Well, the poll is now closed and Anxiety
is the clear winner, followed by Major Depression
. Pretty much what I expected.....I swear, half the nurses in America must be on anxiolytics and/or antidepressants, and with good reason. This profession is hell on the emotions, to say nothing of what it does to your back and your eating habits!
Yes, I should have put "None" as an option; it would've been useful indeed in calculating the usefulness of the "one-in-five" claim. As it is, it would be interesting to know what conditions fell under the "other" category.
I was also rather surprised and pleased to see that nurses with schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder had weighed in, as well as eight of my fellow bipolars. When I created this decidedly unscientific poll, I was debating whether or not to include cyclothymia, which is on the bipolar spectrum but not really considered a true form of the disorder.....more like 'bipolar lite'. Not to minimize the suffering of anyone with a mood disturbance, but there's a big difference between a low-grade wave of cycling moods and the kind of BP that literally drives people insane. I have a couple of friends with bipolar 1, and what they go through makes even my version of the disorder look like a walk in the park.
Many thanks to everyone who participated!
Even in the relatively anonymous world of the Internet, it's difficult to share such a personal issue and I salute all of you who have done so. I'm glad the subject is more out in the open than it used to be; maybe in another generation people with mental illness will be accepted in the larger society, much like everyone else who's ever had to fight for their place in the sun.