Friday, August 3, 2007

Bipolar Planet

The first time I saw this term in almost all the blogs of bipolar patients, I was intrigued by it. Now I know the meaning of the term and how it encompasses the very lives and interconnections of its members.

It is as if they are living in their own world and what matters to them is their illness, its symptoms, its effects on their lives and how they interrelate with one another. It is as if they literally cling to the saying, "misery loves company." Now, don't get me wrong. It is never my intention to do group bashing or anything to that effect. I love them, individually and collectively. I pray hard for them.

Their own world (bipolar planet) is very sacred, almost exclusively for them, and they are weary and suspicious (not all of them, though) of strangers who would intrude on their sacred ground. (I should know. I have been the victim of savage rebuffs by a few whom I tried to reach out and relate to. God bless them.)

I don't know if the effect of this on their sickness is good or bad. Good, because they have one another to interrelate to, and bad, because there is a tendency for them to over focus on the disorder itself and its damaging effects on their lives and behaviors, so much so, that they are liable to wallow more in self pity and severe depressions. There is also a tendency to turn a blind eye on the extreme behaviors of other members like attempted suicides, self mutilations, promiscuities, and other anti social behaviors.

As far as I know, bipolar disorder is not incurable. Many cases of patients with bipolar disorders were cured and are now living normal lives. In fact, many of them do live normal lives. Bipolar disorder is not as bad as cancer of the brain, cancer of the bones, leprosy or aids.

The problem is, they are so focussed on the physical reality of their illnesses. But whether they agree or not, there is a spiritual reality of everything that encompasses our physical reality. That's why, miracles happen.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." (John 1:1 & 14a) The Word and Jesus Christ are the same. When tempted by the devil in the desert, Jesus did not use His power to foil the devil. He used the Word of God to defeat him.

Jesus never lies, and when He said, "Your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering" (Mark 5:34), He meant just that. The wounds that was inflicted on His body represents divine healing for all kinds of diseases, known and unknown to man, even bipolar sickness.

Medical science has proven that a certain amount of faith or belief can heal. Case studies of some patients given placebo pills (sugar coated flour pills with no actual medicinal contents),
who were told that they were taking their regular medicines, have actually experienced healing.
And that is just faith or belief in a small pill and the word of the doctor. How much more will living faith in God's words and His faithfulness will produce miraculous healings. Ask those thousands of people healed by God through the ministry of Rev. Benny Hinn.

But alas, in this world, we believe in what we want to believe in.

(With profound apologies to all bipolar sufferers. I never had the intention to hurt or malign you, nor make any disparaging comments on any of you. I just have to cite specific instances to elucidate a point and not to malign anyone. There is no actual allusion to anybody in particular. If I have inadvertently offended anybody, I humbly apologize for it. No malice whatsoever was intended in putting up this post. God bless you all with His amazing grace for your actual healing and deliverance).


Daily Dose said...

"It is as if they are living in their own world and what matters to them is their illness, its symptoms, its effects on their lives and how they interrelate with one another. It is as if they literally cling to the saying, "misery loves company." Now, don't get me wrong. It is never my intention to do group bashing or anything to that effect. I love them, individually and collectively. I pray hard for them."

Mel - This post couldn't be more wrong and very ignorant.

Daily Dose said...

By the way, Bipolar IS cancer of the brain!

Marie said...

Mel, this post is very disturbing to me. Since I was diagnosed with bi-polar in 2005 I have made it my priority to educate myself about the disease. All mental disorders such as bi-polar, depression and schizophrenia are PHYSICAL not spiritual. These disorders are chemical imbalances in the brain.

Also, I have searched the web to find a good support network. I am grateful to find Tery, Susan, Kira and many others. It is not misery loves company it is about education and support networking.

However, faith can help to cope with the reality that we are afflicted with this disease. Maybe you should talk to Marja. She has faith in God but still experiences the symptoms of the disease. You maybe want to consult Dr. Deb about the paticulars of the disease.

It is my suggestion that you do some research and educate yourself about mental illness and its effects on the people who live with it.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Daily Dose,
As I have said in the heading of my blog, I respect and welcome all comments. Thanks for educating me that bipolar is cancer of the brain. Now, I know better.

I wrote the article from a different perspective and to be able to attract a certain segment of the blogger's world- the bipolar patients. I was already anticipating harsh and strong comments about it, but that's okay with me.

