Category: Coping Strategies

Running Stop Signs

Running Stop Signs

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...

My Symbol of Hope

My Symbol of Hope

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...

Depressive Breakdowns: The Angry, The Weak and The Strong

Depressive Breakdowns: The Angry, The Weak and The Strong

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...

Technique for Studying During Depression

Technique for Studying During Depression

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...

My Search for Happiness

My Search for Happiness

The New Year is a great time to take a look at how you would like the next year to go, to plan, to see what you can do differently to make it a better year. I used to spend previous New Years (and most days in between) looking for changes that would bring me...

How I Manage Bipolar With A Helping Paw

How I Manage Bipolar With A Helping Paw

To my knowledge, I’ve never been without at least one animal in my life. That ranges from rabbits and hamsters to kittens and 100 pound dogs. I’ve always felt connected to animals. One of my pets is Baron, a German Shepherd close to 100 pounds. I trained my dog...

Surviving Bipolar Depression

Surviving Bipolar Depression

It’s like I’m Paralyzed. Not physically but mentally. It’s this gripping fear of facing the day when I can barely muster the strength to get up and hit snooze on my alarm clock for the fourth or fifth time in a row. There’s a relentless...

Dealing with My Anxiety

Dealing with My Anxiety

I have bipolar disorder, but I also have an anxiety disorder. I really dislike feeling anxious so there are various things that I do to fight it. The first thing I do is try to see if there is anything to be anxious about. If there is then I see if I...

5 Ways Service Dogs Can Help People Living With Bipolar Disorder

5 Ways Service Dogs Can Help People Living With Bipolar Disorder

Can those with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder benefit from interaction with animals? For most people the answer is a resounding “YES!” There are an increasing number of dogs being trained to assist individuals with a range of disabilities. It has...

DBT and Me

DBT and Me

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was originally designed to treat individuals diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder (which I was), but has skills and tools for everyone. DBT has been, notably, successful in individuals with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD as...

Self Care for Men

Self Care for Men

I know, I know…some of you guys out there have raised eyebrows as you’re reading this.  You may be thinking something along the lines of “self care is for women” and/or “self care is for sissies.” I used to think that way too. In the past five years my...

The Art of Being Alone

The Art of Being Alone

“They are opposite states… Solitude is usually actively sought after and is a personal choice that comes from an inner yearning. Isolation is usually actively avoided and is forced from the outside. Solitude allows for expansion and freedom of thought, providing...

Putting Your Thoughts on Trial: How to Use CBT Thought Records

Putting Your Thoughts on Trial: How to Use CBT Thought Records

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is an effective approach for a variety of issues, including bipolar disorder. It’s based on the ancient philosophical idea that suffering isn’t the result of what happens to us, but the result of how we interpret what happens to us....

I Tackled One of My Triggers: Chewing Sounds

I Tackled One of My Triggers: Chewing Sounds

So, as you know if you read my other blog, I am triggered very harshly by the sounds of chewing (even if it’s quiet)! My fiancé and I turn on the television when we eat together to drown out the chewing noises so I don’t become manic. Today, the...

Who Do You Support?

Who Do You Support?

In the past week I had an in-depth conversation about bipolar disorder with a friend of mine who knows very little about it. I appreciated her honesty and being open to learn about something that has been a big part of my life. One question that she asked me really...

All I Have

All I Have

All I have is a doctor or two, some friends, a bottle of pills, and a big mouth. These all serve as strategies to cope when I’m feeling especially hypomanic or depressed. I’m not the most strategic person in the world, but these few little “mental illness...

What Tools Do You Use to Manage Bipolar?

What Tools Do You Use to Manage Bipolar?

What Tools Do You Consistently Use to Effectively Manage Your Bipolar Disorder? The intention of this post is to get people sharing what works for them.  And for those who are not as far along in their path to mental stability and wellness, it can serve as...

Drop-In Peer Centers Part Two: History and Funding

Drop-In Peer Centers Part Two: History and Funding

Last month, I wrote about my drop in center, Rebel’s Drop In, which offers peer mentoring, art classes, outings, and other activities.  What would it take to start one?  What is peer mentoring?A peer is someone who has personal experience living with mental...

Exiting The Blizzard Meditation

Exiting The Blizzard Meditation

There is a saying, that we are as “unique as snowflakes”, that “no one is the same”, by just being human. I knew there was something happening in my mind but all of a sudden, I was grouped together with a bunch of especially unique snowflakes that were sort of like...

