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Photo by Jerry Bennett c.1996
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that can affect one percent of the population. It affects an individual's activity, energy level, sleep routine, appetite, speech, thinking and can impair judgment.  It continues to be one of the most challenging mental health disorders to treat to date. Often, it is difficult to diagnose because of overlapping behaviors.  It is a disorder that can be controlled, if diagnosed, by therapy and medication.  Episodes of mania can occur for days, weeks, or months.  Individuals may become increasingly more energetic and involve themselves in risk taking behaviors that can be harmful to themselves or others. Depression, for some with Bipolar Disorder, consumes a large part of their lives, leaving them to feel hopeless - sometimes worthless. Medications can assist with mood stabilization, but it is up to the individual to follow treatment and monitor their mood changes and discover possible triggers. It is a delicate balance between therapy, medication, and determination of the individual to maintain stability.  My "Relapse Prevention Collar" may enable the viewer to understand the instability of emotions and how quickly they can change. Each collar piece houses "symptom balls".  One side houses mania symptoms the other depression. These balls act as indicators and are added to the collar on the corresponding  side as the person would experience symptoms. As symptoms increase on either side, the piece tips off the shoulder spilling the balls onto the floor. Relapse Prevention Collar CAD/CAM, virtual, 6.5" x 5.9" x 1.6" each