Bipolar Disorder

Triggers, rules and trusting yourself

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02 Mar 17

Bipolar and Me: Triggers, Rules, and Trusting Yourself

Loneliness seems to trigger it. Or maybe it's silence. I tend to have something on in the background. Music, the TV. While I don't consider myself an extremely social person (I have maybe a total of 4 close friends), I do like to be around people. Especially when my mind starts trying to turn on me and become something it's not. When the thoughts start racing in, or when the thoughts disappear completely. Maybe I'm afraid of myself, or at least a part of myself. The part that I've lived with all my life and that I'll always have to keep me company. The medicines keep it quiet for the most part. But certain things, certain places, certain foods will make it louder. You see there are rules you start living by when you have bipolar disorder. You don't drink caffeine, you don't eat too much sugar, you don't stay up too late, and you never stay up all night to name a few. Bipolar takes away that ability called trusting your gut, your instinct, yourself. You second guess almost every thought, afraid that's the mania or depression talking. You go out grocery shopping and realize you are buying things you don't need, racking up a higher bill than usual, and you begin to wonder: Is the mania creeping back in? Am I losing my rational sense again? Am I about to start losing it? And in the panic will creep, while meanwhile there are 3 people in line behind you waiting, as you almost freeze at the cash register. That's the thing that it's taken years for me to get back. The ability to trust myself, my decisions. To be able to tell myself that not everything I think or do is influenced by the fact that I'm living with bipolar disorder.

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can affect how a person feels, thinks and acts. It involves dramatic shifts in mood – from the highs of mania to the lows of major depression. More than a fleeting good or bad mood, the cycle of bipolar disorder lasts for days, weeks or months and is disruptive to work/social relationships. Bipolar disorder can rarely be overcome without medical treatment. For some, the periods between episodes of illness can be normal and productive. However, research suggests that when left untreated, episodes of illness occur more often and are more severe. During a manic episode, a person might impulsively quit a job, charge up huge amounts of debt, or feel rested after sleeping two hours. During a depressive episode, the same person might be too tired to get out of bed and full of self- loathing and hopelessness over his or her unemployment status and credit card bills.