Friday, January 11, 2013

Crafts and Health

Good day to you and thank you for dropping by my blog.

My blog is a mis-match of crafts, life, health, rants its  my place to vent and share ideas etc as you may have noticed already.

I have been busy with some crafting and have done some more on my box for mum.I am pleased with how it is coming along. I've just got to line the inside of it and its done. I hand made the flower and used lots of rub n buff to accent places. I dont know if I can part with it, he he he

I've also started to play with clay to make my own embellishments. First I made some molds with polymer clay and then used some light weight air drying clay to make some flowers, birdhouses, cameo's and butterflys.

All I have to do now is sand the edges and varnish them and they are ready to use.

As some of  you may know if you follow me on YT I wanted to have a place I could share health related things and to talk about 3 health issues that effect me personally as well as 1000's of people the world over. Unfortunatly there is also alot of stigma that goes with them so I want to try and bring them to light a little bit and dismiss some of the stigma that goes with them. Today I want to focus on Bi polar. So for now the crafty side of this post is over read on if you are interested in doing so or leave now lol you have been warned. 

The word "bipolar" is often used during casual and joking diagnosis of someone who's happy one minute and sad the next, but the real thing, bipolar disorder, is a serious mental illness that's wrecked lives. There's still much that remains unknown about the disease, but knowledge of it is growing, and great strides have been made in its treatment. However, there are many misconceptions about the condition, and a lot of things that even researchers and doctors used to believe about bipolar disorder have been scrapped.
So what are 10 myths about bipolar disorder that continue to misinform? Keep reading to find out.

10: There's Only One Type of Bipolar Disorder

A common -- but mistaken -- belief is that there is only one type of bipolar disorder, but there are actually several:
  • Bipolar I disorder is distinguished by its inclusion of a full-blown manic episode at some point in the person's life.
  • A person with bipolar II, a milder form of the disorder than bipolar I, goes back and forth between periods of depression and periods of elevated moods, but not actual mania.
  • Cyclothymic bipolar disorder is similar to bipolar II, but less severe.
  • Several periods of mania and/or depression in a single year indicates rapid cycling bipolar disorder.
  • If highs and lows coexist or occur quickly back-to-back, this is mixed bipolar disorder.

personally I suffer with bi polar II. 

9: Mania Sounds Like Fun

A surface understanding of manic episodes -- or their occasional representation in movies or TV shows -- makes them seem like a good time. You get lots done, you have endless energy, you're highly extroverted -- why wouldn't you be on top of the world?
Some people with bipolar disorder do experience happiness when in a manic state, but often, the reins of life can slip out of their hands. They become highly excitable, anxious and irritable. Their minds careen from one seemingly grand idea to the next, and their sleep rhythms fall apart. They may begin making bolder and risky decisions when it comes to sex, and may overindulge on alcohol or drugs. Some people start gambling or racking up huge shopping tabs. Mania can also cause psychotic thoughts and actions.
So there you have it -- another reason not to believe everything you see about mental illness in the media.
Having a manic episode can be pretty scary for me and those around me. I have in the past over indulged with alcohol and certain drugs, made some very bold and risky decisions in life, but thankfully this is not a habit or coping method I use anymore. How ever I still have long periods where my sleep pattern falls apart which can lead to me being excitable, anxious and irritable  . . . sometimes all at once. And we will not even mention the debt I get into with shopping,.

8: Very Few People Actually Have Bipolar Disorder

While most of us know about or have heard of bipolar disorder or manic depression, it's easy to think that it doesn't affect that many people. After all, many patients don't disclose their condition to co-workers or acquaintances, and the casual observer may not detect anything more significant than an especially good mood or a person having a bad day. 
Bipolar disorder doesn't discriminate based on gender or race, and seems to affect all groups evenly across the board. While most often symptoms present themselves in young adulthood (late teens to early 20s), older adults are susceptible as well as young children.
I was 13 when I first started to have episodes of depression and self harming. by the time I was 16 I was diagnosed with bi polar disorder and impulse control disorder. Now at 31 I seem to be alot more stable on my current medication, apart from the sleep side of things. But this can change. Over the summer and autumn of last year even up untill early December  I was uncontrolled. 

