Category : Communication

Communication Growth Just My Thoughts

How Do I Stop the Voices (Noises) In My Head?

Managing bipolar effectively takes patience because it takes time to find out what works well for you. For example, in the last 17 years, I’ve learned to take everything with a grain of salt, and have trained myself to always take a step back before defining any situation. This is important to me because when I would listen to the negative noise in my mind, it would cause unnecessary stress, attracting more negative energy. I’ve written about the power of positive energy and that what you put out is what you let in.

In other words, negative energy attracts negative thoughts and vice versa with positive energy attracting positive thoughts. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness and the way you define situations and view your environment can play a major role in managing triggers. Would you agree that stress, anxiety, sleep pattern, and certain events in your life have been known to trigger a manic episode? I know for certain after living and managing bipolar for 17 years that the onset of stress because of a big event or work would be a definite trigger in my life.

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Communication General

35 Things About Psychiatric Hospitalizations – What I Learned…

I spent many years terrified of being hospitalized for bipolar disorder. I would do absolutely anything to avoid it, and my psychiatrist worked with me to find alternatives. About 10 years ago, a mood disorder unit opened at the hospital my psychiatrist works at, and this made things less frightening. I knew my psychiatrist would be able to remain involved in my treatment.

I began to feel more comfortable with the idea, and in 2009 I was admitted for the first time. This time it was to change medication, and before I did, I had to completely be off antidepressants before starting it. Being hospitalized allowed me to do this more quickly, and safely. So far, I’ve been admitted for suicidal thoughts twice, treatment for a reaction to medication which caused a movement disorder that left me in constant motion. Hospitalized another time because I didn’t respond well to my usual medication, and this February 2016 for a change to this medication to another anti-psychotic med.

Since that first hospitalization I have had four more. I’ve now spent over 40-days in-patient, and have become quite comfortable in this setting. I’ve learned many things, and thought I would share some of them with you.

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Communication General Just My Thoughts

Why Beating Bipolar Is So Damn Hard

Bipolar disorder can be very confusing because you’re always second guessing every emotion. For example, the normal human emotions I’ll twist around into something which I feel are caused by bipolar. When I’m too emotional or confused, I’ll automatically blame it on my disorder, even though, this is something felt by those NOT suffering from bipolar. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, then you know how much emphasis I give to self-learning, and finding ways to understand my trigger points. However, I face an even bigger problem which I’ve just realized.

Life can bring some very tough situations, and every-day when I head out I really don’t know what to expect. No matter how much I’ve tried to understand my triggers, and avoid situations which put me in a crummy mood, I find myself with a new battle. When my parents told me to appreciate every single day because I’ll never get this time back, I’ve learned to be grateful for the opportunities I have. However, I’ve also learned it’s important to always have my guard up because of the negative energy I could experience at any given time.

Here’s the problem,

When you don’t trust your emotions because bipolar makes you feel like your different, and have to experience new emotional challenges, you begin to question a lot. I remember asking myself:

Is this normal or do I feel this way because I have bipolar?”

 

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Communication General Just My Thoughts

What We Can All Learn from Nicole Madison Lovell

Do you know the story of Nicole Madison Lovell?

If you haven’t heard about her, especially her story, then it’s important I shed some light. I was actually thinking about NOT writing about her awful story, but felt we all can learn something from what happened. I often sit around pitying myself because I’ve had to learn to live with bipolar, and this has interfered with my perception of reality. I mean, in the end, I’m very lucky to be alive, healthy (when you find a balance), and have loved ones around me. Most of all, I’ve been able to live life the way I want because over the course of 16 years, I’ve been able to understand bipolar and how to control it.

In the dark cloud of pitying myself, I sometimes forget how others have suffered more, and how they were able to get back on their feet. Nothing is more convincing than the recent story of Nicole Madison Lovell. Now here’s a 13-year old girl who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer. Here’s a definition from Cancer.org:

“Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system.”

