Less than Crazy: Living Fully with Bipolar II (No. 2)

Less than Crazy: Living Fully with Bipolar II (No. 2)

Karla Dougherty

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1600940471

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Less than Crazy: Living Fully with Bipolar II (No. 2)

Karla Dougherty

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1600940471

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Bipolar II is a form of bipolar disorder in which a person, when in a manic cycle, is crippled by anxiety, irritability, and highs just intense enough to be embarrassing. Instead of being the life of the party, someone with Bipolar II might be too nervous to go to the party at all. And, unlike the Bipolar I sufferer who may attempt suicide in a depressive cycle, the Bipolar II might be incapacitated by guilt over an imaginary crime. In Less than Crazy, health writer and Bipolar II sufferer Karla Dougherty shares her story, presenting the first patient-expert’s guide to recognizing and living well with this condition. Covering both adults and children, this accessible, all-in-one resource includes information on diagnosis, conditions that may mimic Bipolar II, and treatments.

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to a 2004 paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 26.8 percent of people with bipolar disorder suffer from panic disorder.7 FIGURE 3-2. Signs of Panic Disorder8 “Worrying Kind” 3: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD conjures up a variety of clichés: stacks of newspapers and debris literally taking over an apartment, washing hands over and over, compulsively counting, straightening rows and picture frames: The television character Monk without his nurse. People with OCD are usually

ideation (thinking about killing yourself) does not occur.19 Because a child may become hypomanic after being given an antidepressant, physicians usually try a form of talk therapy before heading to medication to treat any underlying anxiety; they also closely monitor the child’s treatment. In general, physicians first stabilize a bipolar child’s moods and then treat any underlying conditions, especially anxiety.20 Another reason to get pediatric bipolar disorder diagnosed and treated early

more likely to consider all the possible diagnoses when a patient comes in feeling very depressed. Talent in a therapist is necessary for proper diagnosis. It’s also necessary for successful treatment. Almost every study shows that a better outcome occurs for bipolar II when drug therapy is combined with talk therapy. I’m not the only one with a “therapist history.” Every person I spoke to, right down to the last, jumped from therapist to therapist. The average time it took them to find a

said, “Never mistake motion for action.” The frantic pace, the frenetic thoughts, the fear and anxiety of bipolar II mania aren’t going to help you write that novel or paint a still life. In fact, a 2004 study that examined the research on creativity and bipolar disorder found that the connection was vastly overstated.4 The elements of creativity do resemble hypomania, but that could be “the creativity talking,” not the disease. It is also possible that creativity and bipolar disorder share some

of class, he told everyone to make sure they didn’t sacrifice their lives for their art. “What if you don’t become famous? What then?” he said. “You’ll have nothing.” Put another way, when it comes to creativity and bipolar disorder, you need to nourish yourself first. Take your medications, get help, and improve your quality of life—the creativity will flow even better! I’ll take treatment every time. I believe in feeding the fire, but putting out the flames. • THE CREATIVE FIRE Fortunately,

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