Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bipolar Wellness Pilot Program (Last day)

This is the final day of this post. If you have thoughts, ideas, or suggestions about the Bipolar Wellness Pilot Program that I proposed on Sunday, I'd love to hear from you! Whether you do or not, I'll share two quotes I particularly like.

"I have spread my dreams beneath your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
~W.B. Yeats

"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the morning to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible."
~T.E. Lawrence

8 comments:

mylifewithbipolardisorder said...

Hi Susan, I read through what you have written and think it is very excellent. It's good for you to bring up all those points.

I share your sentiment when you wrote "If 50 percent of the diabetic population tried to commit suicide, the American people would would be appalled. But manic-depressives are killing themselves on a regular basis and no one seems to care."

Mental illness of any kind is somehow so misunderstood and neglected by many, and little support or sympathy is extended to such sufferers. Personally, I felt that those who suffer from depression suffered the most.In other physical illness, as long as you have a clear mind, you can find hope and help in many ways. But once your mind is depleted of any ability to function, think or feel properly - when it is so broken that you can't function, that is most sad. We all know that kind of experiences. Others do not understand because they may have experienced some kind of blue or low mood and they said they are depressed. But they get over it after a while. For us, when we fall into depression, our depression is day in day out, night in and night out, sometimes for weeks, months and for some even years.

Dr David P Murray wrote 6 very excellent article on "Depression and the Christian" which I posted on my blog. As a Pastor, he wrote from a Christian perspective but there are still many useful points that non-Christian can benefit from also. Even Dr David share our sentiment as he quoted from Russell Hampton, who suffered himself from depression:

"If there were a physical disease that manifested itself in some particularly ugly way, such as postulating sores or a sloughing off of the flesh accompanied by pain off an intense and chronic nature, readily visible to everyone, and if that disease affected fifteen million people in our country, and further, if there were virtually no help or succour for most of these persons, and they were forced to walk among us in their obvious agony, we would rise up as one social body in sympathy and anger. There isn’t such a physical disease, but there is such a disease of the mind, and about fifteen million people around us are suffering from it. But we have not risen in anger and sympathy, although they are walking among us in their pain and anguish."

Hope your effort through your writings, other people and my efforts through our blog, will bring about some compassionate view on depression, bipolar and other mental illness, and bring about more treatment options for us eventually.

In Singapore, depression, bipolar and other mental illness is very much a stigma. And sometimes people look at us as if we are "mad". But I think we are more sane than most people :-) And we are very warm and caring people because of what we have gone through. I faced much stigma whenever i look for a job. I hid my illness and sufferings for almost 20 years because of the stigma and shame I felt, and I fear of what others will think. After my diagnosis, I am determine, by the grace of God, to attain a greater understanding of it, manage it, help other sufferer to find hope and educate their carers, friends and the general public about it. I am rather ambitious you can see :-) All because of the pain and sufferings we all have been going through and still are going through. But we are the survivors.

I read somewhere that the true heroes are those with broken minds, because they persevered despite of a broken mind. So you and I are heroes :-) All the best to you re your article. Take care. Regards, Nancie

robert said...

Susan,

I think your blog is one of the best and most informative sites on bipolar. Keep it up! I always visit your site while sipping my morning coffee.

Your “Pilot Program” is an absolutely wonderful idea that you should not give up on. If anything, you can expand upon it as you feel the urge and continue to bring it up periodically. Eventually the voices of individuals diagnosed with bp along with their families will begin to unite and be heard. Just maybe, your Wellness Pilot Program can be used to do just that!

16 months ago, I had never heard of bipolar. I started dating a girl that was bp and have recently found out my next door neighbor has recently been diagnosed with bp. Two of my co-workers are bp and a good friend of mine has a co-worker that is bp. And I guess even Britney has been diagnosed with bp. The point I am trying to make is that there may be a lot more individuals out there that are bp than originally thought by the so called experts. Because the disorder is finally being considered and diagnosed by more doctors, the numbers could increase significantly in the near future. Obviously, I am not hoping more of the population has this terrible disorder than has been estimated, but unfortunately, it often takes large numbers before something starts to be done about it.

