Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bipolar Disorder and the Biological Clock

All along the watchtowerImage by raw:images via Flickr

According to a study published in September, there may be a link between bipolar disorder and our “biological clock.” The study suggests that abnormalities in the genes that control our biological clock contribute to the development of Bipolar Disorder.

The study, done with mice, showed that mice carrying a mutation in one of the key genes of their biological clock have similar behaviors of someone in a manic phase of Bipolar Disorder, and when given the drug lithium, they returned to a more normal behavior.

It has long been known that maintaining a schedule is vital for someone with Bipolar Disorder, a variation in schedule can trigger a manic or depressive episode. So, discovering the connection is important in that it may lead to the discovery of more specifically targeted medications for Bipolar.

I do agree with this study, I know if I am off my schedule, my mood does change – however, it is not always for the worse. Losing some sleep to have a couple days of hypomania is not always a bad thing. I welcome my moments of mania, those moments when my mind is clear, I am able to focus and accomplish everything on my to-do list. The inevitable crash, however, is not so welcome – so maintaining a schedule is vital and I know it.

If these studies can help lead to a more specific type of drug to help regulate my brain, I’m all for it.

And for the record, I am an Early bird! I always have been, but never really put the two together and I know for a fact that it is all connected. I know, for me, that if I sleep past 8am, my day is doomed. To me anything past 8am is wasting the day, the day is over and trying to accomplish anything is basically useless and can affect my entire day.

Do you find sticking to a schedule vital?

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