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Sarah DeArmond

Going Back to Work When You Have Bipolar Disorder

When you’ve been newly diagnosed with bipolar, your world can get turned upside down. I know that mine did. A lot of people, myself included, just want things to go back to normal and get back to being a productive member of society. Understandable. But how do you reenter the workforce? Here are some ideas. 

Time to be Honest

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder six years ago. I’ve made a full recovery, but it hasn’t all been peaceful. I still have my ups and downs. Case in point, the week before last I had a panic attack before work. I had been so busy taking care of family members that I had not been asking for help. I had been putting my needs dead last. After my panic attack, I quit my job. Smooth. 

Talking to Your Spouse About Your Disorder

When you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s obvious that not only have you been going through a lot, but you’ll have a long road ahead when it comes to recovery. That’s tough enough as it is, but what about if you’re married? Your spouse has most likely gone through a lot, too. 

My Experience With Mood Swings

Do you ever feel like while you’re having a mood swing that you are trying to say something but it’s just coming out wrong? Back when I had my horrible mood swings I always felt like there was something that I was trying to say, but it wasn’t coming out correctly. 

Exercise

How do you deal with the pain and anxiety that comes with having bipolar? Have you ever thought about exercising? I exercise six days a week and it is a huge stress reliever. I highly recommend it. 

It's hard finding the motivation to do it, but you could always start by taking a thirty minute walk. You might find how nice it is to just get out there and be outside. That's how I got started. I'm so glad that I did, too. 

Support

As we go through our journey with our disorder, we need support. Whether it's from family, friends, or a higher power, it is essential that we have someone that will always have our backs. We can't do this alone. 

I'm forever grateful for my God, my husband, and my Mom. All of them show me support on a daily basis. As soon as I found out that I had bipolar, they were all there for me immediately. There was never any question. Once again, I'm forever grateful. 

Health

It's January and this is the month that we hear all about health. We start seeing more health and diet topics in magazines and healthy food goes on sale more. I don't mean to sound like Mrs. Goody-Goody, but I love all this. That's because I used to be VERY unhealthy. 

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I not only took medicine that made me hungrier, but I turned to food for comfort as well. Unhealthy food took a toll on my body. I gained so much weight. 

Stigma

I wanted to start off this month's blog by saying that I'm so thankful that I live in a society where I can both be honest about my mental illness and reach out to others. I know that we used to live in a time where you pretty much couldn't talk about any mental illness, but now there are so many people fighting the stigma. 

I am proud to say that the reactions I've gotten have been 99% positive when I've told them that I have bipolar disorder. Yes, I did have one person who reacted in a closed minded way, but I don't need people like that in my life. 

Hobby

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 worked in, finding a hobby kind of took a backseat. But, as I got further into my recovery, I realized that I wanted to explore my creativity. 

Dullness

I want to talk to you all about something that I experienced very intensely when I first started taking medication. What happened was I felt a very strong dull feeling inside. I was no longer feeling the lows, but I was also no longer feeling the highs either. So, I was just left with a sort of bored feeling constantly. 

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