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You have probably heard that bipolar disorder is a mental illness and you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that as it does certainly effect the mind. Bipolar is a scourge to live with. Every day is a challenge. But what you probably didn’t know is that bipolar is not just a mental disorder as it effects the whole body.

Bipolar is a holistic illness.

If you talk to any psychiatrist or therapist you will be told that bipolar affects the mind. You can also talk to your family doctor and more than likely he or she will tell you that bipolar affects the body, and again every member of the clergy knows at least one person with bipolar who is affected spiritually by the illness.
But what you will also find is that no doctor, therapist or member of the clergy treats the whole person who has the bipolar disorder.
Yet, as you know, we are all made up of mind, body and spirit. It is a shame that modern medicine has not yet caught up with that fact. In the East, people are treated holistically for any illness. They realize that illnesses do not just affect one part of the body, they realize that the person is suffering in many other ways. Western medicine may catch up one day, but it will be in a different century, no doubt.
Bipolar disorder is classed as a mental illness. It is a cyclic mood disorder and causes people to experience extreme highs and lows unlike the normal ups and downs of every day life. It is a disorder that affects the thinking, the energy and the behavior.
Here are some of the symptoms that effect the mind:
  • Depression:
  • Feelings of sadness, guilt and worthlessness.
  • Unable to find pleasure in anything
  • Lack of motivation
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Feelings of extreme pleasure, or anger
  • A feeling of being invincible
  • Thoughts coming rapidly into the head
  • Talking fast and loud
These are the symptoms the psychiatrist treats with medication, and the therapist and the member of the clergy treat with talk therapy. It is a fact that bipolar has no known cause and it cannot be cured. It can only be managed with the help of medication, therapy and life style changes.
Here are some of the symptoms that affect the body:
  • Depression:
  • Lethargy, no energy to do anything
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Long term high blood pressure, heart and kidney disease
  • Insomnia
  • Exhaustion
  • Tremor in the hands
  • Hypersexuality
  • Psychosis:
People usually see their doctor with physical symptoms and various medications are prescribed. Most people with bipolar disorder have physical symptoms which complicates the illness further. Often no treatment is helpful.
And lastly, here are a few symptoms that affect the person spiritually:
  • Depression:
  • Coping with every day life
  • Grief
  • Things falling apart
  • Feelings of being cut off from God
  • Euphoria
  • Obsession with the bible and religion
  • Thinking you are a famous spiritual person
  • Addictions
Some people are affected very badly with spiritual symptoms and lose all faith in God. They cannot shake off grief after losing a loved one and prayers go unanswered.
We don’t seem to have a solution for this disconnect in modern times. People are just left to their own devices. Yet there must be something that can be done to help the person with bipolar disorder. Perhaps if they adopted self-care, worked on their sleeping and eating habits and mediated that would that be enough.
People who are sick do know that relaxation is a good thing and breathing exercises help the whole person. If they were to spend some time relaxing during the day and practice controlling the breath they might start to feel better all over. Relaxation is good for the mind, body and spirit. Bipolar is a holistic illness.
  • Sally Alter – Author of:
  • “How to Live with Bipolar”
  • “Bipolar 1 Disorder Rescue Plan”
  • “37 Symptoms of Bipolar Depression”