Bipolar is a Progressive, Organic Brain Disease. Medication Helps Stop Damage to Brain.

Excellent post summarizing research on the negative effect of bipolar disorder on the brain over time. Medication, lithium in particular, heals and protects the brain. Take your meds, folks. Mania is damaging.

Bipolar1Blog

From: http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/bipolars-only-discussions/general-support/10087928-bipolar-gets-worse-with-age

Sarah Troy writes:

I am not a doctor. I have bipolar disorder. My responses are based on my own experience, reading and research.

QUESTION: “I know bipolars begin to experience cognitive damage with each untreated manic episode but do BPs on medication also experience this cognitive damage?”

Yes. Bipolar is a progressive, organic brain disease.

Bipolar is a major mental disease (or disorder). Research on the major mental disorders, such a bipolar, schizophrenia, major depression, and Alzheimer’s disease, shows: A) Deterioration of the brain occurs slowly over the lifespan in each of these disorders. B.) This deterioration is both structural and functional. C) There are differences between how the brain looks in each of these disorders. In other words, the brain of a bipolar has structural and functional deterioration that is different from the brain of a major depressive disorder. D) In each of these disorders, we…

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So….who are you?

As I begin my training as a Hearing Advocate for those involuntarily hospitalized, I found this post timely. Finding My Sunshine is a mother, wife and PhD student living with Bipolar disorder. In this post, she describes her experience with involuntary hospitalization and multiple ECT sessions administered while prescribed Lithium, resulting in severe memory loss. Through rehabilitation much of her memory is returning, but she does not recall everything about her hospitalization.

Finding My Sunshine

One of the major side effects of ECT is short term memory loss. And, boy, did it affect me.

I underwent ECT thrice weekly for ten sessions in the locked ward. Which, incidentally, reminds me. Recently I was considering my time in hospital and found it remarkable that when you are first involuntarily frog marched to a locked ward it is a major crush to the soul. You’re all “let me out of here! I’m being held against my will!” you pound your fists on the air lock doors and almost inevitably get told that you are going to be given something to “calm down”, which actually sounds quite pleasant until you are stabbed with a hypodermic needle. Then a few weeks later, after you have settled in, you’re all “welcome to my crib. Bitch.” Institutionalization at its finest. Clearly a topic for another time.

Anyway, back to my terrible…

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