According to the World Health Organization, Bipolar Disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world.
As I sat staring blankly at that sentence, I didn’t want to believe it. I don’t have a disability, do I? When dealing with such an illness, it is important to know as much as you can, but never forget that it is just as important to get to know yourself as well.
Being diagnosed Bipolar II, as well as ADHD, at the age of 14, was extremely difficult. It took me years of doctors and medicines and ultimately heartache in order for me to get to where I am today. These are the things that keep me level headed in a very unforgiving world.
1.) Affirmations – emotional support or encouragement
Notice I didn’t add the word ‘self’ to that. Though self-affirmations are crucial to dealing with the struggles of Bipolar Disorder, giving them can be just as rewarding. The idea of giving someone something that you cannot achieve yourself can be daunting at first. For me, it is easier to put myself in the position to recieve affirmations when I witness the joy on someones face after giving one.
2.) Self Reflection – meditation or serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives.
Bipolar II is the onset of mood swings that go from manic to depression, but with lowered manic reaction. I have depressive spells that can handicap me for upwards of two weeks at a time. Self-Reflecting during these moments can be scary, because the thoughts are not always nice ones, but doing so keeps me aware of my state of mind. This keeps me mentally busy, and subsequently out of harms way.
3.) Reaching Out – letting someone know that you aren’t okay.
Lastly, this is one that I struggle with doing the most, but has the most reward in turn. When in a depressive state, I never want to be thought of as a ‘bother’ to anyone, so when I was younger I would just hold everything in. That almost cost me my life several times. Now, I know that I have a support system. It may take me a few days into my episode to reach out, but it helps tremendously when I finally do.
I keep a folded piece of paper in my cell phone case with a list of names of people I can call when I am feeling upset. It keeps me from getting overly frustrated and overwhelmed. Adding such a thing to your wallet or purse can really take the stress off. It allows for less thinking and a quicker recovery time.
Bipolar II Disorder is definitely one that has rocked my entire world, but the best advice I can give is to stay grounded. When we let our emotionals take ahold, we lose our footing and enter a very dangerous headspace.
–With Love, From Daisy