Mental Health

Manic-depressives find support, solace on Web

. New York Daily News –
Manic-depressives find support, solace on Web

Jimi Hendrix expressed it in music, Vincent van Gogh expressed it on canvas and now an underground subculture of bloggers is expressing it online.

“It” is bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, which afflicts about 1% of U.S. adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sufferers are subjected to mood swings that may veer from overly excited highs to soul-crushing lows. Although treatable, it remains, in the institute’s words, “a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.”

With blogging, manic-depressives are able to share the reality of their widely misunderstood illness with the world while at the same time gaining fellowship to help them endure its peaks and valleys.

Entering a manic-depressive’s blog is like hitchhiking a ride on an emotional roller-coaster. Witness this excerpt from a recent entry by “Blondzila,” a sales rep whose blog is called Sanity Optional :

“You know, I really kid myself sometimes. I tell myself I don’t get depressed. And I don’t. Not really. I get into these funky mixed states where I have the mindset of depression but the energy of mania. It’s great for those long lonely car trips. What is my drug of choice? Why, my pretty, it’s driving alone and figuring out the many ways they could find me.”

Then there’s irreverent “Manica”, a Canadian civil servant whose Moon Moods blog includes an entry comparing reasons for hating and loving lithium, a mood stabilizer.

On why she hates the drug: “It’s used to treat crazy people: Enough said. Who wants their pharmacist to know they’re crazy? Especially when he’s half-cute.”

On why she loves it: “It keeps me from going crazy.”

Blondzila writes in an E-mail that she finds blogging “intensely therapeutic,” a sentiment echoed by Manica:

Blogging “is really cathartic and helps me realize that this too will pass.,”

The bipolar blogosphere is “very much a healing place,” echoes Blondzila.

“I read others and see their burning wit, their razor sarcasm, and laugh heartily, sometimes near tears,” she writes. “And then, two days pass and the same blogger is unable to breathe due to the weight of the stares of her neighbors, the demands of her children, the requests of his boss. And I can then return the favor and reach my hand out.”

You too can start a Blog on the DepressionForums.org :Coopwink:

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