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Coping Strategies

More Than Meds

August 17, 2016
Bipolar disorder is a complex and difficult condition. Even after getting stabilized, we still have to work so hard to keep things going in the right direction. For me, medication is necessary, but the best advice I ever received was from a psychiatrist and it had nothing to do with pills. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 in 2004...
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Carrying the Weight

August 15, 2016
Prior to my diagnosis and starting my treatment, I spent countless hours each day stuck in a cycle of worry and panic. I would ruminate, the worst moments of my life and every single mistake I've ever made surfacing in my mind and stuck in an infinite replay. This led to mental anguish and daily panic attacks, which went on for some time. It got...
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I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years since I received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I wish I could go back and tell my terrified teenage self that though life would sometimes be a roller coaster of ups and downs, a very bright future full of hope and joy would await me. It took a while to learn how to navigate this disorder, and the...
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Coping with the side effects of bipolar is often a matter of trial and error. What works one day, sometimes doesn't work the next. That's why I'm always on the lookout for ways to get through the day that can connect me with the world while also easing some of the more difficult symptoms of my condition. Some days, yoga and meditation work, but...
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Most people can say that they’ve been emotional eaters before, whether it’s crying over Chinese food after a breakup or eating too much cake on your 20th birthday. Even I can’t lie and say that my hand was not in a box of Cheez-Its just before I started writing this. Emotions, whether they be excitement, restlessness, anxiety, sadness, happiness...
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This is the fourth in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one. Welcome...
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Depression can swiftly overtake you like the tide rolling in, its current pulling you out to sea. It is like drowning, like suffocating beneath the surface as the world goes on above you. The water muffles sound and slows your movements. There is only darkness below, and it threatens to swallow you whole. You feel the fluid rush between your...
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Running Stop Signs

July 5, 2016
I was driving much too fast. I didn’t see the stop sign. I sailed right through. The stereo was pumping and my hands gripped the wheel. My foot was pushing harder on the accelerator.I came up to a second stop sign and again I saw nothing. I pushed on the pedal to go straight through the junction, just as a truck pulled out from my right. My brakes...
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My Symbol of Hope

June 30, 2016
For many months, I have been suffering from suicidal ideations. I was completely honest with my psychiatrist, my family and friends who support me. I told them that it was not something I wanted to act on, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. For more than six months, the idea of suicide was constantly there. I didn’t have one day where...
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Your buttocks are cold and aching because you’ve been pressing them for too long against those filthy concrete steps on the hallway, in front of the elevator. There are cigarette stumps and ashes all over the place, but that does not bother you in the least. You’re happy that human transit is sparse on the 4th floor, though you hear the elevator...
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In a previous article, (Read Part 1: The Happy Salad) I wrote about how eating healthfully helped my emotional stability and listed some ways that helped me lose weight and feel better. One common argument against eating healthy is that it is too expensive. Many people with bipolar disorder (as well as a lot of the world) deal with...
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When there is a big storm that will knock out your power you prepare for it, right? Typically, you keep water, a flashlight, and some food that doesn’t require cooking because you might lose all power. To some extent, it’s the same when preparing for a low swing/depression part of bipolar disorder. We tend to procrastinate preparing for...
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