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Bipolar Disorder or Awakening?
By Jen, a.k.a. Ghost
[Editor's note: If you think you may be awakening, you might actually be suffering from bipolar disorder; its manifestations are remarkably similar. Read this article and if things sound too familiar, you may want to consider being checked out by a Professional. This is not to say that everyone who has these symptoms has BD, but it's something you should consider before deciding you're a vampire. This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or psichiatric advice.]
Author's Note: I am a student of Psychology (who isn't?), so everything about bipolar disorder or anything related to that here is completely accurate.
Bipolar Disorder and Awakening have some very similar symptoms, so here I discuss (mainly) Bipolar Disorder, with (very brief) references as to how that may be confused with awakening (or vice versa).
Bipolar Disorder (BD for short) used to be known as Manic Depression. This was from the (incorrect) idea that all sufferers have full-blown manic episodes and deep depression. Sufferers can have abnormally high or up moods known as hypermania and light depression. 'Normal' moods, which are neither up nor down, can be experienced before, after or in between episodes (depressive or manic). Mood imbalances are a normal part of adolescence and a sign of stress in adults but can signify awakening due to changes in energy level.
There are 3 types of Bipolar Disorder; Bipolar I, Bipolar II and Cyclothymia. Bipolar I involves true manic episodes. Bipolar II involves hypermania and deep depression. Cyclothymia ~ involves hypermania and either short-term deep depression or light depression. Most definitions mention rapid cycling, which is where a sufferer has four or more episodes in a year. A mixed episode is where a sufferer has both depression and a manic episode almost or equal to every day for a week or more.
Checklist for manic episodes:
Manic episodes can make sufferers hallucinate, become deluded in their
beliefs and lose touch with reality.
Potential causes for BD.
Lack of serotonin or dopamine (happy hormones), due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Change of blood flow in certain areas of the brain. Faulty connections in the brain (neuropathways). Genetic causes, especially if it exists in the immediate family. Stress is the best-known trigger for BD.
Melantonin, a happy hormone, can be produced in the brain, and is produced in excess when in dark conditions for prolonged periods of time (more than the average diurnal person). Even the least keen of readers will notice the similarities between BD and awakening. The differences in energy are most apparent, as these have the most impact on a person's behaviour, e.g. insomnia. When a person awakening experiences these changes, it is important that all other reasons are ruled out, including the possibility of having bipolar disorder. Although some vampires do have bipolar disorder, they are few in number.
Good definitions of Bipolar Disorder can be found on most search engines. I recommend www.metacrawler.com, www.about.com and www.wikipedia.org.
The best book I've read on emotions in general is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. There's a sequel to it, too*. The best book I've read for learning more about disorders in general is Head Case: Treat Yourself to Better Mental Health by Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly. They're both written by professionals in their respective subjects. [You can find outmore information or order copies of these books below.]
Eerie America TV Series
Eerie America could very well be called The Fodors Travel Guidebook for The Addams Family. I read some in-depth information about the show and saw the promo, and from what I can tell, this will be an absolutely AWESOME series if they can get it off the ground. (I'm actually praying they will.) Let others know and see who can help. This is something that should happen! Let's pull together and make it so!
New Orleans Vampire Association
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If you would like to donate money, food, or supplies toward the cause, please click here for more info or to donate.
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