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breakdown of the middle ground.

I pretty much stay away from my twin sister all through the fall months

(photo from online, women in pic are not bipolar)

“When I say twins you probably think of matching clothes.”

1.9% of the world’s population is comprised of twins. In America for every 1000 live births, approximately 32 are twins.

“I have countless people come up to me with a dreamy look in their eyes saying, “I wish I had a twin—I would love to have someone my own age to play with.” ”

Monozygotic twins are identical twins, meaning after conception one fertilized egg split. Dizygotic twins are made when two separate eggs are fertilized at the same time, therefore creating fraternal twins. Fifty percent of fraternal twins are of the boy/ girl combination. Next in birth popularity are boy/boy fraternal, girl/girl fraternal, girl/girl identical, and the least common twin combo is boy/boy identical.

Multiple births are rare the world over, but they’re presence provides medical researchers excellent opportunities for genetic comparisons. Twin studies are used to determine how much of certain traits are genetic or environmentally related. (The never ending nature versus nurture) They are compared for various medical and psychological characteristics as well.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disease that runs in the family. It’s a proven hereditary disease. Within first degree relatives, such as parents and siblings, the risks are relatively high regarding development. If both parents have a mood disorder, their children almost all the time will as well. If one parent does, then typically a quarter of the time their children do too. Previous research has indicated in identical twins pairings if one has it, the other has a 70% chance of developing it later in life. And fraternal twins have 23% odds. (The real life incident rates have statics of 40% of identical twins both developing and less than 10% from fraternal cases) Since research has failed to locate a single gene as the disorders’ cause, it’s assumed that multiple genes are involved, and therefore the reason why all both twin counterparts aren’t always affected.

And this lovely un-located cause gene is still without a cure. In case you forgot… (read further to learn what twin studies have revealed about this disorder)

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , ,

Coming out of an entirely different closet…the one of mental illness

Unfortunately as prevalent as mental health disorders are the nation (50+ million diagnosed in the US alone) and world wide, it still tops the ranks as the most difficult to admit.

Higher than revealing to be a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or molestation, harder than confessing a drinking problem or previous bankruptcy; surveys have even shown it to more difficult than admitting ones gender identity or homosexuality. Sufferers face significant social taboos. And it doesn’t affect just one type of person. Mental illness knows nothing of age, race, gender, or economic background.

You don’t have to personally admit it yourself to believe the notion the reality that people are more likely to break off, or not even start, a relationship with someone with mental issues -which I for one find particularly interesting because members of society are more likely to stay with someone with a physical disability. People with mental disorders tend to prefer to hide their illness like major depression and anxiety, because unlike people with physical illnesses, people with mental disorders must also fear being rejected by family & friends, harassed, fired or not hired, or denied child custody—just for starters.

Please check out this personal blog discussing the Price of being Bipolar in Public)

Last week I had an entire conversation with a friend about them being practically afraid to admit their Christian faith at their workplace because of the negative assumptions his non-same faith based peers might think about his character or behavior.

Once you know someone’s religious preference it changes your whole personality to people who don’t agree with you. Sometimes it’s like every negative image or thought they have about it becomes who I am as a person- even though I haven’t changed. It’s their behavior towards me that has.

I’ve read more than a few articles of a biracial person attempting, or enjoying the ability to pass for one race over another—not because they have a problem with it necessarily themselves, but because other people do.

Sometimes it’s like every negative stereotype or prejudice they have against a race I share membership of encompasses who I am as a person. Granted racism is an ongoing issue for those of one race, but it is just as prevalent towards those of plural heritage.

Sexual orientation discrimination —don’t even get me started.

(great message board discussion here coming coming out as gay with coming out as bipolar)

Mental illness sufferers are also victims of discrimination and the issue continually needs to be recognized.

“I’m Asian, I’m gay, and I have faced discrimination – but not for the reasons most people think; it was actually when I got depression that I faced most discrimination.”

(Quote from an article in the Guardian)

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When is it okay to joke?

In language it’s become sort of common place for people to use serious mental illness terms as adjectives in discussions. However you feel about that, I’m sure you’ve heard it.

Someone refers to a well organized person, as being so OCD. Or joking that a busy multitasker has gone all ADD or something. The term bipolar, has been used so out of its original context as related to a mental diagnose, more or less its good for a laugh to describe a situation.

When is it okay? Is it okay for the sufferer themselves to be lighthearted? Its something they didn’t bring about from their own accord, so is it okay to embrace it for what it is?

On this website we are all about representation for what you are. If you’re biracial-holla! Comfortable bisexual—be proud and open. But are some topics worthy of a limit? Let’s discuss! Theses bipolar people are having some fun with their disorder, and maintaining the position that even though they have this illness— they aren’t the illness.

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Why should I keep trying to fix something that just stays broken?

This is how I feel.

It’s like I’ve dropped a priceless vase and every piece that I attempt to glue back together  falls again into another dozen pieces and I’m back right where I started, only it’s gotten worse.

I wish I were talking about a vase though, but I’m not. I’m talking about my mother. I called her today to just talk. We aren’t close. She doesn’t live nearby. She’s manic depressive bipolar. For every six months of downer moods, there are maybe 8 days collective of upper ones.

I don’t call, she’s sad.

I call she’s sad and mad.

So I don’t call.

Time, time, time goes by. I want to call. I don’t. More time, time, time goes by. I call. I cross my fingers; I take a deep breath, hello?

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , ,

What’s faith got to do with it?

Recently I came across this list online of things (un-informed) people sometimes say, intending to be helpful, yet completely are not, when interacting with bipolar people. I was immediately reminded of an earlier posting here on Bifactor, when I was writing about My mom is bipolar. One of the things we talked about were the different ways her and her sister chose to go about interacting with their mother. The sibling I did not speak with appears to view her mother’s disorder  more along the lines of the following…

What was said: It’s all in your head. You are a hypochondriac.

What may have been perceived: You are either completely deluded or making an excuse for poor behavior in order to get my sympathy. I don’t believe in that psychiatric mumbo jumbo. I don’t believe that you actually have a real illness.

The Fallacy: Mental health problems are the result of a character flaw or weak personality. Mental illnesses are not real diseases.

The Facts: Bipolar Disorder is a medical illness with a physical cause probably rooted in structural or biochemical abnormalities in the brain. In short, it is very real, just like diabetes or heart disease.

What was said: Just shake it off.

What was perceived: You’ve created this problem for yourself, so just get over it and move on. I am out of patience with you. Don’t bother me with this again.

The Fallacy: Everyone can and should control their emotions.

The Facts: Bipolar disorder is a medical condition. Those with this disorder can no more snap out of it or shake it off then those with a broken leg.

What was said: He must be demon possessed.

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in the past but not forgotten

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