Managing and coping with #BipolarDisorder can be a challenge at times. When I was first diagnosed (in my mid-twenties) I thought I had accepted it, which I realize I really did not. The diagnosis and the treatment plan to be honest went in one ear and out the other. I did do the treatment plan for a while but once I started to feel better, I stopped taking my medication and went back to my old ways. My recovery did not begin till I truly accepted I would have to manage and cope with #BipolarDisorder the rest of my life. My life slowly began to change for the better once this happened. I have become so in tune to my body I can tell the warning signs of a possible episode as soon as my feet hit the floor. I can tell if it is going to be a good day or a bad day. If it is going to be a stormy day, then this would allow me to get ready to use my coping skills. Here is a list of the warning signs for me:
1. Stress: everyone in their life I am sure must deal with some form of stress. If my body is under a lot of stress for a prolonged period whether it be personally or work related or both it can cause a mood swing (usually a #Mania episode). The reason being is my thoughts keep racing and my brain will not shut down (at a rate of a Nascar Race). Then I cannot concentrate and that makes me get frustrated and then my emotions are all over the place. My thoughts are scattered and sometimes even doing the simplest things are hard. Stress can take a toll on my body physically and emotionally.
2. Lack of Sleep– because my mind is racing so much, I do not sleep well at all. Sometimes, I will not sleep for 24 hours and this can cause a possible #Mania episode. If I go beyond lack of 24 hours of sleep, then yep, I can truly prepare for an episode. Lack of sleep will make my physically tired, but my mind will not shut off. So, I find myself just lying-in bed, tossing, and turning. Sometimes I will just stare at the ceiling and just pray that I will fall asleep. My body needs sleep to maintain my mental health and for my body to just feel refresh and function properly. I try to get at least 8 hours a sleep a night.
3. Medications– this just happened to me recently, I took an OTC allergy pill and within the next few days, I noticed my moods were changing. I was going through a #Depression episode, crying and having no energy at all. Then a few days later I would be so irritable and wanting to spend lots of money, and then talking a mile a minute. This was going for a few weeks, and I thought, I was just experiencing an episode and was like “I will need to just hold tight and ride this storm out”. Well, I started to think what I did different if anything, then it clicked, the only change was the allergy pill. So, I stopped taking it and started taking a different one. Wow, I would say within a few weeks, I was back to myself.
4. My own expectations– this one is all on me. I have a type A personality and I expect myself to be always perfect. I use to think I have #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder (which I do believe I do have a little bit), but in reality I have OCPD(#ObsessiveCompulsivePersonalityDisorder ). I have such a rigid schedule, that even if it is off by five minutes I can panic. I expect people to work at the same level of intensity as I do, which can cause me to have added work stress. Things need to be in order for me as well, I do not like chaos, my house is completely cleaned all the time, appointments on my calendar are made way ahead of time etc.
I feel like I am truly blessed because I can feel the warning signs of a possible episode. To me, it truly does help me be able to manage and cope with #BipolarDisorder and this is what always helps me to find HOPE through that storm.