I'd like to begin by thanking all of you for visiting the NSR community! Since I realize that most of you have found your way here on a quest for answers and support with an issue that has taken a profound effect on your life and the lives of those around you, let me start by letting you know that you are not alone and that there are things that can be done to help you and the people you love that are affected by this disorder.
North Sea Research did not come to be by way of a class assignment or just something I decided to study. In fact NSR in its original design had nothing to do with Bipolar Disorder whatsoever. Originally NSR was set up as an 'online resume' of sorts that a **dear friend** of mine and I had put together to assist him in completing his long educational career. After having completed studies at several different universities both here in the USA and overseas, he was nearing the end of what was a long and laborious student career and in the process of earning his Phd.
Over time, the content of the original NSR, while still informative, became disorganized and travelled, "all over the map" as it were, in its content and the presentation thereof. Many sections of the site wandered off in mysetrious directions and then stopped, as though the thought went unfinished. The intent being, "Well, I had an idea and I didn't want to forget it . . . .I'll finish it later." A characteristic of this young man that we had come to accept as normal for many years.
After his return to the US, where my wife and I welcomed him into our home, we began to notice some of the tendencies that were showing in the website, showing more dramatically in his day to day existance. The inability to maintain a thought in one direction, or attempting to maintain several thoughts at once only to get lost in the jumble. The drastic changes in mood and the inability to maintain a normal sleeping pattern. Expressing the desire and the need to move along and excell, yet not leaving the house for days on end. The most telling of all to me, was his newly formed habit of attempting to sell abilities that he did not have, and the vision he had of himself was presented as though the world was an oyster and he WAS the pearl. He felt as though he had given everything he had and now it was time for him to sit down while the world gave it back to him. He began keeping strange logs of ordinary daily occurances like what time we got out of bed or what time we went to bed or what neighbors stopped by the house as though our life was some signifigant study of importance. He talked to himself in a foreign language so that we wouldn't know what he was talking about. When asked to find some work and contribute to the household after having been with us for several weeks, he instead stopped eating with us and obtained food from charities that give food to the homeless and hid that food in our shed so we wouldn't take it. He had no money and no income and had amassed a large amount a debt as a result of his education, yet would not leave the house to find work and spent many hours a day on internet dating sites in search of a female companion. It became an obsession for him to renew his drivers license, yet he had no vehicle nor the resources to obtain one. He would ask the same questions several times a day because he had no memory of asking it previously.
Now, we are by no means a rich family, but we were more than willing to help this longtime friend in a time when he had found himself homeless and living in a foreign country on an expired status. We wanted to feed him and house him and give him what resources we could to help him reestablish himself and pull things together, but we found ourselves strained when he did not take advantage of the resources in the proper manner and seemed content just to 'exist' and allow us to take care of him. Surely there are things that I perhaps could have done or said better, but like many of you, I found myself in a situation that was unfamiliar and the day to day handling of the situation was at best, experimental in nature. Had this been anyone else that I did not know nearly as well or for as long, I probably would have been provoked to just kick him out to the street, however I could not bring myself to this conclusion with someone who had been such a close friend for so long.
I asked the aid of his family and against his wishes (and yes, as is sometimes necessary, the local police and eventually a court order was required), he was placed in a facility to be observed for a little more than a month. In fact after applying for a hearing to be released after having been there for only two weeks, it was eventually doctors recommendation and his own disjointed testimony at the hearing that kept him in the facility. The diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder.
Of course these assignments to mental facilities only last so long, and he is now out and living elsewhere nearer to his family members. I receive occasional updates on his progress, but I hear nothing from him personally. All I know of him lately is that he is still receiving counseling, however still believes that there is nothing wrong with him and is therefore not accepting the treatments he needs. As with any illness, it cannot be treated unless the ailing person accepts the necessary help, and until this happens, he will most likely continue with the progression of the disease and have it worsen over time.
After searching the internet for more information, I discovered that had I only looked a little further that we could have identified this disorder as a possibility much earlier than we had. All the signs were there . . . .
**Racing thoughts and talking very fast, jumping from one idea to the other
**Distractibility; can't concentrate well
**Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers
**Sleeping too much, or can't sleep
**Lasting sad, anxious or empty mood
**Difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions
and now, after having tried to find him some help and given him the resources to get the treatable disorder taken care of we've reached probably the most frustrating symptom of all, and probably the one that has driven most of you to search for help . . .
**DENIAL THAT ANYTHING IS WRONG
I hate this one! This is where most all of us have found ourselves stuck. This is the symptom that has us all beating our heads on the table.
Hopefully now, I have taken North Sea Research and developed for you a place where others in the same situation can get together and share ideas and tried and true methods of dealing and coping with this issue. If you ARE the person suffering from this disorder, you are of course, also quite welcome to come in and tell us how your life has been before, during and after treatment.
For those of you who have been told you suffer from this disorder and do not believe you can benefit from being treated for it, I hope only that you read through what family members post here and see the way they are affected. Despite what you may believe, we aren't conspiring to "get you", nor do we wish to "bring you down". We look for support, assurance and help because we love you enough to see you succeed and will go to the far reaches to see that you do so.
In that spirit, this site is dedicated to my friend, to let him know that I always have and always will consider him a friend, whether his illness allows him to view it that way or not. My support of his recovery will continue no matter what bipolar disorder does to his interpretation of it.
Welcome one and all to North Sea Research!
North Sea Research Webmaster and Administrator
**The name and location of this individual has been left out to respect the privacy of him and his family and under no circumstances will I honor requests for this information without the express written consent of him and his family.