woman's hands praying over a bible

Why I Use Prayer to Cope With Bipolar Depression


I’ve learned a variety of coping skills throughout my time spent in therapy, but the one that works best for me is one I learned as a small child in Sunday school.

When I’m hit with bipolar depression, the first thing I do is shut down. I lock myself in my room and cocoon myself in the blankets on my bed in complete isolation.

I know isolating myself isn’t healthy. I know when I experience bipolar depression, holding in my thoughts and emotions makes it worse. But even though I know my silence is unhealthy, I can’t bring myself to open up to those close to me – even my therapist.

Talking through bipolar depression is helpful and therapeutic for many people, but I can’t do it. So instead, I pray.

Praying helps me cope with bipolar depression for many different reasons. It’s my favorite coping mechanism because it’s easy, it’s comforting and it’s private.

Talking about my negative thoughts and unpleasant emotions is hard for me, but praying about them is easy. I simply close my eyes and mentally let go of everything that is bothering me. When I pray, I don’t have to explain how I’m feeling to someone who doesn’t understand my bipolar disorder. When I pray, I just talk to God, and I’d like to think He gets it and doesn’t need an explanation.

Prayer brings me comfort because I know when I pray, God is listening and really hearing me. It’s comforting to know my struggling is important to Him when it may not be to anyone else. I feel comforted when I pray and consoled when I’m at my saddest and weakest point.

One of the reasons I can’t open up to my friends and family is because I’m afraid they won’t keep our conversation to themselves. I’m also afraid to be criticized for how I’m feeling. But with prayer, I know the conversation is private, so I feel safe enough to share my darkest thoughts and feelings. I know when I pray, there will be no criticism or gossip. Praying is private; it’s a safe way to rid myself of my innermost negativity.

During a depressive episode, I am full of negativity and sadness. I know not to bottle those things up because of what they might turn into, but I have a hard time uncorking that bottle.

I know I need to work on communicating with others about my bipolar depression, and I am actively trying. But in the meantime, and until I’m ready to talk, I will pray. I will pray about my bipolar depression and everything it brings because it helps me – more than than any other coping skill I’ve learned so far.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Bipolar Disorder

boat tied to a pier

10 Ways I Soften the Blow of a Depressive Episode Before It Hits

Because I have bipolar disorder, I also have bouts of depression. I have help for my depression in the form of medication, therapy and a variety of coping skills, which all make it easier to deal when depression hits. However, as depression winds itself up, almost ready to strike, I’ve learned to do these 10 [...]
Irritated woman.

When Someone Made a Joke About My Mental Illness

Many things in life are funny and are meant to make people laugh. Funny Vines can be hilarious. YouTube videos and SNL are all meant to have their viewers holding their sides as they crack up laughing. There are even things in life that are in poor taste, but still make some people laugh. But [...]
Woman looking at a sunset and forest landscape

The Best Way I Can Describe What It’s Like to Live With Bipolar Disorder

How do I explain what living with bipolar disorder feels like? I say, “It’s cyclical,” and you say, “So you have good days and bad.” Yes. Yes and no. I’ve tried to explain, searching for the right words, but I never quite hit the jackpot. So let me try to explain in the best way [...]
Woman resting head on man's shoulder, rear view, close-up

3 Ways I Know I'm Loved When Bipolar Disorder Makes It Hard to Love Myself

I have bipolar II. It seems like it can make it hard for people to like me, especially in moments when I don’t like myself. I have lost so many friends throughout my life. I have very few constants. I find people seem to have more trouble “dealing” with me because of my bipolar disorder. [...]