Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is This Thing?

Bipolar type 2, said the psychiatrist, when she discussed her impressions with me. Not a surprise, really. Nonentheless, a welcome confirmation of my gut suspicions. We take comfort in diagnostic answers, don't we? They appeal to our drive to conquer the unknown. But, now I wonder. Has finding a name for this thing I experience answered any unknowns? What, exactly, do we mean when we say  bipolar? Conceptually, I think of it as the mental/pyschiatric equivalent of diabetes. Regulation of blood sugar levels defines the focus of diabetes. Regulation of mood levels and intensity define the focus of bipolar.

I combed through google, in search of definitions for bipolar. None quite satisfied me. So, here's my own definition of bipolar disorder.

A psychiatric mood disorder in which the individual experiences vast and rapid mood fluctuations - from extreme euphoria to deep despair. Associated with an inherent inability to modulate emotion.

It's definitely a start.


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