Category Archives: Bipolar

Can You Die From Bipolar Disorder? You Should Know

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Now, I know, many people would disagree with me on this, after all, bipolar disorder doesn’t produce a tumour in your body that will eventually kill you, it doesn’t create plaque in your arteries to eventually kill you and it doesn’t spread a virus through your cells to eventually kill you. I know, bipolar is not like that.

But, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide takes over 35,000 lives a year in the United States and many of these are our brothers and sisters with bipolar disorder. You think that suicide isn’t the same thing as death by bipolar disorder? Think again. 

Bipolar and Suicide

Suicide and suicide attempts are seriously bipolar things. It used to be estimated that 1-in-5 people with bipolar disorder would commit suicide but that number has now been updated to a little more than 1-in-10. Doing pretty well, right?

Well, not exactly. I mean if your doctor told you that you just contracted a disease with a 10% chance of death you’d be pretty freaked out, but people don’t talk in those terms about bipolar disorder.

Really though, they should. Doctors should talk in terms of percent risk of death because people need to take that risk seriously. Just like if you had a cancer with a 10% risk of death, you would do things to manage that risk as best you could, people with bipolar disorder need to manage the overwhelming risk of suicide as best they can as well.

Bipolar and Suicide Attempts

And while a suicide attempt isn’t the same thing as a death by bipolar disorder, let’s not forget that more than half of people with bipolar disorder do attempt suicide and that suicide attempt can be pretty devastating.

Bipolar Causes Death

Suicide ideation and suicidal behaviors are actual symptoms of bipolar disorder noted in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). So if suicide is a symptom of bipolar disorder then it seems to me that bipolar, then, is the cause of death as it is the cause of the symptom. Without the bipolar disorder, the person would have no symptom and without the symptom the person would not have died.

I’m not saying that there’s no personal responsibility when it comes to suicidal behaviors – of course there is – but there’s personal responsibility in cancer patients who continue to smoke too. It is the cancer that kills them but they are responsible for increasing the risk.

Decreasing the Risk of Suicide

Mixed moods are known to increase the risk of suicide so I think the first way to manage the risk of suicide is to get those under control. This should be a high priority for any patient and any doctor. If you find yourself in a mixed mood unexpectedly, then getting help for it should be an immediate priority and not just something you wait until your next appointment to deal with. Manage that risk.

Of course, depressions also put people at risk of suicide. Naturally, this means that depressions should aggressively be treated as well. One serious option to consider is lithium as lithium is one of the few drugs we know that has been scientifically shown to have anti-suicidal properties (it’s been shown to reduce the risk of suicide and suicide attempts by 80%). (Of course lithium isn’t for everyone.) If you find yourself in a depression unexpectedly, get it treated as soon as possible for the best chance of recovery. If you find yourself in a treatment-resistant depressive episode, learn about other coping techniques (like through dialectical behavior therapy) and know when to call in help. Manage that risk.

Another factor known to increase the risk of suicide dramatically is anxiety. In a study out of Florida, 92% of people who attempted suicide suffered from severe anxiety right before the attempt and 80% suffered from panic attacks. If you’re a person who suffers from anxiety (especially panic attacks) you are at an increased risk of suicide. Don’t skip over that important symptom when you talk to your doctor. Make sure you get it treated. If you need to, get a medication you can take as needed so that you have a backup if the anxiety gets out of control. Manage that risk.

(Oh, most of the suicides in the Unites States are firearm suicides. If you really want to decrease your risk of suicide, get rid of your guns.)

Can You Die from Bipolar Disorder?

So yes, I think you can die from bipolar disorder and it’s absolutely essential that we recognize that fact but it’s also important to realize that we don’t have to. We can decrease the risk of a suicide attempt by getting proper treatment and by knowing when to call for additional help. Because bipolar disorder may cause death in some cases, but it doesn’t have to in your case. (And yes, ideally, it would be in no one’s case.)

Attention: Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder

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Helping someone with Bipolar – For circle of relatives and buddies
some humans trivialize melancholy (often by accident) by using losing a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to listen. While some of these thoughts have been helpful to a few humans (as an example, a few humans discover that praying could be very helpful), the context in which they’re frequently stated mitigates any supposed gain to the hearer. Platitudes do not treatment despair.

“what’s your trouble?”
Will you forestall that constant whining?”
What makes you observed that everybody cares?”
“have you gotten worn-out yet of all this me-me-me stuff?”
“You simply need to present your self a kick within the rear”
“but it is all on your mind”
“I idea you have been stronger than that”
“no one ever stated existence become truthful”
“Pull your self up by means of your bootstraps”
“Why don’t you simply grow up?”
“forestall feeling sorry for yourself”
“There are quite a few humans worse off than you”
“you have got it so desirable – why are not you happy?”
“What do you need to be depressed approximately?”
“you suspect you have got issues…”
“nicely as a minimum it’s no longer that awful”
“lighten up”
“You ought to get off all those capsules”
“you’re what you think”
“Cheer up”
“you are continually feeling sorry for yourself”
“Why can’t you just be regular?”
“You need to get out extra”
“Get a grip”
“most oldsters are approximately as happy as they make up their minds to be”
“Get a task”
“You don’t ‘appearance’ depressed”
“you’re just looking for interest”
“every person has a bad day now and then”
“Why do not you smile more?”
“someone your age must be having the time of their life”
“The only one you are hurting is your self”
“you could do some thing you want if you just set your mind to it”
“despair is a symptom of your sin against God”
“You brought this on yourself”
“Get off your rear and do some thing”
“Snap out of it”
“you are always concerned approximately your issues”
“simply don’t reflect onconsideration on it”
“go out and have a few fun”
“simply strive a touch tougher”
“i know how you feel – i used to be depressed once for numerous days”
“you’d experience higher if you went to church”
“Shit or get off the pot”
“What you want is a few actual tragedy to your life to offer you perspective”
“This too shall pass”
“go out and get some sparkling air”
“all of us have our cross to endure”
“You do not like feeling that way? So alternate it”
“you are a actual downer to be round”
“you’re embarrassing me”
“you’d feel better if you lost some weight”
“you are too tough on your self. Stop being the sort of perfectionist”
“do not take it out on each person else round you”
“you’re going to lose lots of pals in case you don’t snap out of this”
“you’re dragging me down with you”
“you are simply being immature”
“you’re your personal worst enemy”
“this is life – get used to it”
“My lifestyles is not a laugh either”
“You do not care about the rest of us – you are so self-absorbed”