I respect every word you say. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.

God bless you with all the wonderful and pleasant things in life.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Marie,
Sorry to have disturb you with my article. As I said to Daily Dose, I am writing from a different perspective and with a different motive. If my premises were wrong, then I apologize for them. I know that when I wrote this article I will be criticized. I have already prepared myself for that. Suffice to say that I never intended to hurt nor malign anybody.

God bless you with all the best things in life.

Ian Lidster said...

Mel, like the others here, I have to disagree with your take on this. My ex wife is mildly bipolar (she is also a devout Christian), but with the help of medical science she is able to live a productive life. Without medication she would not be able to, pure and simple.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Ian,
Like the others, I really respect your opinion. I presented not a factual article on bipolar disorder. God knows I am not competent to do so. I am coming in from a different point of view. What I wrote were my perceptions from the outside. And my motive is not to disparage, rather, that they elevate their physical condition to a spiritual one. That is my only motive. There will always be problems in the meetings of the minds of some of my readers and myself since we are both dealing with two different dimensions.

Whether people agree with me or not, I maintain that there is always a spiritual reality of things encompassing our physical reality. They keep on telling me that bipolar is organic and it is caused by a chemical imbalance of the brain. Yes, I agree. There's no quarrel with that. But from my own point of view, imagine what would have happened if Jesus will be unable to heal those sick people who were brought to Him just because their sickness were not spiritual but organic in nature.
Probably, less than 1/4 would have been actually healed.

We have our own individual purposes for writing our blogs. Mine is so obvious, I don't have to elucidate on that. But I have to write mine based on current issues and the burdens put in my heart by the Lord. I may have erred in my presentation, I'm just human, but my motive will always be the same.

Thanks for your very constructive comment. I appreciate that.

God bless you with your usual wit and wisdom that you share with your readers.

Daily Dose said...

Again, you're wrong...The organic part is being debated - is has never been proven.

Bipolar is a neurological disorder of the brain...along with a chemical imbalance.

WE are all spiritual - this, NOT being spiritual has nothing to do with it.

We can control our brains so much...we take Mood Stabilizers.

I take Lithium, see a shrink, see a counselor, do the therapy techniques that I am told, and try to stay away from stressful events.

But, sometimes we cannot control the way our brain wants to work that day.

I am very spiritual, I believe in God...but I don't believe in Preaching!

Sarah said...

Mel, you have been misinformed, Bipolar disorder is in fact incurable. Now, if I believe in miracles and that God healed some people with Bipolar, sure?

There's a second case scenario where people display bipolar syptoms and not the diagnosis itself. That particular case is curable and treatable as if it were bipolar itself.

You didnt offend me with this post but it is very ignorant to ignore the physical part of bipolar and focus only on the spiritual part.

Truth is, Even Job who had his eyes fixed on Jesus wanted to die, even he was depressed.

You need to study more about neurotrasmitters and Bipolar in order to make such posts.

It was incredibly misleading and highly offensive for people with Bipolar.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Daily Dose,
I won't debate with you on this matter and I will not dispute any of your statement. If you cannot see my point of view, that's fine with me.
I never force my point of view on others. At least we can be peaceful and civil with each other.

God bless you.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Sarah,
What can I say. The more I talk, the more I sink. But it's okay with me. I already anticipated these kind of flaks when I wrote this post. I wrote it as someone outside the Bipolar Planet. And as an alien, I wrote my perceptions on what's going on inside the planet. Perceptions can be right or wrong and I never claimed authority and thorough knowledge on the subject matter.

Anyway Sarah, I apologize for whatever hurts I caused. I will no longer belabor the point.

God bless you for your efforts to spread the Gospel of Truth to other people.

HeiressChild said...

be encouraged mel.

marja said...

Oh Mel! I can see what you are trying to say and the way you see it. But I think you are wrong.

Bipolar is not curable - only a huge miracle would cure me, I know. Yet I live as a well person. The average person in my world would not think there was anything wrong with me. They might consider me cured. But the truth of the matter is that I rely on a lot of medications: four to be exact (anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, and, currently, and anti-depressant).

My bipolar blogger friends NEED to have each other to talk about their problems because in their real lives there are few they could discuss it with. Stigma - that evil beast in our society - causes many of us suffer in secret, ashamed to let people around us know. Here on the blogs is the only place they can share openly. It is a relief and therapeutic to do so.

