Mood Disorders

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I could use some support please! Disappointed in a dip in my /anxiety

Hi everybody, I am wishing everyone positive healing loving vibes.

I could really use your support and your opinions!

I suffer from depression and anxiety. 5 months ago I was switched from the name brand of Effexor to the generic because my insurance decided it would no longer cover it. Well, 6 weeks ago I had a relapse and after a month I decided to go back to see my doctor who is also a psychopharmacologist with the Mood Disorders Program. He said that I likely relapsed because the generic although very close (and might not negatively affect some people) is not identical to the brand name.

I am so pissed that I have relapsed because some giant insurance corporation wanted to save a few bucks on the backs of my and others suffering.

So, 2 weeks ago I switched back to the brand name and I was extremely happy to see that I was starting to feel better on Friday and that by yesterday I was almost back to completely recovered except for some residual anxiety.

But this afternoon (Monday) I am feeling somewhat more depressed again and I am very disappointed. I know logically that healing is not linear and it can go up and down, but I still feel disappointed and a little scared that it's going to get worse. Don't get me wrong, I am super grateful for the relief and advancement I have made. The good news is that I have an already scheduled appointment with my doctor tomorrow.

I guess I am just looking for some support from the awesome people here who know exactly how it feels and totally understand me and what I am going through!

Thank you everyone for reading and responding!

Peace and love!!

Mur

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is sisterpolar888. I'm here because my family members have Bipolar 1 and I also work with mothers of children with mood disorders such as Bipolar. I'll take all the help and support I can get. Thank you

#MightyTogether

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I'm new here!

Hi, my name is sisterpolar888. I'm here because my family members have Bipolar 1 and I also work with mothers of children with mood disorders such as Bipolar. I'll take all the help and support I can get. Thank you

#MightyTogether

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Mental Exhaustion 💚

My first post in a long time.. It’s currently 12:45am (09/02/24) in the UK and I should be sleeping ready for work tomorrow. I’m exhausted, physically and mentally. Life is draining the crap out of me at the moment. I take on more in work to keep my mind busy but that in itself it’s tiring. I look forward to the weekends but why? I don’t do much. Why? Because I prefer the security of my home. Life just feels too much. I’m trying to better myself. I’m trying to be ‘well’ and I’m TRYING to grow! It’s not working though and I’m tired. So. Damn. Tired. Tired of smiling when inside I’m screaming. Tired of pretending. Tired of.. Just being tired. What can I do to change it? Not a lot, I doubt. At least it’s Friday.. Last day of the week to pretend I’m ok. My game face can be packed away for the weekend. I can just be unapologetically me. In my own space. Away from judgement, away from.. Everything. I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s keep fighting 💚 #MentalHealth #MoodDisorders #Anxiety #MajorDepressiveDisorder #DepressiveDisorders #willpower #CheckInWithMe

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I don't GET How to Journal

I don’t GET how to Journal.

Often people with mental health disorders hear from therapists: “You should try journaling.”

Before we get to GET, here are a few reasons why journaling can help. First, it is a great way to put your thoughts out of your mind onto paper. It can also help you organize your thoughts, emotions, and tasks you have completed. It has been proven to elevate your mood, increase mindfulness, show you a new perspective, help make decisions, decrease amounts of stress, and assist in better sleep.

How can I journal?

I suggest you get yourself a personalized journal, as there are so many types and sizes. For me, I have an Italian leather-bound journal with a traditional ribbon to hold my place, with vintage maps of the world on it. Yours can be a favorite color/design, or have an animal or character on it, or even a positive saying or affirmation. I find writing it out is more effective for me than typing. Believe me, I have tried both on numerous occasions. Real paper can catch your tears in the darkest of times and love, to get stickers for those proud moments.

How do I journal?

I would first pick a time to journal. Every morning before you start your day or at night before bed. You can do both. Try to do it at the same time(s) every day. Grab your favorite pen and journal or laptop and find a quiet place. A playlist of music is always an option.

What is GET?

Okay Ted, give me the special formula to help me journal.”

GET is the acronym I use to structure my journaling. I journal every morning to set the table for the day.

G- Gratitude What are you grateful for? It has been proven to be helpful, if you list all you are grateful for in the morning or before you go to bed, but at least once per day, at the time of your choosing.

We learn gratitude helps people focus on the positive aspects of their life. Gratitude can help build and maintain relationships with others, resulting in hope, life satisfaction, and more proactive behaviors toward others (Passmore & Oades, 2016).

I always repeat “small” ones like freedom, fresh air, eyesight, hearing, and a cozy bed. I consistently end with “TODAY,” in all caps, because of how important it is. It can be three words or three lines. It is your journal.

E- Emotions Do not hold them in. In this section, you can list all emotions you are feeling. Often people with mental health conditions feel many emotions at the same time or don’t know how they feel. Check in with yourself. Note, do a Google search for “Emotion wheel,” and save it and/or print it out. It can really help you identify some different emotions, which are more detailed than just “sad” or “happy.”

