The human experience is filled with unexpected observations especially witnessing human behavior and personality traits. Some individuals go through life without any deviation in their character. Smooth as silk as the expression goes. Not in the least flustered when the unexpected happens, which in life it always does. Then there are those that experience monumental mood swings. It is these individuals that are now classified as being bipolar. In short, bipolar disorder is an actual medical mental illness. It's former name that many know it as manic depression. This illness causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs or medically speaking experiencing mania or hypomania and lows which is depression. When you become depressed, you feel sad, lonely, and hopeless. You lose interest in doing the basic functions of life or take pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts back in the other direction, you may feel euphoric and full of energy. Those that experience these extreme mood shifts may only experience them a few times a year. Then there are those who undergo these shifts in personality as often as several times a week. So you can see those who are associated with individuals that have these sever shifts in their personality and in many cases it is family members, relatives, co-workers or friends have a really hard time coping with one who is bipolar.
There are others whose mood shifts affecting their personality even though not as sever to be classified as bipolar from time to time distinguish themselves in uncharacteristic mannerisms. When the unexpected happens or when one thing or another impedes a personal want they fly off the handle as the expression goes. It is as though these individuals have created a subconscious defense that prohibits them from coping when things go wrong. And again, in everyday life Murphy's Law still holds true.
Take the case of one Robin Smith. At age 19 she got pregnant. A single mother working as a aid in a nursing home, paying for daycare living in a two room apartment with a beat up car. As if times were not bad enough her diet consisted of fast food. The convenience of fast food was soon to take it's toll not only on the pocketbook but on ones health. A year went by Robin got pregnant again. Now with two children to support and no husband or father of the children adds another dimension to her personality. Now, after her third child and still no father or husband to take responsibility even though Robin gets child support which really doesn't cover the total cost of daycare today. But, to keep her job it is just one of the many financial woes that she has to endure.
The effects of financial stress, improper diet, and emotional voids have changed Robin's personality. A once bubbly teenager now having to cope with three children has drastically altered her outlook on life. Decisions she made in the past motivated either by adventure, passion, or selfishness where her own father had many of her same characteristics has cast her adrift in the sea of life. One can arguably say that mental as well as physical characteristics can be passed down to subsequent generations.
The drastic changes brought on by now having to bear the responsibility of raising three children with a minimal paying job and having to live where she lives does effect the personality of those who experience similar conditions. Many a time one would cope better than another. But, with Robin whose own father had difficulty coping with his realm of reality where his personality traits were affected not only by his decisions but by his surrounding environment signals that personality traits so often reappear in offspring.
For Robin's mother whose own personality is more attune to a simpler more refined lifestyle can only look on in dismay to what has occurred in her daughters life. At first Robin's mother was sympathetic and really bent over backward in easing some of her daughters burdens. But, over time Robin's personality sifted from one of gratitude and gracious acceptance to one of a more selfish demure. The case of Robin is not unique either, for there are thousands like her in America today. Questions so often arise as to what causes such the shift in personality that many times becomes so destructive that they erode relationships, hopes and dreams?
There are many contributing factors. In the case of bipolar disorders the medical community have known for some time that certain genes are likely to cause bipolar disorder, and some of these genes are also linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia and alcoholism. But, the things behind the development of bipolar disorder are likely a mix of different factors, ranging from gene mutations to a person’s upbringing, as well as that person’s penchant for anxiety and other mental health issues. If a person already suffers from anxiety, or other mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or social phobia, they may have a higher risk of developing bipolar disorder. In addition studies have shown that children with attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to develop bipolar later on. It is important to recognize that ADHD and bipolar disorder are not the same. In addition, by simply going through stressful experiences, or moments of grief, can increase a person’s risk for bipolar disorder. Stress, social isolation, sleep deprivation, and deviation from your normal routine can trigger episodes of depression or mania.
All human behavior is contingent upon several factors. In the case of Robin, the choices she has made through the food she is eating, the stress of raising three children, and the lack of sleep that coincides with being a single mother is it any wonder that she just maybe diagnosed as being bipolar. rather than have just temperamental mood swings? Unfortunately, she is not alone either. with the United States economy the way it actually is too many of our population especially the poor often undergo sever hardships which trigger anxiety, stress, and lets face it the unavailability to have the resources to avail themselves to a diet that would negate the awful effects of sever mood swings and the eventual onset of a bipolar condition.
That's not to say that the poor are the only ones susceptible to have sever mood swings or a bipolar condition. Many of our service men and women after serving in combat situations often return with symptoms that easily contribute to the onset of sever mood swings and bipolar conditions. But, as evidence shows people who undergo traumatic experiences a self defense mechanism kicks in to absorb the impact of that traumatic event. Often we blot it out of our conscious thoughts or systematically shift into a different personality trait, hence mood shifts. And, if not treated either by a lifestyle change including diet, an individual develops bipolar conditions. In order to effect a cure or curb the severity of bipolar conditions definite lifestyle change is imperative, or prescribed medication which should be the last resort. Being realistic with today's economic conditions the probability of a lifestyle change especially with the Robin Smith's in America today is an almost impossible task.
Returning to the case of Robin Smith through her inability to change her lifestyle she has eroded her relationship with her mother, and any hope of reconciliation with any of her child's fathers. As a result the children may very well develop mood swings just because of the environment they were born into and are in today. For so many others like Robin they remain transfixed in a environment that has only created more individuals that suffer sometimes sever mood swings and developing bipolar conditions. We have to remember the health of a nation depends on the health of it's total population. And here in the United States all things considered the nations health is failing.
Image Credit » koala