7: Children Can't Get Bipolar Disorder

Life for many families would be easier if this next myth were indeed true. However, children as young as 6 can develop bipolar disorder, and the disease can prompt children to attempt suicide. When bipolar disorder presents itself at a young age, there's often a corresponding family history of mood disorders. Children who develop it can experience many periods of depression before the first manic episode, making it harder to diagnose. Sometimes, these depressions are accompanied by psychotic thoughts and behaviors, and children are more likely to experience mixed states -- that is, having mania and depression at the same time.
While lithium is often less effective in children (and the side effects are worse), advancing research and knowledge of adolescent bipolar disorder -- when matched with early detection and treatment -- offers more hope each day to families with bipolar children.

Did You Know?

Early-onset bipolar disorder (bipolar disorder in children) can be more severe than the adult version, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Symptoms and changes in mood occur more frequently in bipolar children than they do in adults.

6: It's Just a Dramatic Term for Mood Swings

We've all experienced mood swings, so it's easy to think bipolar disorder is just a fancy name for one.
When most people feel in the dumps or on top of the world, it's usually a short-term feeling that fades away along with the reasons that prompted the feeling, or as a result of a gradual adjustment to the new circumstances.
Bipolar mood swings are different, and they can last for weeks or months. Up mood swings often lead to dangerous lifestyle choices, racing thoughts that refuse to be corralled and out-of-ordinary behaviors that can damage careers and family lives. Down mood swings for a bipolar person lead to excessive sleep and lethargy, uncontrollable crying and even thoughts of (and attempts at) suicide.
So when we're talking about bipolar disorder, we're not talking about good moods and bad moods. There's no "snapping out of it" when it comes this condition.
I have had many people say to me oh just snap out of it. it will be fine after a good sleep, it will all seem better in the morning and many more statements along the same lines. Personally I wish it was. It is not a good way to live having to deal with such drastic long term mood swings. In the past I have lost my house to debt through bad choices, hurt my family and friends, hurt myself so many times I have lost count. Thankfully though I now have a wonderful support network of family and friends who I can be totally honest with about how I feel.I have an outlet in my creativity. A wonderful partner who puts up with so much but keeps me safe. And most importantly it has been awhile since I have woken up and dreaded being alive. Now thanks to my friends, partner, family, doctor and medication I can say life is good. 

5: Bipolar Disorder Means High Highs or Low Lows

When most of us hear the words bipolar or manic depression, we think of very high highs and very low lows. Additionally, we think that people with bipolar disorder simply go from one to the other, with no stop in between.
While severe cases can involve such features, most people don't careen from high to low and back again. Patients may be in state of mania or depression for a while, or they may be in between the two. They may even show signs of both simultaneously. Some people go months or even years with bipolar disorder in regression, only to have it rear its ugly head again. Some people cycle quickly between high and low, while others only experience a full-blown manic state once every few years.
Regardless of frequency, the intensity is highly variable as well. Many people with bipolar disorder have more mild highs and lows and cycle between these states.
I cycle between mild highs and lows and can go years without a high high or a very low depressive state. I can also be in a neutral state for a while. Before my last episode of bi polar regression I had been relatively controlled for 3 years. My sleep pattern is one thing that is in constant swings on a frequent basis. 

4: Bipolar Disorder Only Affects Mood

While the best known symptoms of bipolar disorder are mood related (and the disease itself is a mood disorder), bipolar disorder affects a person in many other ways as well.
When people with bipolar disorder experience highs or lows, they experience problems with overall cognitive functions as well as mood. A person may one day have a razor-sharp mind and sharpened intellect, and the next day have muddled thoughts and a sluggish thought process.
It also messes with sleep patterns. While experiencing a "high," someone with bipolar disorder won't sleep as much (sometimes hardly at all), and seemingly won't be the worse for it during the day. In fact, lack of sleep is often a precursor to a manic episode that hasn't presented itself yet. When experiencing a "low," a person will oversleep and never feel fully rested and alert.
Highs and lows also contribute to bad lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, poor diet and drug use.

