Bipolar Effects: What Bipolar Disorder Can Do To A Life

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The effects of bipolar disorder, if left untreated, can be devastating to the sufferer and to everyone around him or her. A bipolar victim, in turn, victimises his romantic partners, family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and society as a whole.

For an example of this last, merely consider George Gordon, Lord Byron, a famous historic sufferer of bipolar disorder. His wild and varying moods, and resulting eccentric habits, scandalized all of England. He left the country in disgrace and never returned, until his death fighting for Greek independence. Not until the 20th century did Byron get the recognition he deserved in the UK–all because the English had to live with Byron and his caprices longer than any other nationality.

How does the bipolar manic-depressive manage to so thoroughly hurt everyone around him? It is because the bipolar individual’s unpredictable moods will prevent the person from adequately meeting the expectations of family, friends, romantic partners, co-workers, etc.

A bipolar mother in the throes of depression will remain depressed, even when her son presents her with a simple drawing of mother and child, with the words, “I LOVE MOM,” childishly scrawled above in red crayon. The next day, that same mother, having entered a manic phase, might embrace her son for no reason the moment he walks sleepily out of his room in his little pyjamas. That same mother, who just the previous day had barely acknowledged her son when he presented her with the work of his heart and his hands, now grasps the five-year-old tightly to her and spins him around and around until she loses control and mother and son tumble to the ground. That same mother, her mania feeding on itself, might tell her son that she wasn’t taking him to school that day. Instead, she tells her son, they are going shopping.

This hurts the son, and possibly interferes with the son’s normal development. The child is at a very impressionable period in his life. In his dealings with his bipolar manic-depressive mother, he learns early on that his actions have no effect on the feelings of those around him. He learns that people are irrational and impossible to empathise with. Unlike normal children, he never learns to see a cause-and-effect relationship between showing love, and receiving love in return; or between other people’s suffering and his malicious intent.

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