And concerning that being all they talk about: Most blogs have a theme: yours is faith; theirs is their mental health struggles; mine is mental health struggles in the light of my faith. That's why it seems that is all they're interested in.

I know you meant well, but I hope that our responses to your comments have helped you understand us better.

HeiressChild said...

i know i've understood better since reading all of the comments as well as the post. i have a brother and a friend who take meds for bipolar, so i see things from a first-hand perspective from their highs to their lows. i think life is about understanding and embracing each other's differences, pains, etc., even in the midst of our faith.

i hope things are well with you mel. perhaps your computer isn't up and running yet, but i look forward to your next post.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Heiresschild,
Thanks for the comforting words. I know, I made a mistake in posting this article. I had the right motives but the means were not right with others. I respect their right to privacy and self dignity. Thanks again. God bless you more.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Dear Marja,
Thank you for your kind words and big heart. I'm so sorry that I caused all these hurt feelings because of my insensitive article. Please accept my heartfelt apologies to all bipolar patients. God bless you all.

Nene said...

Dear Mel,

I like your website. Are you a Pastor? It is nice to read about you article. Can you write more about this topic (Bipolar disorder) because my best friend has bipolar disorder which is very moody and I felt sorry for myself for being her best friend.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Nene,
No, I am not a pastor but I minister to those the Lord will direct me to. I can refer you to Dr. Deb and to Marja Bergen for they know more about bipolar disorder than me. You can access them through my blog roll. You can also search for it. Just type bipolar disorder at the search function of your internet then look for it at Wikipedia. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comments. God bless you and your loved ones always.

Kristi said...

Bless Mel, Father, for he knows not what he does.

Thank you for your apology.

I have suffered from bipolar disorder for 26 years and was only diagnosed 7 years ago. The diagnosis was the best thing to ever happen to me. Imagine going through life day after day, year after year, barely functioning because you just weren't trying hard enough, having reactions that make no sense to others or even yourself - yet you can't stop them, crying for no reason. How can you explain it to anyone when it doesn't even make sense to yourself? Finally you are told that it's a disorder in your brain.

You get to look back on years of public embarrassment, ruined friendships, professional embarrassment at work, instability, job hopping, delusions, and on and on. And you get to live with the consequences of that. Or you can come out of the closet and announce you have a mental illness - only to have those you tell be chronically afraid of your possible reactions to anything and everything, because no one, least of all you, knows when you're going to go off.

I am rapid-cycling. My mood can change in a matter of seconds. My medications exacerbate my existing tremors.

I tell my friends and family that I thank God they don't understand how it feels - because if they did, that means they would be bipolar, too.

The reason people with bipolar disorder lean on each other so heavily is because people without bipolar disorder (outside of therapists and physicians) cannot comprehend the thoughts of the bipolar mind. Period.

BTW, I am descended from a long line of ministers dating back to the circuit riders. I am very spiritual. I believe in healing. Bipolar, however, is a special case.

Going off your medication when you have bipolar disorder because you think you are better or healed is actually a symptom of mania (I've done this) and can result in suicidal tendencies within a matter of days. Some succeed. I've heard one expert refer to bipolar disorder as the cancer of psychiatry, that every patient goes off their meds and it's just a matter of when. I won't pretend to understand the entirety of his analogy - I was looking for his quote when I found your blog entry.

May I be so bold as to recommend the documentary, "Boy Interrupted," on HBO. It's an extreme case, and we often learn most from those.

Thank you for opening this discussion.

Kristi said...


Please visit for resources. There is a great section on support, including a section on "what to say/what not to say." If you choose to save your friendship, these little changes can make a world of difference.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Kristi,
I thought I have already heard the last of my bipolar communication with others. I rather had a very unfortunate experience when I interacted with them. They were the very first people the Lord directed me to minster. And when I posted that article Bipolar Planet, I got all kinds of darts and brickbats. I have already apologized to everybody for posting an article that I knew so little of and in the process offended a lot of people. I withdrew from their world and just contented myself in praying for them. I will pray for you too since I seem to be lost in a different world whenever I enter the world of bipolar planet. Thanks for your visit and comments. God bless you always. BTW, you can email me for prayers and counseling at and I will gladly answer all your inquiries.

"Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7b)


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