Bipolar and non-reading
by Marié du Toit (Performing artist with bipolar)
Bipolar disorder affects every aspect of one’s life. It can not only impact your work, finances, relationships, hygiene and health, but can also affect your everyday living … from sleeping to eating. Even something simple like reading - which is often taken for granted - can become a mighty challenge for people with bipolar.
I was recently asked whether having bipolar affected my reading in any way. My answer was a resounding “yes”. When it comes to reading not all people with bipolar will experience exactly the same kind of challenges, but I do believe however, that most will be able to identify with my own reading difficulties.
Reading used to relax me, but it’s become hard work mainly for three reasons:
My mind rushes constantly with the most outrageous thoughts. Even when reading a simple sentence, within a split-second my mind will have dissected and re-imagined every word to the point that I have absolutely no idea what I’ve just read. I often find myself lacking the ability to focus and concentrate, which makes for a pretty exhausting read. And then there are also the countless times when my mind simply won’t let me remember what I’ve read from one word to the next.
- My mind
- My mood
- My medication
My mood often determines whether I’m interested in reading at all. During dark phases of depression many friends want to reach out and comfort or encourage me with scriptures, verses and other literature. Truly, at that stage I really don’t care to read anything that’s supposed make me feel better … so I don’t.
My medication is often a great source frustration due to side effects. One pill in particular sometimes causes my head to tremor slightly and at other times it seems to cause a vague “flashing” sensation in my eyes. Now imagine trying to read with madly blinking eyes and a wobbly head … the words fall all over the page and all that is achieved is frustration and a pounding headache.
I can only praise the Lord for the countless times I am able to read without any problems, quivers, racing thoughts or unforeseen pits of despair.
But for the many times when bipolar does take the upper hand and reading seems virtually impossible … I am relieved that there are great audio/audio-visual books to encourage, equip and entertain people who need it more than words could ever say.
Bible Engagement and bipolar
by Dalene Joubert
Up to 1% of people in South Africa suffer from bipolar disorder.
Bipolar Disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.
What is bipolar?
Bipolar disorder is:
• not restricted to any social or education class, race, or nationality,
• was previously known as Manic-Depressive illness,
• is a physical illness marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, thinking and behaviour,
• often disrupts work, school, family, and social life,
• is believed to be a combination of biochemical, genetic and psychological factors.
• typically begins in adolescence or early adulthood and can continue throughout life.
• can also affect children, however diagnosis is difficult as many symptoms mimic emotions and other behaviours such as ADHD,
• in children, it significantly impairs functioning in school and at home with the family,
• It is not always recognized as an illness, and people who have it may suffer needlessly for years or even decades,
• Bipolar Disorder is treatable, and is not a character flaw or a sign of personal weakness; very effective treatments are available.
Why is GRNSA interested in this subject at all?
People living with bipolar may find it difficult read, and from the little we've experienced so far: Bipolar may severely restrict Bible engagement.
That's why audio Bibles, but even more so audiovisual Bible presentations help people with Bipolar a lot to focus, process the information shared and to remember that information.
Visual is a very important.
What do we plan to help people living with bipolar?
Taking hands a tertiary institution in our province to launch an awareness campaign about bipolar,
Record a stage production Marié du Toit wrote, in which she playfully, yet skillfully, shares elementary information about bipolar, afterwards she also shares her testimony in an interview with Hein Poole,
negotiate links from our platform to very good, informative footage about bipolar,
making all the above content available for free via our website and 5fish.mobi app,
point potential users to our Biblical bridge materials, videos and audio Bibles available on our platforms - in order to enhance their Bible engagement.
We will soon announce the date when we will record the show with Marié.
Please pray with us for the success of this project: that many more people living with bipolar will be able to understand better, cope better and learn about the Good News better.
Particularly also pray for Dan who will direct the shoot and show.