The little voice that said I can

That little voice is probably more powerful than any other. I think it’s true for many, and no less so in the case of dealing with bipolarism.

A little bit about bipolarism (from wikipedia again):
*The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) recognizes two types of bipolar disorders—bipolar I and bipolar II. People with bipolar I disorder suffer from at least one manic or mixed episode, and may experience depressive episodes. On the contrary, as noted above, people with bipolar II disorder experience a milder form of a manic episode, known as a hypomanic episode as well as major depressive episodes. Although bipolar II is thought to be less severe than bipolar I in regards to symptom intensity, it is actually more severe and distressing with respect to episode frequency and overall course. Those with bipolar II often experience more frequent bouts of depressive episodes. Specific criteria defined by the DSM-IV for a bipolar II diagnosis is as follows:
– The presence of a hypomanic or major depressive episode.
– If currently in major depressive episode, history of a hypomanic episode. If currently in a hypomanic episode, history of a major depressive episode. No history of a manic episode.
– Significant stress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Studies have identified major differences between bipolar I and bipolar II in regards to their clinical features, comorbidity rates and family histories. According Baek et al. (2011), during depressive episodes, bipolar II patients tend to show higher rates of psychomotor agitation, guilt, shame, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts. Bipolar II patients have shown higher lifetime comorbidity rates of DSM axis I diagnoses such as phobias, anxiety disorders, substance & alcohol abuse, and eating disorders and there is a higher correlation between bipolar II patients and family history of psychiatric illness, including major depression and substance-related disorders. The occurrence rate of psychiatric illness in first degree relatives of bipolar II patients was 26.5%, versus 15.4% in bipolar I patients.*

What I have is type II, which apparently is high functioning, but also comes with a higher suicide rate than type I, because we “have several risk factors that increase their risk of suicide. The illness is very recurrent and results in severe disabilities, interpersonal relationship problems, barriers to academic, financial, and vocational goals, and a loss of social standing in their community, all of which increase the likelihood of suicide.”

Quite depressing in itself. and I almost give up just reading about it.

Which, in turn, leads me to the quote of the day, because at the end of the day (so to speak), that little voice is the sole source of the stubbornness that my body, mind, and heart has, and that little voice is what keeps getting me back on track. It’s soft, but enduring and courageous, and I’m glad it’s there.


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