Living With Bipolar Disorder
WebMD Live Events Transcript
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 2 million American adults have bipolar disorder, a severe brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person's mood, energy, and ability to function. On July 14, 2005 our guest, Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, author of "The Unquiet Mind," shared her perspective as both a psychiatric expert in the disease and someone living with bipolar disorder.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
One thing that consistently splits us is the topic of meds versus no meds. I consider myself lucky to have found stability on lithium and an antidepressant since 1980, but others continue to struggle with med combos. A big controversy is when someone declares meds is a problem and advises others that this is a valid choice. My experience is, especially as I age, that at any given time, I am about a week away from trouble if I don't have my meds. You know, you lived it, and you've done the research. Is no meds a valid option for those with bipolar diagnosis?
I think what happens over time is that you begin to realize, once you have been well long enough, that the illness doesn't have to define your notion of yourself by any means. It is part of who you are and it is part of what you have to take into consideration in your life, but it's not something that has to dominate your life.
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