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Bipolar - Dad
26 x 16 in
A donation of $5 dollars will be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to help fund research investigating the causes, prevention, and treatment of mental illness for each Ride the Wave purchase.
Donations to Date: $100.00
About the Collection
Bipolar disorder is classified by dramatic shifts in mood, energy, and ability to think clearly. Individuals with bipolar experience high (mania) and low (depression) moods, which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.
It’s estimated that 4.4% of adults in the US experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives. Of this 4.4%, roughly 82.9% of individuals experience severe impairment—the highest of any mood disorder (NIMH 2021 survey). Given the disruptive nature of bipolar and its effect on one’s ability to maintain stable relationships and careers, it is 10-30 times more likely for an individual with bipolar to commit suicide compared to the general population (National Library of Medicine).
I grew up watching my father, for whom this collection is dedicated, struggle with Bipolar I—the classic manic, depressive type. When I was 12, he experienced his first true manic episode and psychosis. As he continued to age into his forties, his illness too progressed and the man I knew and loved slowly began to disappear. By the time he died of medical complications associated with an infection at the age of 51 he showed significant signs of dementia.
In 2020, like my father, I was diagnosed with bipolar. Nearly 10% of children with parental history will also be diagnosed with a form of bipolar disorder (CAMH). Since then, I have watched my symptoms progress, similar to the progression of my father’s, and have learned to live with the ups-and-downs of my moods as they effect my ability to teach and engage with those around me.
The inspiration for this collection came from a revelation I experienced regarding the frustrations surrounding the unpredictability of mood swings. When we focus on how frustrating a swing into (hypo)mania or depression can be, we often fuel the mood with more power and sustenance. The fragile psychological state is exacerbated by the flood of emotions and endorphins common to feelings of frustration, resentment and anger. No matter how we feel about mood swings, they’re going to come one way or another. However, if we learn to ride the wave, accepting the moods and their significance or impairments as they come, we remove the emotional influence behind the mood, making surviving and functioning a little more bearable.
As you engage with your Ride the Wave talisman, remember to accept your moods, or those of a loved one, as they come. All moods will pass in time.