Sunday, August 19, 2012


Brad & I were talking last night & he said it was ok for me to talk about his illness. 
I never have out of respect for Brad, but he gave me the ok.
It is kind of a relief to talk about it openly, it helps me to feel like I'm not so alone & "hiding" something.
I have been with Brad for 19 years, & we've been married for 17.
Brad did not get a diagnosis until 2006, 13 years after we had been together, so you can imagine some of the difficulties we went through together.
Brad has had 2 episodes in the last 9 months, before that it had been 2006, so it has been a challenging year, but we have great communication with each other & that makes all the difference in the world.
Brad also has the most amazing team of Dr's, however this last time I was quite frustrated by not being able to get in touch with who I needed to right away when I was worried.  I think we have that all straightened out now & the Dr's are aware that if I call them, I need them.
Somehow we always manage to get through the difficult times though :)

Bipolar is becoming much more well known now then it was years ago, many famous people are/were bipolar, Charlie Sheen ,Catherine Zeta Jones, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Munroe, Robert Downey Jr, Jim Carey, Drew Carey, Mozart, Patti Duke, & Vincent Van Geog for example.

Below is an explanation of the disorder......

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) causes serious shifts in mood, energy, thinking, and behavior–from the highs of mania on one extreme, to the lows of depression on the other. More than just a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycles of bipolar disorder last for days, weeks, or months. And unlike ordinary mood swings, the mood changes of bipolar disorder are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function.

Myths and Facts About Bipolar Disorder
Myth: People with bipolar disorder can’t get better or lead a normal life.
Fact: Many people with bipolar disorder have successful careers, happy family lives, and satisfying relationships. Living with bipolar disorder is challenging. But with treatment, healthy coping skills, and a solid support system, you can live fully while managing your symptoms.
Myth: People with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between mania and depression.
Fact: Some people alternate between extreme episodes of mania and depression, but most are depressed more often than they are manic. Mania may also be so mild that it goes unrecognized. People with bipolar disorder can also go for long stretches without symptoms.
Myth: Bipolar disorder only affects mood.
Fact: Bipolar disorder also affects your energy level, judgment, memory, concentration, appetite, sleep patterns, and self-esteem. Additionally, bipolar disorder has been linked to anxiety, and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, migraines, and high blood pressure.
Myth: Aside from taking medication, there is nothing you can do to control bipolar disorder.
Fact: While medication is the foundation of bipolar disorder treatment, therapy and self-help strategies also play important roles. You can help control your symptoms by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating right, monitoring your moods, keeping stress to a minimum, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.

Brad is actually quite a success story according to his Dr's. , once he was diagnosed he was willing to do whatever he had to do to control the disorder.
He even went back to college & earned his Power Engineering degree with Honours.  His degree is what brought us to Lethbridge & I am soooo happy it did!!!

My reasons for writing this post is not to have anyone feel bad for us, but to let others know that Bipolar people can have pretty awesome lives :)


WigglyZack said...

Great post.

Dianne SS said...

An excellent and informative post Jolene! And a great pic of Brad!!

Kim said...

I am glad you are speaking out about Brad's illness. So many people never get help for mental illnesses maybe your post will help others to look for the help they, or a loved one needs.
I also agree about the picture of Brad :)


Glad Brad is doing well and controling the situation.

We wonder if there is a disease that is the opposite of bi-polar. You know the people that don't get excited about anything?

Essex & Sherman

onecollie said...

the picture was taaken by Wendy of course !!

Anonymous said...

Great post and awesome both you and Brad shared a part of your life. Perhaps it will help others to accept what they have to deal with in life.


Squishy said...

I think this also was a great post and to let others know about this condition and that you both are managing it. My dad went from an obvious alcoholic to manic depression (even though I'm sure he was a highly functional manic/depressive for a long time), but when he lost his business everything went downhill and he did not have the support from everyone in our family. It was his downfall and very upsetting. Yours is a great story.

onecollie said...

thanks everyone for your support , it means the world to me ♥

Munster Madness said...

Very informative post... thanks for sharing the information and your guys story.

Brianne said...

Hats off to you and Brad for being willing to speak candidly about your experiences with BPD. I think that that does a service to those who are themselves dealing with the illness in some capacity.