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Remaining on an Even Keel

I have always been prone to emotional highs and lows. Psychologists have told me that I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I’m not sure I believe them.

I believe I have some kind of bipolar disorder, or at least something similar, but they say I don’t fit their diagnostic criteria. I can have a low period in the morning and then an extreme high in the evening. It’s like a kind of electricity running through me when I’m on a high. Anyway, labels aren’t everything. I know how I am. 

It’s always been common for me to get really excited and positive at times, but then to suffer from extreme emotional low points soon afterwards. It’s as if the two are connected: if I didn’t have such highs, I wouldn’t have the lows.

I suppose everyone gets excited and sad sometimes. It’s normal, to a certain extent. But for some of us, it is far more pronounced. For us, the emotions are extreme.

Sufferers of bipolar disorder are particularly known for their mood swings. The highs can be great. I can feel like I’m on top of the world, that I can do anything I set my mind to. No matter what anyone else does, it won’t effect me. I almost feel invincible, in a way. 

But this feeling doesn’t last, unfortunately. The next morning I can be in the pits of despair. I can feel absolutely dreadful, and believe that there’s no way I’m ever going to get better. Can even be difficult to move. People get numb and feel almost paralysed.

However, emotional swings are not limited to sufferers of bipolar disorder. Everyone gets them to some extent, to a lesser degree.


Better to Remain on an Even Keel!

But I would argue that this isn’t healthy. Instead of getting very excited at things, it is wiser to stay more emotionally balanced. I find that it is best in life to try to avoid major emotional ups and downs.

I realise that this can be a difficult thing to achieve, but I’m sure we can improve with practice.

Try to avoid getting too happy or sad and worried when good or bad things happen. Make a concerted effort to control your feelings, and to not get carried away. If you get an emotional high, you see, I believe that there’s a higher chance of subsequently suffering a devastating low.

With the benefit of perspective, in the long run, we will realise that those events were usually not really that important anyway.

Perspective and calmness are the best attributes to have in my opinion. Let’s try to cultivate these. Good luck!
I also have a blog, at www.ibeatmysocialanxiety.com. Please stop by if you can, and subscribe to get information about social anxiety and mental illness in general. Many thanks! John

Remaining on an Even Keel

John Hammond


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APA Reference
Hammond, J. (2016). Remaining on an Even Keel. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/social-anxiety/2016/02/remain-on-an-even-keel/

 

Last updated: 5 Feb 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Feb 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.