T- Thoughts Here is where you have the space to release anything on your mind. If you are like me, I like to reflect on the previous day and set up the current day. I end with a positive “cheer” or encouraging words for myself, such as “You got this Ted!” No rules or use of proper grammar is necessary. The key is to try to empty whatever is on your mind. Dump out some tension or get yourself smiling as you reflect on some enjoyable moments you had.

What are some questions that can help prompt journal entries?

How do I feel this morning? What did I accomplish yesterday? What is one thing I am looking forward to today? What made me angry? What was the best part of today or yesterday?

How do I make it mine and when should I do it?

Be yourself, the key is to remember: this is not getting graded or proofread – it is for YOU! It should be done as a part of your daily routine. If you do it consistently for Thirty-Three days, it becomes a habit. Habit building is easy. The concept is to link journaling to a task you do every morning or night. For example, you can do it right after you brush your teeth, shower or before you get in bed for the night.

Hope this helps. Please comment if you are going to give it a try and share tips that work for you, as I love to hear from the Mighty community.

#MentalHealth #selfcare #MoodDisorders

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Mental Health at work: Is it really ok, to not be ok?

It’s a phrase I am sure we have all heard, ‘it’s ok to not be ok’. And as someone who advocates for mental health and who has a bipolar diagnosis, I am the first to admit there are times I have not been ok. But how comfortable are we sharing that in the workplace? And who here has not been ok, but not felt able to voice that at work?

I have been through some real low points in my life on my journey to balanced mental health, I have been in the darkest moments and still wiped the tears, put on concealer and walked into the office like I am ok because I know that taking time off will be seen as weakness and that my manager would judge me for it. So instead I go in pretending that I didn’t cry the whole night, that every breath I took didn’t hurt and that I wasn’t clinging to life by a fingertip. And in the process I have been pushing myself closer to exhaustion and closer to the edge which inevitably once I slip off it is a long climb back up. That may seem extreme but the truth is that I have been honest in the past, I have said ‘actually I am feeling incredibly depressed and anxious and I just need to have a few days to sleep, to walk, to stop the cycle’ and I have been made to feel like a liability and I, despite having low absence, have felt like it has hung over me ever since. In the past it certainly hasn’t been ok to say I am not ok without significant impact on my career. I am lucky to now have grown as a person and in my acceptance of my mental health and its limits, but also to have an employer that makes me feel empowered to be who I am and that has been down to some amazing managers too.

The truth is we ALL have mental health, we can all be honest and say we have good days and we have days where we just aren’t doing so well. For some those bad days might be debilitating, for others they may be able to fake it through and for a lucky few it might just be a bad day and tomorrow will be good again. But although a lot of how someone recovers from those bad days is down to themselves seeking help and support or knowing self care, the reaction and support of employers plays a vital role in their recovery or ability to return to work.

When someone is brave enough to disclose they are not doing ok, in our personal lives we all want to be that person that can support, we all want to be that person who is there for someone in their lowest moments and give them hope to get through the day. I doubt many of us would roll our eyes and think, what a pain! But how many of us can say the same in the workplace?

So we probably all agree that if a friend or loved one was struggling we would want to help. But here is the issue, what would you think if someone said that they were struggling with their mental health to you as a manager? Would you see the strength of someone who is aware of their mental health and able to be honest and open? Or would you see weakness? Something you don’t know how to handle? Maybe even a lame excuse from someone not cut out for the job? Or would you maybe think about the issues their absence causes you? The cost of absence, the inconvenience of rearranging meetings, finding cover or covering workload? The problem is it is not just a case of agreeing or accepting time off, it’s giving that person the reassurance, hope and belief that not only do you care about them as an employee but you want them to know there is no judgement and you support them.

I have experienced both types of managers and no suprise which one I had more respect for and flourished under.

Chasing someone for a return date, telling them how inconvenient it is, giving them the cold shoulder, refusing to invest in their development or being angry or even discussing or threatening performance management is not going to get that employee back to work quicker. Instead you are adding to their anxieties, their feeling of hopelessness and to their despair and they are more likely to have extended absence. Not only that, but you are treading a fine line that I personally see as morally and ethically questionable and certainly unlikely to generate a healthy, happy workforce. Mental illness should not be treated differently to physical illness, and it also should be considered whether or not their mental health condition is a protected characteristic and as such protected by law.

Businesses need to start thinking of mental wellbeing as part of their workplace offer. Training mental health first aiders, having access to assistance programs, training for line managers and having a culture of open conversations about mental health all will help. Where my manger has offered support, talked openly about mental health and given me the respect to manage my condition myself and seek support where needed I have had fewer absences, my work is of a higher quality, I am more engaged and I am happier in my workplace. We all benefit from that! Productivity is higher, engagement is higher, career development is more sustained and progressive and objectives are met.

