My number one tip for managing bipolar disorder? Know what your mood swings look like from the minute they start. The very first thought of mania for example often tells you all you need to know. “The colors are so gorgeous today!” is a thought I get when I start hypomania. I don’t think this way normally. When I’m in an average mood, I will notice colors, but I don’t FEEL THEM PHYSICALLY like I do when manic. I now know that having this simple thought-
‘The colors are GORGEOUSSSSSSS today’
is a sign that I’m not stable. I go into action and make sure I manage the bipolar instead of running around buying 25 new Sharpies, a set of paints and some watercolor paper so that I can capture the moment! Ha!
Here’s a picture I use when I train health [ Read More ]
Click here to read part one of this series on bipolar disorder and travel.
What is the goal of my next book On the Road with Bipolar Disorder: Four Steps to Successful and Stable Travel?
The goal of this book is to help you manage your bipolar disorder before, during and after you travel. It’s a four step process:
3. You’re There
4. Back Home
Have you ever noticed that stories in the news about troublesome bipolar disorder behavior often involve travel? This happens because travel condenses a large number of bipolar disorder triggers into a very short period of time. Here are the most common bipolar disorder triggers due to travel:
1. Travel puts you in different time zones. Anything that changes your sleep has the [ Read More ]
When you’re a person who is depressed a great deal of the time, you have to really notice and appreciate the times when things go right. I have a phrase I use to remind myself that great things do happen in my life. I think it’s important to have a phrase to use each time you experience something great- a nice short phrase where you can say thanks for what happened.
When I have a good time with a friend- or someone helps me feel better, or I learn something or I get to go to karaoke and have fun!
I say, “Lucky me. Lucky me! ‘ to myself. This triggers the realization that good things happen to me.
What phrase can you use!
I love to find pictures to go with blogs. This time I typed in Lucky Me and [ Read More ]
People with insomnia count sheep. People with mania draw sheep and make a collage!
Manic sleeping problems are different from insomnia in many ways- with insomnia you’re tired, you want to sleep, you toss and turn, you worry about how worn out you will be in the morning and you often want medication relief.
I need a Tylenol PM!
With euphoric mania- Whew! You want to stay up, you’re wide awake and doing something creative. You have unlimited energy, a racing mind, and rapid body movements. You have no desire to get in bed and sleeping feels like a total waste of time. When the euphoria gets too high, it takes a lot of psychiatric medication to get to sleep (and you definitely don’t want to take them and wreck your buzz!) and there is a chance you will be wide awake [ Read More ]
With my nephew David. The joy of my life and one reason I’ve survived all these years. Having a young person in my life changed me profoundly. During the deepest, darkest suicidal moments I always had the strong feeling that staying alive was a profound way of honoring David. He knows what he means to me in his 12 year old mind. I doubt he’ll ever know what affect he has had on my work and my life! Lucky me! Julie