Saturday, November 13, 2004


That 'disease??' goes back two generations in my family. In my mother's case of course it was called manic-depressive illness.

She was brilliant. With two children in school she and my father enrolled in college and graduated in three years. She was valedictorian, and he was 5th; of course he had heavy professional obligations.

A few years later I had many of the same professors (they expected more of me than they got!).

Mother and Dad went on to LSU and got master's degrees. A few years later, at the Methodist Annual Conference, Mother crashed.
Ministers' wives suffered a lot of stress on those occasions, as they waited to learn where we would be living the next year.

Mother spent two years in a hospital, and when she came out, she was never quite the same again, although she lived for many years.

I knew I had many of her genes, and as a teenager I began experiencing emphatic mood swings, and also trouble sleeping. I had learned a good bit from my mother's troubles; I knew for example that I should get all the exercise I could, and I've done that religiously for the past 60 years. I also got all the sleep that I could, although I've had a sleep problem all my life.

My mood swings evened out considerably when I went to work in the court and had to punch in at 8 o'clock every morning. Gradually through the years they minimized.

Recently I began to complain of neck pains and was given a small pill as a muscle relaxant; it relieved my neck pains, but it also had a drastic effect on my sleep habits:
whereas I have had difficulty falling asleep and particularly remaining asleep for most of my life, this little pill made me sleep like a baby for 8 hours -- or for 10 if I should desire.

It also seemed to slow down my metabolic rate considerably. Under the influence of this pill I felt "dumb, fat, and happy" throughout the day, although I haven't noticed any serious brain deficiences per se.

I was supposed to take a half pill every night for a week, then go to a full pill for the next three weeks.

I never have tried a full pill. In fact I now take a half pill about every week or two, which makes my neck reasonably comfortable and my sleep like it was as a child.

I've reached the conclusion that bi-polar is not a disease at all, but simply an abnormality whereby the brain works faster than the body in which it resides.

(I hope you have enjoyed my detailed description of my symptoms, etc. I just love to talk about myself, as most people do if given the freedom--everybody should blog!!!)


david said...

Normal is relative; its a claim people make to define otehrs as outside of it. If you have learned to live comfortably with you brain I wouldn't let anybody try to convince you that you are diseased or abnormal.

This kwakersaur has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. He considers anybody who isn't disabled as having a temporary condition which will correct itself in time.

Larry said...

Quak, nobody has tried to convince me that I am abnormal. Those thoughts all came from within.
Re normal: We're all normal in most respects and abnormal in others. I would say that you and I are both abnormally bright and good. (I love to give bouquets because they usually come back.)

Actually I was thinking of someone I love very much who might read my post and take some comfort in it.

But I very much appreciate your comment. I don't want to infringe on your privacy, but it's good for us to reveal our inner secrets to those we have confidence in; it brings us closer together in Christ. Or merges our light.

God bless you.

david said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david said...

A thread on issues realted to this at the other on-line community I participate in.

Message OneMessage TwoI'm usually more guarded than this on-line. But it seemed appropriate at the time.

pureplum said...

Thanks, this was nice for me to read. I have severe depression, which may or may not be bipolar. I appreciate hearing from someone else who is happy and old. : )
Enjoying your blog.

Anonymous said...

I have three great grandchildren. Their amother has been under treatment for a month and will soon be turned over to a psychologist for counseling. I see a change of personality,depressed in the 6 yearold girl,a twin to a brother. The boys do not seemed concerned. I am supportive to her, but do I need guidelines?

forrest said...

Am here researching the beginnings of the Quaker Bible Study blog--

wanted to remark... Knowing a couple of people who got occasionally classified 'bipolar', my observation of when & how the episodes I witnessed began-- was with an intense (and situational!) dissatisfaction with themselves, with an intense effort to 'be' somebody they weren't.

One guy normally took meds, abruptly discontinued them (manifested the self-hatred in other ways as well) over a mistaken love affair, and after several days exhausting friends, accepted a ride to the hospital. Where they at first didn't want to take him, so he 'demonstrated' on a nurse and they took him in, doped him up again.

Another person, after the collapse of her yearned-for career change, stopped sleeping at night, soon had a posse of friends at her door: "Honey, you've got to go in now!" She put them off. A few weeks later she found a shrink who would give her "something to give me one good night's sleep." She said, "It put me out in the middle of a raging anxiety attack." The next morning, close to normal & getting better!

Considering the addictive potential of them meds, it sounds like your approach was better than the docs'.

Larry said...

Well Forrest, ole buddy. I can't figure out how to contact you, except through this comment. I appreciate the fact that you're reading my posts way back here, and especially your comments on Bi-polar. Hang in there.