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NASCAR: Ryan Newman's Bipolar Statement and Mental Health Awareness

Early Mornings with Herman Thomas

Recently, NASCAR driver Ryan Newman made some personal comments directed towards fellow driver Tony Stewart at Richmond International. After Stewart made contact with Newman's car late in the Richmond race, Newman berated him on television, calling him “bipolar” and saying he had “anger issues”.  He also made reference to the sprint car incident in which Stewart accidentally struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr in 2014.

Since our website,  Early Mornings with Herman Thomas promotes sports and mental wellness, I found this to be a perfect opportunity to discuss the term bipolar disorder.

Several years after witnessing the murders of my mother and Godmother, I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD and never felt very comfortable discussing my condition with anyone. Being diagnosed with PTSD or any mental disorder can be very difficult for anyone to accept, in large part due to the stigma associated with it. 

According to WebMD, Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, is a mental health disorder that is distinguished by dramatic changes in a person's mood and energy, from the elated highs of MANIA to the lows of DEPRESSION. Bipolar disorder affects all ages, genders, and ethnicities, and usually has its onset in late adolescence or young adulthood. We know that genetics can play a role in the vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as researchers have traced the incidence of bipolar disorder among generations of families.

While bipolar disorder cannot be prevented, it's important to be aware of early warning signs of an impending episode of bipolar depression or bipolar mania. Early recognition of bipolar warning signs and seeing your doctor regularly can allow you to monitor your mood and medications and keep the illness from escalating.

In fact, although treating bipolar disorder moods is critical, there is a convincing case supported by scientific studies that the prevention of further mood episodes should be the greatest goal.

Although Stewart's anger caused a major wreck at Richmond last weekend, Newman's anger led to a mental disorder being pushed to the forefront. How long it remains there is up to us.

I guess from time to time anger can potentially produce positive results. 

If you think you may have any mental health condition, make an appointment with your primary care provider or a mental health provider.

Stop avoiding mental health conditions that will only worsen without proper treatment. Running away rarely solves anything.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.

Also, if you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, please call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

Until next time, God Bless and enjoy your day.

Source: WebMD

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