This section offers a number of pieces reflecting Martin's own experience of bipolar disorder (which used to be known as manic depression, MD). Several of them were originally published in Pendulum, journal of MDF The Bipolar Organisation (formerly The Manic Depression Fellowship) who may be contacted through their website www.bipolaruk.org.
There are many things we can do in our MD "up" phases which may limit the amount of damage we suffer in our "down" phases. Among them I have personally found the following helpful. They all involve being prepared for the worst so as to achieve the best.
I want to pass on here a lesson which I have had to learn on recovering more than once from depression and nervous breakdown. When in the depths of the pit you do not just feel gloomy; you lose all inner energy, indeed the very capacity to think.
We manic depressives all too easily hide our disability behind a cloak of guilt and shame. I want to suggest that in many areas we have everything to gain by facing up to MD and by allowing our friends and associates to become aware of our problem and so to understand it.
One of the overriding needs of the MD is for someone to talk to. In the first instance we may talk to our families and friends, but our families and friends are not always good listeners. In any case, they often already shoulder the task of looking after us, and they have their limits. Further, we may have difficulty in discussing our deepest and most personal problems with someone so close, especially as they may themselves be part of the problem. So we need to turn elsewhere.