For the past two years or more, I have lived immersed into the world of bipolar with all the depression, mania, mixed episodes, rapid cycling, scrambled thoughts and hallucinations. My mind has been obsessed all this time with my symptoms. I would think, I’m feeling depressed today. I can’t get out of bed. I do not have the energy to get a shower and get dressed. Then it turned to I can’t sit still. I must get out of the house. Let’s go shopping! These thoughts permeated my mind all the time. I rarely thought about anything else. The obsession on my bipolar was overwhelming and selfish.
The overarching truth was that my thoughts had been all negative and on me and my bipolar. Instead, I should have been focusing on the positive and on others. I have recently realized how my thoughts had all been pointed toward myself. I do not want to be that type of person anymore. I do not want to be so me-focused.
Having any mental illness or even a physical illness can be intense. Anybody can fall prey to the dangers of living a life focused on the ailment (negative) and not on the treatment (positive). I want to share what I learned from my experiences:
- Find a good psychologist or therapist with whom you can get along.
- Be sure they are someone you can trust.
- They should be knowledgeable about your mental illness.
- You should chose a therapist or psychologist who has a schedule that fits with yours.
- Your psychologist or therapist should teach you strategies on how to deal with your mental illness.
- Learn how to use them and then actually use them.
- There is nothing wrong with you reading information from reputable sources to find other ways that can help you work through your issues.
Friends and Family
- Have someone you can trust to talk to and share life with.
- Do not keep stress, anger or frustration inside.
- Ask for help when needed.
- Find a support group where you can meet people who have a similar mental illness.
- A support group is a great place to listen, to be heard and to understand and to be understood.
- Finding a good support group takes time, so be patient.
Over the past eight years, I have learned many strategies from the various therapists and psychiatrists who have treated me. I am now using techniques that I learned years ago to help me to purge myself of this obsessive and selfish way. For example, I am using cognitive behavior therapy, CBT. Whenever I begin to focus on a pain or a symptom of my bipolar, I change my thoughts to something or someone else.
I encourage you to try these strategies if you see yourself getting sucked into your bipolar world or whatever mental illness you may have.