Rises and dips in mood have been a part of my life like a swinging pendulum, always there in the background threatening to swing forward and take over. It’s something that I’ve struggled with from being very young as part of my Bipolar Disorder and is something that I have been forced to develop strategies to deal with over time.
Getting the right therapy
Finding the right therapy for you is so important, there are so many different types. It can be trial and error to find something that can help you, but the benefit to this is that if one type doesn’t work, you can try another.
Finding the right professionals
You need to find the right help for you and this includes finding professionals who you feel you mesh well with, who you can trust and open up to, and who you feel you can take advice and guidance from. This can take some time but when you find the right doctors, psychiatrist or therapist, this can make such a huge difference to your treatment.
Getting the right medication
As with therapy and professionals, finding the right medication for you can be a long process and takes a lot of trial and error, but it can make a huge difference once you figure out what works for you. There are a wide variety of types of medications and they can work differently for everyone, it’s about finding what works for you personally and which gives you the least side effects.
Keeping track of your moods
Tracking your moods can help you to know how your treatment is working, figure out any patterns, be more self-aware and allow your mental health team to help you more effectively. I keep track of mine using numbered scales and through blogging. Some people use apps, diaries, journals, whatever works for you is what is most important.
Being aware of what helps you, what is working for you and what isn’t, allows you to adjust your treatment and advocate for yourself when you need to. Being self-aware is also about being aware of your moods and recognising signs of them changing so that you know when you need to ask for help or need to take action to deal with them. Part of this is also being aware of what triggers your mood slides so that you can try to remain as stable as possible.
Helping your support system understand how to help you
Open communication with your friends and family, the people that you trust the most and who are going to be your support system, will allow them to understand what will really help you and what you need from them. It’s important to ask for what you need in my experience because they will often want to help but not be sure how to actually assist you.
Asking for help when you need it
Learning when to ask for help when you need it can be tough, but it’s vital that you reach out for that support, whether it be from a professional or your personal support system.
Having a list of numbers in a crisis
Keeping a list of the numbers of the people you can call when you are in a crisis can help you to both know who to contact and also can help remind you to reach out. This is especially helpful if you are not able to think clearly at the time. These numbers could be stored in your phone or written out clearly somewhere that you can reach them easily.
Having a list of distraction techniques
Developing distraction techniques that work for you can be a great thing, and keeping a list of them can give you ideas if you are struggling. These can be things that bring you comfort, forms of self-care or basically anything that helps to keep your mind active or helps you to relax.
These things can take effort but with time and work, they can be useful ways to deal with your symptoms in my experience and I use them to help me keep as stable as possible.