Friday, August 20, 2010

Ask A Bipolar The Interview

As promised, today’s blog features a special guest.  I’d like to introduce my good friend Marybeth, author of the fabulous blog Desperately Searching For My Inner Mary Poppins and co-founder of the new website, Ask A Bipolar. Without further ado, I present the interview.
Hello Marybeth!  You and I are friends and know each other, but will you please share a little about yourself with my readers?
I am a mother of three suffering from bipolar disorder while trying to raise a bipolar son. I LOVE to write, read, sing and run.  
Today we are are here to discuss your new website, Ask A Bipolar.  Can you share the definition of bipolar disorder for those who do not already know?
A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depression that characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning 

You have a co-founder, Erika, for this website.  Can you tell us how you two came up with the idea to start Ask A Bipolar and why you both felt drawn to do so?
A friend of mine posted a blog about her son's rage. Erika commented on it with a detailed account of how it actually felt to rage. The response she got was amazing. Everyone was so excited to have someone who'd actually experienced this describe it in such detail that they felt like they could finally understand what was going on. It gave me an idea. Why not have an actual website where people could go to ask questions to someone who's been there and can answer it from a first person experience. I passed the idea past Erika and she was all about it! 

What can people expect from your website?
It's a place where people who are suffering from or know someone who is suffering from bipolar disorder can come and ask questions and get answers from someone who's been there, not just a professional. Sometimes we just need to hear those little words, "I get what you're going through." 

What are some challenges you have had to overcome due to your bipolar illness?  
Before I was diagnosed I had many financial troubles, a hard time maintaining relationships and large bouts of depression. It made for a very difficult road through young adulthood. Now it's just a matter of making it through the ups and downs without upsetting those around me, which I'd like to think I've become quite decent at. 

Your son is affected by a mood disorder as well.  Do you feel that your experiences have better equipped you to help him through his struggles?
Absolutely. It's so nice to understand what he's going through and be able to express this to my husband or just tell my son that, yeah, I've been there too. I can spot his moods easily and have a good idea what triggered them and why, thus it's easier for me to bring him out of them, or at the very least talk him through it. 

If someone is concerned that they, or a family member, might be suffering from Bipolar Disorder, what should their first steps be?  Who should they contact?
If someone is concerned that they might have Bipolar Disorder I highly recommend they seek professional help sooner than later. If you are concerned someone you know may be Bipolar I would do what you can to either get them to, or convince them to, go to a doctor as soon as possible. 

Thank you for being here today Marybeth!  

If you have any questions, or just want to check it out, please visit Marybeth’s website Ask A Bipolar!  

Happy Friday everyone & enjoy your weekend!!!