Am I being irrational? Do I have the right to think this way?
Am I crazy, or just human?
I have doubted myself so much, dissected the illness so much, that I don’t know up from down.
I often can’t discern whether I am mentally sick or just going through a tough life change like anyone else.
My parents were raised in Roman Catholic families; my mother left the Church in her 30′s.
I was baptized Catholic, and even though I didn’t go through the full “process” of Catholicism, I still attended mass with my grandparents on hundreds of Sundays.
I observed Lent and was often guilt-ed using The 10 Commandments.
During my battle with mental illness, my personal relationship with God has been tumultuous. There are some years when I can’t live without talking to God daily; other years I have completely abandoned Him.
It is mid-January, and the high temperature will peak at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit today.
This is cold for Floridians. We take advantage of the sun and warmth we experience most days of the year.
Even though Winter in Florida is a stark contrast to the snow, darkness, and bitter cold that is experienced in many parts of the United States, mood patterns would suggest that I am still affected by this season.
I have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital three times, and all three of those times, it was Winter–December, January, February.
My online mood trackers show that my depression, exhaustion, and irritability causes me more trouble in the Winter than the warmer months of the year.
Yesterday, I was worrying about other people.
I was enjoying Christmas with family and friends, getting way too many gifts, being spoiled with food and hugs and love.
What about everyone else? Were they getting the love they deserved?
I was happy, secure, at one with the Holy Spirit. It was a joyous day.
Unfortunately, inevitably, the brightness started to fade.
The realization of the Christmas holiday coming to a close started to set in.
Negative thinking can have a devastating impact on one’s life. For me, it’s a personal hell. My co-workers and friends rarely notice anything is wrong; I keep it to myself, but with because I keep it to myself, it is hard to cope.
The more I rehash negative thoughts and feelings about myself in my head, the more likely I am to feel sad and anxious.
One of the most difficult parts of having bipolar disorder is knowing how to prevent and manage mood swings.
Although mood cycles vary from person to person, most people with bipolar are profoundly aware of how hard it is to manage and control mania and depression.
The best way to deal with bipolar mood swings is to get treatment. However, hypomania, mania, and depression are not completely preventable.
Even with medication and good health habits, mood swings still occur.
Before the tech age, people with bipolar disorder relied on print notebooks and drawn charts only to record their moods for themselves and their clinicians.
This is still a viable way to track both mood swings and how environment and health affect the outcome of one’s course of illness.
For those that are computer and mobile device-savvy, however, there are a multitude of tools available at your fingertips.
This means different things for different people—traveling, planning and coordinating with family, busy schedules and spending money are all common themes during the holidays.
People with bipolar disorder may have difficulty dealing with stress, depression, or hypomania during the holiday season.
Whether you have a big turkey dinner at home, travel to a popular restaurant, or refrain from participating in the Thanksgiving holiday, here are some tips for getting through Thanksgiving Day (and actually enjoying it):
An MSN article published last week claims that marijuana improves cognitive functioning in patients with bipolar disorder.
New research reveals that cannabis use among patients with bipolar I disorder showed improvement in areas such as processing speed, attention, and working memory.
Marijuana use was also shown to make patients less likely to comply with their traditional treatment regimen.
Researchers interviewed for the article recommended developing a treatment that mimics the effects of cannabis.
The debate goes on.
Before and during my menstrual periods, I experienced symptoms of depression and irritability. I was instructed to take a slightly stronger dose of my medication during this time of month.
A foreshadowing of my future diagnosis? Perhaps.
A reason to make PMS jokes and references? Unfortunately, always.
According to a Psychiatric Times report, it’s more than just opinion. In a retrospective study of 2,524 women, 65.1% of women with bipolar I and 70.5% of bipolar II reported increased premenstrual mood symptoms.
The contrast? Only about 34% of women without bipolar disorder experienced increased premenstrual mood symptoms.
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that about a quarter of adults with mental illness also have a substance abuse issue.
This accounts for about 2.8 million Americans.
Even before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I knew substance abuse and mental illness are linked. With a family of mentally-ill alcoholics, it’s a no-brainer.
The mood swings, depression, and anxiety that come with mental disorders are almost unbearable.
Some people are able to channel their symptoms into positive activities. Others find drugs as a way to numb the pain, make situations less scary, and quiet the mind.