So maybe we should ve asking ‘is it ok not to be ok in my workplace?’ and if the honest answer is no maybe its time to address that. Maybe the conversation shouldnt stop at ‘its ok not to be ok’ perhaps it should be followed by ‘what do you need? how can I help?’.

As mangers we are part of the answer to that question and as human beings we have a responsibility to our fellow humans to make a world that is kinder.

#MentalHealth #Work #Workplace #Anxiety #Bipolar #Bipolar2 #BipolarDepression #Depression #MoodDisorders #mentalwellbeing

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Happy New Year 🥳 #BipolarDisorder #BipolarDepression #MoodDisorders

I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone who has joined this group and all the Mighty members all around the World, a very Happy New Year 🥳 and I hope you all have a prosperous 2024 👌

#MentalHealth #MightyTogether

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Toxic Positivity and Radical Acceptance

Those who follow this blog have seen me rail against toxic positivity. When it’s not absurd, it’s insulting to those of us with mood disorders. No, we can’t just cheer up. If we could look at the bright side, we wouldn’t have depression or anxiety. You may be able to choose happiness, but I can’t. I’ve needed medication and therapy just to feel meh at times. If I could turn bipolar disorder off like a light switch, don’t you think I’d do it?

Toxic positivity can be seen nearly everywhere, in a lot of different situations: the self-help movement, of course, but also business, medicine, and even religion – as well as endless memes. American society is rife with toxic positivity. It appears in motivational business conventions and TED Talks. Salespeople are advised to think positively and envision success. Breast cancer survivors are advised to keep a positive attitude, to the extent that they are encouraged to tell how the disease has had a positive effect on their lives and relationships. (Expressions of fear, anger, and other natural emotions in response to the diagnosis are downplayed or discouraged.) Religions can exhort us to count our blessings or “manifest” our wants and needs by using positive thoughts to attract them.

Positivity becomes toxic when it is seen as the only method of coping with problems in life, even ones that have other solutions or none. Toxic positivity presents relentless cheer as the only acceptable reaction and a panacea for every difficulty. And toxic positivity leads people to demand that others take up the mindset and apply it to every situation, even devastating ones. As such, it denies the reality of human suffering and normal emotional responses. It’s a form of non-acceptance.

So, what is the alternative? What is a more natural – but still effective – technique for dealing with difficulties? How can those of us who have mood disorders or any other brain illness find ways to navigate through life without slapping on a smile and coercing our emotions to fit a certain mold?

Radical acceptance is one answer. Radical acceptance means that you accept your inner feelings and your outward circumstances as they are, especially if they are not under your control. You acknowledge reality without trying to impose a set of emotional mandates on it. Your acceptance and acknowledgment may involve pain or discomfort, but those are understandable, normal human conditions. They are natural conditions that evoke a natural response.

Rooted in Buddhist teachings and given a name by Marsha Linehan, the psychologist who developed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), radical acceptance uses mindfulness to help people learn to face and regulate their emotions. Interestingly, one 2018 study found that accepting your negative emotions without judgment is a factor in psychological health.

With radical acceptance, when you encounter difficult situations and emotions, you note their presence without trying to suppress them. You accept them, as the name implies. This attitude can address – and reduce – feelings of shame and distress that you may feel, especially when you are not able to simply shut off those feelings and replace them with positivity. That doesn’t mean that you wallow in unpleasant feelings or allow unfortunate circumstances to stunt your responses.

Instead, you note the feelings – accept that they exist – and “hold space” for them within you. You appreciate that your emotions can lead you to new understandings of and reactions to your circumstances. For example, instead of adhering to the unattainable maxim that “Failure is not an option,” you can recognize when you have indeed failed and accept it as a natural part of life. You can then move on to a mindset of growth where you use that failure to inform your future actions. You develop a more accurate picture of the world and can begin implementing real solutions.

Of course, there are situations where radical acceptance is not appropriate. Abusive situations, for one, shouldn’t simply be accepted without being addressed. But neither will positive thinking resolve them. They require action, from seeking help from a trusted individual to leaving the situation to contacting law enforcement or an organization that can help.

But in other circumstances, radical acceptance may be an answer for some. For myself, I’ll just be satisfied if radical acceptance helps drive out toxic positivity. I don’t think it will, but a person can dream.

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Through his lens:

Oh, how she longed to banish his despair,

To steal away the darkness, leaving him fair.

But love's power could only offer solace.

As she held him close, a comforting embrace.

In those moments of anguish, their hearts aligned,

She yearned to ease the burden that he'd find.

With whispered prayers and empathy's embrace,

She wished to shield him, keeping him safe.

And in the moments when he soared so high,

A kaleidoscope of colours filled the sky,

She gazed upon him with awe, yearning to witness the world he saw.

She yearned to perceive life through his lens,

To dance on clouds and taste euphoria's blends.

For within the beauty of bipolar's sway,

Lay a tapestry of emotions in disarray.

@wrdsbyme

#BipolarDisorder #BipolarDepression #MentalHealth #MoodDisorders #ManicBipolar #wrdsbyme @mightyupdates

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