word retrieval), difficulties with planning, prioritizing and organizing of behavior (executive functioning), problems with retention of what’s been read or listened to, as well as the experience of mildly dulled or slowed thought processes. For some with bipolar disorder, it’s like they’ve experienced a gradual decline of brain power from their previous baseline level of function.

So now that we know what it is I will tell you what is going on with me. This happens all the time but worse when the moods are fluctuating (which is what I am doing now.) The thing about Cognitive Deficit is there is not anything you can do for it. There isn’t any medicine you can take to make it better, no amount of therapy it is just pieces of your brain being chipped away slowly.  I have to tell my husband when this is happening to be extra careful of mistakes and the lapses in time that I experience. I am losing 45 minutes a day (we think) and I am beyond time of comprehending things. I got pulled over the other day and the cop asked me why I was following so closely and I just stared blankly at him. I’m surprised they didn’t test me as out of it as I sounded. Wayne will sit and talk to me and I missed the majority of the conversation. I hate when it is bad like this because I do things and don’t remember.

Spazzing out- when it gets bad I spazz out and it scares the hell out of people and it doesn’t make much sense it is like I have combined multiple illnesses into one and created this clusterfuck of a mess. I start whispering and repeating the same words to myself, my body temperature rises, I start shaking and rocking back and forth until I make absolutely no sense while I am talking. I usually rub my head and start talking about my husband. It is just a very scary time and I don’t like going through it but when I am highly stressed it always happens. I am trying to make it better and easier to deal with but unless I self medicate it always happens.

Agitation- The worse it gets the easier I am agitated. I get agitated because I can’t remember things or people are just annoying the shit of me for the littlest of things. It really bothers me when people ask what is going on with me and I try to tell them and they compare it to when they are having a bad day. It isn’t a bad fucking day it is a chemical imbalance in my fucking head and it is hard to handle. Fuck people listen to us we are struggling more than you realize.

I am losing focus and patience for this post so I am done now.