I’m sure you are aware that living with Bipolar Disorder isn’t a walk in the park. But before we dive into how that journey has been, I just want to say HI, HELLO, and thank you so much for stopping in here at my blog! It means the absolute world to me. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about living with bipolar disorder I’d love it if you checked out some of my other posts about it.
Living With Bipolar Disorder
There’s more too. All you have to do is visit my blog and type in Bipolar Disorder and you’ll be greeted with a lot of posts. I aim to educate and make sure no one feels alone. Living with Bipolar Disorder can feel unbearably lonely and isolating. I’d like to remind you that it’s okay. Everything you’re feeling is valid and it’s going to be okay.
How Living With Bipolar Has Shifted My Life
Well, that answer can go on forever. This disorder has changed me. But there is a peace that comes from finally receiving a diagnosis. When I received my diagnosis in the spring of 2018 it was like everything started making sense. How I felt, and definitely why I struggled so much to keep my moods and emotions together. The way that this diagnosis has changed my life is huge. It does feel peaceful though to have answers, and I feel that having a diagnosis gives that. Or at least a door to open to start understanding some answers.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable shifts in moods. There are a few different Bipolar Disorders and they’re characterized by the severity of the moods.
- Bipolar 1 Disorder
- Bipolar 2 Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder Unspecified
- Cyclothymic Disorder
Common Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor. I’m just someone living with Bipolar Disorder and sharing my story. My hope is that you can learn, help support, and or just feel a little less alone. We’re all in this together!
- feeling sad
- feelings of irritability
- loss of interest in activities
- feelings of guilt
- feeling pessimistic about everything
- lack of energy
- increased need to sleep
For more information about symptoms of the disorder check out this site – Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
How does it affect daily life?
Well, this part of the post could really be never-ending. Living with Bipolar Disorder is really quite a ride. Let’s get started with a few of the ways that the disorder affects my daily living.
- The way I communicate.
- My relationships.
- How I make decisions.
- How impulsive I am.
- My sleep.
- My weight and body.
- How I’m able to connect with others.
Communicating is so hard sometimes. I feel an enormous amount of emotions when I’m in various situations and it’s hard to get my feelings into words. This has landed me in a lot of “pickles”. I’m grateful that my husband is so fantastic and has helped me so much.
Things I Do To Help Myself With Communicating
- writing things down
- being clear with my ideas
- not taking part in a conversation if I’m not in the right frame of mind
- asking for help
Since becoming more comfortable with who I am and what I need, my relationships have shifted. I’m not one to try to help everyone anymore. Not because I don’t care, but because I really had to start taking care of myself. I had to start listening to my body and take care of my mind. I started learning my triggers. My thought-process is more that relationships should bring something of value to my life. It shouldn’t just bring an enormous amount of anxiety of negativity. Relationships should bring support, empathy, compassion and love.
Making decisions is very difficult. It’s hard to understand what the concequences are for various things. To help this, I try to write pros and cons lists to visually see it. Being able to visualize everything makes a huge difference for me. Being impulsive is huge for me. Before my diagnosis and being treated, I made a lot of dicey, risky choices. It takes enormous effort to not act on impulses.
Sleep is not possible if I don’t take my sleeping pills. And, when I say that, I don’t mean that it’s a choppy sleep, or anything. I legit mean that my brain doesn’t sleep. It continously thinks and races. I take Seroquel every night. (Stay tuned for another post about this intebse drug.)
How to cope living with this disorder?
Talk to your doctor. If you think you might be struggling with Bipolar Disorder, or you just need to talk to someone, please, please talk to your medical doctor. A few things that I’ve incorporated into my life to help are:
- Closely monitoring my moods. I have to constantly ask myself, “how are you feeling?”
- Develop a routine. Routine is huge.
- Get proper sleep. Inadequate sleep can be a trigger for mania/hypomania.
- Develop & practice stress management tools.
- Incorporate movement into my day.
- Practice not making impuslive decisions but rather taking time once I’m prompted to make a decision.
How to support someone living with Bipolar Disorder?
While everyone is different, here are a few things you can do to support someone living with this disorder:
- Educate yourself about the disorder. The more you know about it, the better you can provide support to someone living with it.
- Listen without any judgement.
- Be an advocate.
- Take part in their treatment plan.
- Be understanding.
- Be a safe place for someone to turn to.
Living with Bipolar Disorder has changed my entire life. I’ve lost many people, gained meaningful relationships and deepened my relationship with myself. I value myself and my mental health so much and anything that might shift my mood, I carefully monitor.
How has living with this disorder affected your life? If you have a different diagnosis, did you find that receiving a diagnosis was helpful?
Love Always, Natasha