If you ever ride a harsh unsympathetic roller coaster ride, that feeling is probably close to one who is living with the disarray of bipolar disorder. For not only the person himself, friends and family also suffer because their relationship is often strained with uncertainty.
A person with bipolar disorder wakes up to begin a day with a high level of uncertainty. He may have suicidal thoughts running through his mind during one of his depressive episode or a day filled with overexcitements when he is in a manic episode. One may even have a day fill with mix episodes of depression and manic. This is the fact of a person living with this disorder.
Both the manic and depressive episodes usually happen separate that of positive or negative things and events in the person's life. To explain in details, a person with bipolar disorder does not have a depressive episode because something bad or terrible has happened to him or her. And even if there is anything that would affect when an episode would happen, it is most probably the overall life stress that is affecting the person. Periods of stress whether at work or at home can disturb the balance that the person is trying to maintain.
When wrapped in an episode, a person with bipolar disorder will usually have lesser control of their behavior and of their lives than they would normally have. This is not to say that someone with bipolar disorder is a vulnerable sufferer with little chances of carrying out something. It is only that even accomplishing simple routine tasks that would normally be easy would suddenly become exceptionally hard during the duration of a manic depressive episode.
What happen during a manic episode is a blur of activity and over excitement. The mania might bring about feelings of self-importance, self-confidence, superiority and poor judgment. People in a manic episode could find themselves doing things that they would not normally do in their life. They may have a sudden drive to start a business, which can definitely be a good thing. However, if done during a manic episode, they may quit their job and jump into starting a business without any proper planning or whatsoever. They may engage in risky sexual behavior that would not be usual for him or her or even spend or gamble money they cannot afford to be without.
What happen during an episode of depression are the feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability. They would have no wish to enjoy life, achieve anything, or to socialize with people. They may go a day or two without eating because eating seems insignificant and irrelevant to them. Battling suicidal thoughts is an ongoing, exhausting effort. These suicidal thoughts pester your mind regularly even if you are not planning any suicide attempt or even when they decided that they would not commit suicide. Fighting these "thoughts" is tiresome and frustrating. They might also experience physical pain, such as sore shoulders, aching neck, or back. The physical pain some people experience is described to be similar to that of body aches that come with the flu.
As anyone can imagine, living in either one of these states of mind can be disturbing and chaotic. Try to visualize spending your life crossing between these two extremes. When one is in between episodes for most of the time, it would be a challenge to try to regain his life, sprit and self consciousness.