Have you ever visualized what it's like to have bipolar disorder?

Imagine mania. Your mind constantly buzzes with energy. Everything you encounter is an opportunity for productivity. People notice your enthusiasm and comment on your refreshingly positive attitude. But you are easily angered. Your energy can easily be translated into a short temper. Sometimes you feel as though people are tip-pointing around your always active mind, afraid to say the wrong thing.

Afraid to break the spell of mania.

Now imagine depression: the overwhelming fatigue, the uncontrollable sadness, the frustration of not being understood. You lack motivation to get anything done. You suddenly lose interest in things you used to love. You might even feel as though your life is meaningless.

Brief spells of depression can ruin your day. Every day.

Now imagine if mania was COMBINED with depression.

Bipolar disorder is a baffling combination of these two states. A bipolar brain is continuously shifting between the two -in a very sporadic way. A bipolar person is given no warning; their mental state is totally reliant on an unpredictable chemical imbalance in their brain. People do not understand why their bipolar friend is positively buzzing one day, but sulking relentlessly the next.

The reign of bipolar is surprisingly widespread – approximately 4% of the worldly population will experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.

Unfortunately, despite the simple explanation for their condition, many people with bipolar do not understand themselves any more than their friends do. Thousands of cases of bipolar disorder go undiagnosed for years.

This is undeniably because of the misled stigma which surrounds any mental health concern.

Our society has yet to realize the simple reality of a mental illness such as bipolar. The predominant cause is a simple chemical imbalance in the brain. A malfunction in a body.

“Mentally ill” should not be automatically associated with words such as “dangerous”, “unstable” or “crazy”.

A sickness in the mind should not be any more embarrassing than a sickness of any other part of the body. Nobody has a perfect body. Some people have imperfect bones, hearts, or digestive systems. And some people have imperfect minds.

And yet thousands of people shy away from seeking treatment! Living with an undiagnosed case of bipolar means missing out of the simple treatment to reverse the chemical imbalance.

It means needlessly living with the debilitating symptoms of the mental illness.

Living with the symptoms means giving bipolar control of your life.

In most cases, a mental illness such as bipolar is in no way the fault of those it affects. No one should EVER feel ashamed of their mental health.

However, everyone SHOULD take steps to protect their minds, and keep them functioning at optimal strength.

The very best way to keep your mind as strong as possible – with or without bipolar disorder – is to live a healthy lifestyle. You may not be aware of the striking connection between mental and physical health – but each are a drastic indicator of each other.

There are three simple steps you can take towards bipolar prevention and a healthier lifestyle.

1) Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day.

2) Ensure you are eating a well-balanced diet.

3) Provide your body with the vitamins it needs to function properly.

Having a healthy body means having a healthy mind.

Start strengthening both today.