Morbidity 101: Bipolar Disorder

BIPOLAR DISORDER (BD), as the name implies, is a disorder characterized by two polarities: first is high and the second is low. The high is referred to as mania and the low as depression. BD actually was used to be known as Manic Depressive Disorder.

BD, now simply termed Bipolar, is classified a mental illness and when I was diagnosed with it, I initially experienced the feelings of “shame” and isolation, the ever-present stigma attached to the mental disease which the sufferers go through. But as I get to learn more of the illness, I decided to start to raise awareness to it through regular mention of what I go through, by posting Status Posts via Facebook. I have openly shared what it is like when I am depressed and how it is when I am manic. I also have regularly blogged about it and the very first one, originally published via my Caring Bridge site, was shared here with a title as I am Bipolar.

An FB Status Post, dated January 2, 2015, is now being shared for the purpose of raising awareness. It has actually prompted the submission of this current blog story. (Note: clicking the highlighted date will take you to the original FB Status Post).

Sharing the following in my continuous effort to raise awareness on bipolar disorder:

Thank you XXX for speaking out the truth about the most help one can get is from himself/herself. Although I have just been diagnosed, officially, April 2014, I am convinced, reading through the many experiences of people here, that my bipolar actually dates back to when I was a teenager, or even earlier.

“Being now aware that I am, indeed, a bipolar, I continue to observe my highs and lows, trying to get a better understanding of the condition. I have been through depression very recently and it took a while for it to go. Although I hate being in this phase, it is something I have to go through because it is inevitable. It comes with bipolar and that, I understood enough.

“Despite the meds and constant support from my very understanding husband and presence of my family members while on holiday in my birth country, I struggled hard to overcome it, especially, when at the height of revelry and celebration around I was feeling so alone and I wanted to kill myself. What made me surpass the ordeal was the very thought of how it was the last time I attempted to end my life, leading me to finally seek professional help, resulting to bipolar diagnosis in the end.

We do have a say on what becomes of us.”

About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer."

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