The BP world needs to unite and demand better representation, funding, care and research. I think there the numbers are already out there and even if they are not, we need a uniting force to get things moving in the right direction and hopefully fast.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nanci,
Again, thank you. It is such a pleasure to have found a kindred spirit in you, and to hear your thoughts on this illness.

It is most heartening for me to know that you and I share many of the same feelings about this illness, and understand how dreadful the pain and suffering is.

I will read the post of your blog later today or tonight. I've been sick for so many months, I'm finally feeling better, and I need to get out and about today.

Again, I'm so glad to hear your point of view and look forward to reading what you're posted on your blog.

I, too have often felt that anyone who can withstand the terrible psychic pain of depression and continue to persevere despite it, and try to keep a positive attitude, is a hero.

To me, surviving this ordeal is much more of a challenge than climbing Mount Everest!

Warmly,
Susan

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Robert,
Thanks for your comment and your support. That's a good idea about the pilot program. I have been thinking about what to do with it.

Some friends suggested that I should send it to some politicians who have the capability to act.

I'm considering posting it as a one page blog, seeing if there's a way to have others give input, or at least collect signatures of support that I could include with a cover letter.

You certainly are surrounded by a lot of BIPS (as I sometimes call us with a smile). It's not always easy. You must be a pretty special person that so many people are confiding in you!

And I sure appreciate your kind words!

Susan

mylifewithbipolardisorder said...

Dear Susan,

Thank God you are better! I am so happy for you :-)

Yes, now that you are better, do go out and get more sunshine and fresh air :-). And also do other things that will help you to continue to get better. But do remember to pace yourself slowly and to eliminate anything that might stress you up or tire you up. And get enough rest, sleep and enjoy your meals, and enjoy your time with family and friends. These are things we can't enjoy very much when we are down.

Eliminating and minimizing stress is crucial when we are just recovering. One mistake I made during my recent relapse was that just when I was getting better, I started looking for a new job. Then my condition worsened again despite increased dosage of anti-depressant. I didn't know why at that time. When I finally discussed with my Doctor, she narrowed the cause down to my searching for a new job (which can be rather stressful) when I was not ready yet at that time as my mind was just recovering then and still not very strong. So she recommended that I take 3 months complete break from seeking for a new job and only start looking when I feel more ready. Thank God that with the kind love gifts from many friends, I was able to stop completely from thinking of a looking for a new job at that time and allows my mind to get better.

My Doctor encouraged me to do regular exercise, brisk walkings, and do other things that I enjoy, and simply rest and relax to let my weak mind recover and be strengthen. She encouraged me to do little little things that I can managed and break large tasks into small achievable goals.

So for 3 months, I really learn to slow down and catch up with things I wished I had time to do in the pasts, and also reading up and learning to manage my condition. I began to enjoy brisk walkings, regular workout at gym, spending more time with my mother, meeting up with friends for lunch, dinner and outings, clear up my house slowly and get things more organized at home (not finding my things can be rather stressful at times), go to beach, gardens and I also pick up photography.

Photography, in particular, gives me a lot of pleasure and a sense of accomplishment. I began to enjoy the beauties of God's creations in many wonderful ways. I was too busy in the past to stop by the road to smell the flowers, to watch the birds, to look at cute little children, etc :-) Now these brings me much joy and I try to catch these precious moments using my digital camera. Visit my "My Coping Strategies" link on my blog, and you can see some of my photos under "Leisure, hobbies and recreation".

And it is really important to set realistic goals by breaking our tasks into smaller manageable ones because every accomplishment we attain daily, no matter how small, brings encouragement and hope that we are still useful and the next day may be better. So pace yourself slowly, ok :-) and take care.

Keeping you in prayers still,
Nancie

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nanci,
That's all great advice. I am taking it easy. I'm starting an exercise program. My photography class at a local community college starts next week (and now I'm well enough to participate). I, too, have some cleaning to do. And it's time to spend time with friends as well.

We're on the same wavelength.

Susan

JayPeeFreely said...

As always you pick out great quotes.

It really seems people have significant and real experiences with regard to this disease. And by the length and breath of their responses, I think you are on to something...that could be very different from the establishment.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks JayPeeFreely!