3: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Can Cause Bipolar Disorder

Many people with bipolar disorder are also frequent or heavy users of alcohol and nonprescription drugs. This in part has led to a belief that substance abuse -- offering its own often unpredictable highs and lows -- can cause you to snap and become bipolar.
While there is increased use of alcohol and drugs for people with bipolar disorder, it's not a contributing factor. A healthy person without bipolar disorder can't "crack" through alcohol or drug use and develop it.
People with bipolar disorder are more prone to engaging in risky, dangerous behaviors, and many also attempt to self-medicate in hopes of decreasing mood swings, getting sleep and dealing with anxiety. Though many people find short-term success or results, over the long haul these behaviors take their toll.

2: All You Need are Meds

Modern medications have made a wonderful difference and vast improvement in the lives of many people with bipolar disorder. But while lithium, anticonvulsants, antidepressantsand other drugs are very important in the treatment of the condition (especially when first treated during a full-blown high or low), it's now commonly accepted that long-term success is best attained when treatment doesn't rely on medications alone.
Instead, treatment should include regular counseling from a trained mental health professional and a treatment support network consisting of family, friends, counselors or group-therapy sessions. It's also important to maintain a steady and healthy lifestyle -- that means proper sleep, diet, exercise and sobriety.
People will be most successful in dealing with bipolar disorder by developing a treatment plan that manages the issue through a variety of different means, and not just with medication alone.

1: Meds Will Turn You Into a Zombie

Bipolar disorder is usually treated through some combination of drugs like lithium, anticonvulsants, anti psychotics and antidepressants, but pills often have side effects. Lithium in particular has a reputation for turning patients into zombies. It's not totally undeserved, but side effects usually fade away after a few months of use, and the remaining side effects can often be alleviated through dosage adjustment.
The same holds true for anticonvulsants and anti psychotics. Dosages may be higher than usual at first, especially when dealing with extreme mania or depression. However, once the crisis has passed, the dosage is generally lowered to facilitate a stable, happy and productive life. Lithium or any other specific drug may just not be right for you, but by working with your doctor, a better option can be found.

I take 2 different drugs daily, an anti depressant and a mood stabilizer. For me they have helped to make a world of difference to my life. I have no negative side effects from them. Although it did take a few months to find a dose and balance between the two that worked for me. I have been able to complete a degree at university, hold a good job in healthcare, have a happy and supportive partner infact have a normal life as dictated by society. I drive I ride a motorbike there is no reason why suffering from bi polar disorder or depression means you cant do things. It just means for me that at times I need added support to function on a normal level. whether that support is from the mental health team at the local hospital, my medication, friends, family, my hobbies. Its all about finding a balance of things that worked for me. 

I hope you do not mind it was quite a long post if you managed to stay this far THANK YOU. 

Much love and crafty kisses 

A xx


  1. Hey my bi-polar bestie lol (we are far too alike at times :S) I love you lots even tho we give each other shit at times xx

  2. Hi Vikkie,
    I'm a new follower of your blog & a subbie on YouTube! You bring a lot of inspiration to many of us from your crafty talents to your life shares and you keep things real. I wish you many good days ahead this new year & look forward to more project & life shares!
    Warm hugs,

  3. I would just like to set the records straight, I appear to have caused a rucus with my choice of language in my comment to Vikkie the other day. To let people understand Vikkie and I have been close friends for a number of years now and we know each other incredibly well, too well at times and we are far too alike in a number of ways. We both suffer from depression (so I know what her post was about) and we can rub each other up the wrong way at times. She is like the sister I never had and I guess we can wind each other up just the same way siblings can and we both know this. I was in no way belittling her with my comments or being nasty. She is my best friend and I depend on her for a lot of things and I would never ever hurt her publicly, I care for her too much for that. Just thought I would clear that up x