Not a Problem for Today

Not a Problem for Today

I’m not sure where I learned this string of 5 words but it has been a mighty big help in my life! For example:  Today I was working on my Facebook page and for promotional purposes I wanted to view the people who had “liked” my page. I...

Lift Me Up File

Lift Me Up File

The purpose of this tool is to be reminded of good things that people have said about us.  When I’ve felt low in the past and taken a look through this file, it has helped to improve my mood.  This tool consists of both a physical file folder and a...

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

One of the reasons I am glad that I moved to Florida is that it led me to a peer run drop in center near my house called Rebel’s Drop In. In my small county, Broward, between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, we have 5 of these centers. Peer run drop in centers average 5 per...

Reschedule Your Worries

Reschedule Your Worries

Are you worried?  Thinking about a loved one or trouble at work? Worried about something you are in charge of or a relationship problem? Have you ever considered “rescheduling” your worry? Can you give yourself 5 minutes to worry about it today then...

Group Therapy Provides Hope

Group Therapy Provides Hope

I recently joined a bipolar support group. My doctor and therapist have been encouraging me for months to join the group. They believed it would help me “normalize” some of my feelings by being around others who might have the same experiences. I put...

Yoga Philosophy for Bipolar Disorder 101: Part 1, Ahimsa

Yoga Philosophy for Bipolar Disorder 101: Part 1, Ahimsa

Yoga is more than what you want your body to look like. What do you want your life to look like? The core philosophy of Yoga – not just seeking fulfillment in the material world while still living in it – offers a structure of restrictions and...

A Journey to Health and Resilience

A Journey to Health and Resilience

I didn’t realize it, but I have been on a quest for the past 20 years. At first, it felt like I was just trying to figure myself out. I wasn’t happy with my life as it was laid out for me. So like many people in their late teens and early twenties, I bounced...

Planning Ahead for Your Next Episode

Planning Ahead for Your Next Episode

I just finished filling out a WRAP plan with the help of my therapist. WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan. The plan can be found at mentalhealthrecovery.com and is free to print out. This isn’t the first time I’ve filled out the plan. Years ago while I...

How to Deal with A Negative Person

How to Deal with A Negative Person

My daughter was having challenges with her boss.  Despite her best efforts all she got was verbal and non-verbal criticism. “I don’t like that…you need to do it my way…you’re not good enough.” Although she is naturally a positive person, every time her boss came...

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I sat in a chair at a psychiatrist’s office and am asked questions that provoke me to describe both my depressive and hypomanic states. It was painful yet enlightening. When I am depressed I am stupid, lazy and useless. When I am depressed I am weak,...

Health

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...

Creative Minds Want To Know

Creative Minds Want To Know

Much has been written and said about a potential link between the hypomanias of Bipolar Disorder and creativity.  Last month’s Webinar, Igniting The Creative Fire: The Neurobiology Of Creativity In Bipolar Disorder With Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan, explored the link...

I Have a Bipolar Support Dog

I Have a Bipolar Support Dog

When I got my dog, Lena, just over two years ago, I didn’t yet know I had bipolar disorder. I had been diagnosed with major depression by my college’s health services and given only an anti-depressant to take. I had been high as a kite all summer – my apartment was...

EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique – a 6 minute therapy?

EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique – a 6 minute therapy?

What is EFT? It is a type of therapy used for physical and emotional pain.  It utilizes acupressure from the east along with the “power of thoughts” from the west and creates a usable technique that can be used quickly and effectively. EFT helps us get from...

A Different Take on Exercise, and Why I Want You To Join Me!

A Different Take on Exercise, and Why I Want You To Join Me!

Long before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar one disorder, I led an active life.  After college graduation, I became an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and I worked in a family-owned gym  My duties included greeting members and...

Rescued by a Dog

Rescued by a Dog

I own a psychiatric service dog. He’s similar to a dog that would assist a blind person, but he’s trained differently. He’s not a therapy or emotional assistance dog, he’s a certified service dog and is allowed anywhere that a dog for the blind would be allowed to...

15 Seconds of Uninterrupted Positive Thought

15 Seconds of Uninterrupted Positive Thought

I am fortunate to be mentally stable and manage my bipolar disorder well.  That being said I sometimes have a tendency to not always have a positive mindset throughout my day.  At times negative things that people say or do bother me and I’m not able to let...

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

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...

Why I Save My Dad’s Voicemails

Why I Save My Dad’s Voicemails

 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!)...

Hobby

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...

When Stability Starts to Feel Like Boredom

When Stability Starts to Feel Like Boredom

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...

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

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...

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

‘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...

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