Does It Get Better?

“Recovery” is a word most often used in the realm of drugs and addiction, a descriptor of those who are abstaining from the use of addictive substances. This same ideology simply doesn’t apply to bipolar disorder, however. People with bipolar disorder never recover in the same sense as an addict might. We don’t recover, we manage.

Now, I know the old familiar adage of “once an addict, always an addict”, but we have to look at both ideas in context here. If one is an addict and is always an addict, then one must always be in recovery, according to that ideology. It’s not necessarily the same concept when it comes to having a mental illness, in particular bipolar disorder. One does not make the choice to develop a chemical imbalance as one makes the choice of using drugs and/or alcohol. It’s all relative, of course, but not really.

So, after all the semantics, does bipolar disorder get better for those afflicted by the illness?

Yes and no.

Scary, huh? Only make of it what you will, though. This is where finding the right treatment plan comes into play.

Yes, yes, like I said, it’s all relative. We, alongside those in recovery battling addiction, must get to our own breaking point. The definition of “rock bottom” is different for everybody, and everybody has to have their moment. When I say “breaking point” I’m referring to the moment that brings one the clarity needed to see that something is and has been wrong. Unfortunately, that moment of clarity is usually brought on by some potentially disastrous behaviors.

Although people suffering from bipolar disorder share similar stepping stones as someone dealing with addiction on their journey forward, “recovery” is still not an applicable term for those with this illness. Granted, there are just as many variables that come into play regarding both addiction and mental illness when seeking help.

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