My name is Jenny Duhaylonsod Delos Santos, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1997. At that time, I was staying up all night, still had lots of energy to do whatever I had to do. Because of not sleeping and other symptoms, I ended up in a psych ward at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Due to experiencing drastic guilt and depression, the doctor introduced me to electro convulsive therapy, which is one of the fastest ways to relieve symptoms of a depressed patient. The therapy helped me a great deal, and I had ECT for a couple of months, but stopped the therapy because of memory loss.
I would like to be a spokesperson of bipolar depression, because there’s so much negative stigma, which surrounds the lifelong illness.
First of all, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that affects five million adult Americans from all walks of life.
The most common symptom associated with bipolar disorder is mood swings. Individuals who have bipolar experience high euphoria and happiness that is followed by depression.
The symptoms of “mania” include experiencing feelings of abnormal excitement, euphoria or elevated mood. They also sleep less than normal, however, still have energy. Those with bipolar also feel very hyper, agitated, easily distracted or irritable as well as experience lavish spending.
The “lows” (depression) symptoms include having a loss of energy; eating way to little or too much; not being able to remember things, hard to concentrate and/or make decisions.
Lastly, they always experience thoughts of suicide or death.
The following are ways in which individuals with bipolar disorder may be able to deal with their illness: he/she should be educated about their illness; take their medication daily; have weekly therapy or counseling; and have lots of support from their friends and family.
There are well-known actors and actresses who have been open about having bipolar, including Carrie Fisher, who is Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar at age 24. When she first came out and admitted she had bipolar, it was like a bright light for people, showing others that they can achieve their goals even with a mental illness like bipolar disorder.
Mahalo everyone for taking time out to read my article!
Jenny Duhaylonsod Delos Santos is from Honolulu, Hawaii. She is married and has two children from a previous marriage. She’s an editorial clerk for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has been working there for the past 16 years. Her memoir was recently released by Written Dreams, which is about her experience with domestic violence and the journey it took to overcome an array of mental illnesses that stemmed from all the abuse she went through from her first marriage.