While bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is probably one of the most familiar names for a mental illness to the general public, it is probably one of the most misunderstood disorders as well. One of the most common misconceptions regarding bipolar disorder is that it is nothing more than severe mood swings which are often misrepresented in the media as occurring frequently and without warning. While this would be bad enough, the experienced staff at Canadian Disability Benefits knows firsthand that the reality is far worse.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Contrary to common portrayals, the devastation caused by bipolar disorder on a person’s life stems not from abrupt and unpredictable changes in mood, but rather the relentless cycle of deep depression followed by a period of uncontrollable mania. While it may at first seem to some as counterintuitive that this sort of disorder would qualify under the Canadian Disability Tax Credit program, either of these states as well as the transition periods known as “mixed states” can make the simplest of daily chores nearly impossible.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder itself is characterized by the fluctuation between periods of alternating mental states, most commonly a ‘manic state’ followed by a ‘depressive state’ or vice versa. While any one altered mental state is enough to make most people admit they need Canadian Disability Benefits or other help, bipolar disorder patients may actually cycle through any or all of 4 unique episode types.
Manic – Mania is often described as the defining factor which separates a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from that of a depressive disorder. During a manic episode, a person will often feel as if they have an unlimited amount of energy and require little to no sleep for days on end. In the most extreme cases, these energetic feelings may be coupled with a complete break from reality in which the person may feel they are ‘on a mission’ or even ‘unstoppable’ which can lead to substance abuse and other dangerous behaviors. Additionally, daily tasks such as personal hygiene and financial responsibility are often ignored during a manic state, making Canadian Disability Benefits even more vital in order to recover after such an episode.
Hypomania – Much like a full manic episode, a hypomanic episode is characterized by increased energy and a decreased need for sleep. However, the difference comes from the fact that these feelings are moderated by a firm attachment to reality and the lack of disruption that mania causes. Many of those experiencing hypomanic episodes actually describe the experience quite pleasantly with feelings of optimism and increased productivity.
Depressive – The opposite end of the bipolar disorder spectrum of moods is the major depressive state. As with major depressive disorder, these episodes can last anywhere from days to months during which the afflicted person may be so lacking in energy and motivation that even getting out of bed seems like an impossible task.
Mixed Affective Episodes – While the most often overlooked of the potential episodes, mixed affective episodes are also the most dangerous for many patients. These episodes may be marked by crying during a manic episode or racing thoughts in the middle of a deep depression. The contradictory emotions often leave the person experiencing them feeling even more hopeless and capable of even less control than they previously had.
How Canadian Disability Benefits Helps
With the constant cycle between the extreme, reckless highs of mania and the deep, darkness of depression many who suffer from bipolar disorder find it exceptionally hard to maintain a career, relationships and the other things which we so often picture as the necessities of a ‘normal’ life. If you’re living with bipolar disorder, Canadian Disability Benefits can help you qualify for up to $35,000 in benefits through the Canadian Disability Tax Credit program to help you get the help and treatment you need to find the brightest possible future.