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Bloggers from around the globe, discuss mental health issues facing people, friends, families and communities worldwide.

Self Care with Bipolar

Self Care with Bipolar

Taking care of yourself enriches your life and attracts better, more stable people. 

These past few months have been a struggle for me. In August the mysterious pain in my hip developed and it clearly is here to stay. The first hospital trip didn't give me any reasons on to what happened or even a direction to look in. I was prescribed a steroid (prednisone) for the month of October and other than the terrible side effects, the pain was lessened.  On halloween, I got in a car accident which triggered the pain to return. I went to see a doctor and he prescribed me a very potent anti- inflammatory that has helped with the pain quite a bit.

I have lived with bipolar disorder since I was 13 years old and I was just beginning to understand the illness. Now I have to learn how to handle my physical pain as well. I have been able to be in contact with my professors which has helped with understanding my situation but I still need to learn how to live with this. The only other example I know is my father, who lived with chronic pain for 25 years before he passed away. He never took care of himself nor was he energetic enough to make a difference. I certainly do not want to live that way.

While in school, self care has been addressed a lot because of the profession we are pursuing. It will be almost impossible to reach out and help a youth without first addressing your flaws to learn and overcome them. Currently I am working on a project that goes into detail of my childhood and how I was raised, it has been interesting. During these homework sessions, I become overwhelmed with how much shit I've gone through and the things I will never get to say, especially to my dad, because the opportunity is gone. This has been especially difficult.

Some self care methods I have are:

  • Taking a bath/shower with music playing
  • Reading a book/listening to an audio book
  • Cloud watching
  • Taking a walk/exercising 
  • Playing a video game
  • Writing down how you feel
  • Meditate and breathing exercises 

The last one is key. Self care is not a one time fix all. That would be like going to a dentist and walking out saying "I'll never have to brush my teeth again!" I know how hard it is to think of yourself first because of low self esteem but putting yourself on the back burner is not healthy for you or your relationships. Remember, all you have is yourself- so take care of you.

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© Jenna White

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Rapid Cycling

"How do you know if you're out of control?" Sadly, you hardly notice at all. 

In my years of living with bipolar, I have only been able to notice and anticipate my cycles this year. I had finally stopped using hard drugs or ones that were not prescribed to me for self-care. I should have realised that even taking medications that aren't given to me by a doctor is really unhealthy because it can affect the chemicals in the body and cause adverse effects. In the time that I began my real journey of recovery and self-awareness I have been able to spot the elevated or dropping moods by monitoring through writing. I'm not even that good at it, but it is a good start.   

I can't wait until I have a family doctor so I can talk to them about the fact I think I go through rapid cycles. The criteria of rapid cycling is if a person had 4 or more manic or depressive phases within one year. I can 100% guarantee I have experienced that in this year. Going through my old blogs I can pinpoint the weeks of these cycles, so it will be easier for my physician to document. Maybe this will result in a medication change but I can't do that myself, I refuse to unless I can't handle the side effects.

The best that I can do right now is keep doing what I'm doing. Writing, talking and taking care of my physical health. If I don't then my school and my mental health will suffer, not to mention possibly failures of relationships. I don't want to go through any of that again so all I can do is follow through. 

Here are some more links to help better understand the facts behind rapid cycling :
Rapid Cycling within Bipolar Disorder II
Rapid Cycling and Mixed "Waves" 
​Frequently Asked Questions about Rapid Cycling

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Super User
If the readers of these posts thinks or knows they are bi polar please try to include your family as much as possible. I am the... Read More
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 11:15
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