By Karen O’Connor:According to an article on WebMD.com, Bipolar Disorder and Suicide reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on June 21, 2012:
“People with bipolar disorder are at great risk for suicide if they are not getting treatment. The National Mental Health Association reports that 30%-70% of suicide victims have suffered from a form of depression. Men commit almost 75% of suicides, even though twice as many women attempt it.”
My friend Marion was one of those for whom Bipolar Disorder can influence a suicide attempt. Her mother died of cancer when Marion was seventeen and her father committed suicide following a troubled third marriage.
Marion’s emotional problems started after that. She blamed herself for years for her parents’ deaths and began cutting herself and overdosing on pills to cope with her hopeless feelings about being a well-regarded nurse one day and a patient in a mental hospital the next. The cycle went on for years as Marion struggled with Bipolar Disorder.
She and I met much later in life, so when she shared with me the details of her early years I found them difficult to believe. The Marion I knew was a committed follower of Jesus Christ and a good friend to everyone who knew her. What was the catalyst for change? She said she accepted an invitation to attend a Billy Graham Crusade.
Even though she was Jewish she was eager to hear what Dr. Graham would say. “When I heard, ‘Jesus Christ offers unconditional love and forgiveness for your sins, no matter how bad you are,’ I wanted to believe it but I couldn’t at first.” Marion said she was afraid of another disappointment following two broken engagements and a series of illnesses.
However, when she became bedridden at one point, she remembered what she’d heard, turned her life and her will over to the care of God, and as she said, “Just like that my life changed.” Her heart and her mind were healed and she knew that from that point on she was secure in the love of Jesus Christ, never to be hopeless again. Marion died last year, spending her final months sharing God’s love with others and living it out in her own life.
For some people, Bipolar Disorder can influence a suicide attempt, but discovering God’s love, forgiveness and healing can lead to a new life now and in eternity. “My purpose is to give you life in all its fullness” (John 10:10 the Bible).
View and share this excellent YouTube video with Joyce Meyer, “Fighting Depression and Anxiety,” which includes mention of the biological form of depression caused by Bipolar Disorder.
Women with depression are urged to talk to their doctor about medical issues and treatment as well.
To watch the rest of this video series on depression, click HERE.
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on FB http://www.facebook.com/karen.p.oconnor or follow on Twitter @karenoconnor