Nicole spent 6 months in a coma and had a 1% chance of survival, but she beat the odds and lived. She did struggle while growing up as others made fun of her, which is the normal drill in Grade 7 simply because you’re dealing with so many immature kids. However, here is where the story takes an awful turn.

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Communication General Just My Thoughts

Life in Times Square (Battling With Bipolar)

This is a guest post by Grace Lyons.

I have been on psychiatric medication since 1997, and medication for bipolar since 2002. Since 2002, I have been on heavy sedatives because without them, I tend to be constantly in what is called – a mixed state. This is hell on earth where you experience mania, and depression simultaneously. My best description of this is to imagine sitting in the middle of Times Square. There are blinking billboards, crowds, noise, yelling, cars honking, action everywhere you turn, and it doesn’t matter that you are crying or sad. At the same time, you are also wildly agitated, and caught up in all the stimulation which makes you feel slightly funny. Music plays in your head on a constant loop as if you are near a street player who knows only a few phrases of two different songs.

The people shouting, and cars honking become part of the mass of racing thoughts filling your head. You are extremely happy, and sad at the same time while you battle to control these emotions, however, it’s hard to control what you are feeling.

The sedating medications have never taken this completely away for me, but when they work, they have slowed it down to a speed I can process. I might be uncomfortable but I can tell you what’s going on, and it is more like the annual art festival in my small town than Times Square.  It’s not calm, but it is manageable.

Since 2007, the main sedative I have taken has been the anti-psychotic, Quetiapine (Seroquel).  I’ve done well on it.

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Changing Habits Communication

All It Takes Is “1” Change (Power of Habit)

Recently, I’ve been trying to find out how powerful habits are in transforming your life. This all started when I picked up the book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. I found out about this book from my sister, who had seen it at a book store in London, England. Just like many of us, she skimmed through it, and the points illustrated resonated with her. One day, on a call with her, she described the book, which I found very interesting.

I had just joined up with Audible, and had bonus credits available, one of which I used to purchase the audio version of this book. In all honestly, if you haven’t read this book, I encourage all of you to read it because it will change your view on habits, and why we do what we do. If I was going to go through the entire book, and what I learned, it would take me several months to write out, however, I want to talk about something known as a Keystone Habit.

If you have read my other content, I’ve mentioned its importance before, however, I want to connect how a single keystone habit can be used to help us (those living with bipolar).

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Communication Just My Thoughts

Relationship Troubles Today – What Can I Do?

The thing with bipolar is the smallest things can throw you off, and if you don’t have a pre-determined strategy to deal with them, you’ll be emotionally drained. I’m usually very good at dealing with emotional stress, but today, something completely caught me off guard. Relationships can be tough because there’s such an emotional connection between two people. I rely on my girl to help me out in ways that my male friends would never understand. I guess it’s because the connection with your girlfriend is completely different than others. This is EXACTLY why when something throws you off, it completely starts hitting emotional places that NO one else can come close to.

Unlike in the early stages of a relationship, when things were still pre-mature, it was a great time to test each other out…right? It’s what happens in the early stages that ultimately builds or destroys your relationship.

My early stages were amazing, and this is why I started becoming too emotionally depended on my girl, even though I knew it’s a mistake because one thing can ruin my day, week, or even month. I guess it’s my bipolar nature to be completely extreme or as they say, bi-polar: “having or relating to two poles or extremities.”

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Communication

How Better Communication Help Lower Depressive Episodes. A True Mood Stabilizer.

Anything could trigger an episode for me, especially when I make things up in my mind. I remember when someone would say something to me, and it would be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. This is even true when the other person didn’t have bad intentions, but just expressed what they had on their mind. I guess it’s true when people say your mind can play tricks on you.

When I kept things inside, I would play the conversation over again, coming up with different scenarios, some of which would drive me absolutely crazy. Years after, I learned the solution to this problem was very simple. I should have communicated my thoughts more actively because that way, I would get the true intentions behind what the other person was really saying. Over the last 16 years, I have actively made it my mission to find constructive ways to cope with bipolar through lifestyle changes, i.e., exercise, meditation, communication, dieting, and even motivational coaching.

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