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Coping Strategies

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

November 26, 2014
Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m left institutionalized. The same happens with jobs and money. I am pretty...
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Resilience is defined as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” or “the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” If you want a real-world example of something that’s resilient, think of a Slinky.I think it's fair to say that...
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Why I Save My Dad's Voicemails

November 12, 2014
 I've been wanting to write about this topic for a while, but I kept putting it off.  It wasn't that I didn't want to do it, but more and more I found myself easily distracted. (Thank you social media!  I'm blaming you!) ;) I realized that the most inspiring time to reminisce would fall close to Halloween, my favorite day...
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Hobby

November 12, 2014
Do you have a hobby? I don't know if you do, but if you don't, then you might want to think about getting one. When I first told a good friend of mine that I have bipolar disorder, she recommended that I find a good hobby. She was right! I'll admit, it was hard at first. Between getting my medications adjusted and my therapy appointments...
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A little backstory: I was diagnosed with bipolar type II disorder in January and started taking medication then. I am still on the original medication I started with, because it seems to work well for me, and have since added a second medication to the mix to help keep me even more stable. I have experienced one depressive episode since my...
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Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply function some days.  Lots of days. Every time I leave my therapist, I feel so...
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‘Sometimes I just want to crawl under a rock. It seems as if that is the safest place; the hardness of the rock will protect me from what I don’t want to face and I don’t need to exert energy into doing anything anyone asks of me. I can escape to the darkness this rock shield provides and be alive in my own world without a care.’ If you are...
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I read a study once that stated the incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder was 10-fold greater in bipolar patients than the general population (see more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/anxious-bipolar-patient#sthash.RRY1nBjh.dpuf). This made me take pause and observe my own obsessive-compulsive thinking, as I have bipolar...
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Art as a Kind of Therapy

October 7, 2014
Even before I knew I had bipolar disorder, I have always loved art. I used to spend my afternoons in high school (I was unschooled) wandering around the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. Since moving to Saint Louis for college, I have spent many mornings, afternoons and evenings in the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Pulitzer, the...
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As a counselor with a background in vocational rehabilitation, I’m a big believer in meaningful work for people with mental health disabilities – the research shows it’s an effective path toward recovery, and I’ve seen this firsthand over and over. In my last post, I talked about finding work that works when you have bipolar disorder. In this post...
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Running is My Therapy

October 1, 2014
I woke up on Thursday, September 4th and the torture struck instantly. My head filled up like a water balloon, except it wasn't water I was filled with, it was disturbing, bizarre, negative and pesky thoughts. I recognized immediately from waking up I was unwell, but I proceeded onto my daily life. By Monday night the feelings both physically and...
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Triggers

September 30, 2014
Although I was officially diagnosed in March 2009 with Bipolar I disorder and began treatment, I am confident in saying that my bipolar episodes started well before that time.  If I could guess somewhat accurately, I would say it all started somewhere around the age of 18 … which would be the early 90’s.  If I only knew then what I do...
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