There are an estimated number of two million Americans with bipolar disorder. Stress is the one of the conditions that triggers your mania. Even mild stress can make manic symptoms worse by making you feel more easily distracted, impulsive, and unable to make practical decisions. Myself, I get very confused. When someone simply asks me what I would like to do – I can’t make a decision right then. I can’t make an immediate – my mind doesn’t work that way. I had to know what might make my life a little easier. I never know when stress or mania will strike so I want to find something that might prevent it.
Taking up a hobby great stress-buster. I was getting stress over Christmas with my money flow looking very low so I decided to pick up crocheting. I had to learn all over again, but it was like riding a bike. Crocheting is very calming and it helps to tunes out what’s going on around you. Even noise – I’m very sensitive nose. Luckily, I was able to make several Christmas presents.
The number one cause of stress is sleep problems. Having insomnia keeps you tossing and turning, which stresses you out even more. People with bipolar disorder with their changes in sleep patterns can trigger episodes or make them worse. My favorite stress-buster is creating a spa like setting with bubbling warm bath water, soothing music and putting on your nicest pajamas and sink into your bed. I like to pick up one of my favorite books and read until I get drowsy.
Research shows bipolar disorder is more likely to lead to substance abuse than any other mental illness. Researchers have found that drinking and taking drugs tends to make bipolar episodes more frequent and severe, and can increase stress, anxiety, and other problems even more.
How about a support group? People with bipolar disorder find that sharing their illness with other people with bipolar is beneficial to them. When I talk to someone else with the same illness I get excited. I want to ask them how they cope and if they have some of the same symptoms as I do. Sometimes I’m not even sure about myself, but I know I’m not really comfortable around people who don’t have bipolar. I always try to watch how I act or say. Check the web site or yellow pages for your local support group and give it a try. I’m working on that anti-social phobia and it’s getting better.
What about a vacation? I love vacation – it’s a time to meditate and reflect on your life and your goals. I’m always dreaming about what I want to do with my life.
Exercise? Yes exercise. That’s all I’ve been hearing lately. I’ve put on a lot of weight since I found out I have bipolar and take medications. I’ve got to say when I started walking it’s made me feel so much better and proud of myself. Not only that, but it helps you sleep better and boosts the release of endorphins, those feel-good chemicals that help fight stress.
Finally, writing has been the best therapy I’ve discovered. In writing you find a subject and I’m a big subject so I’ve done a lot research on bipolar disorder. I find out more about my illness and it helps me to understand myself. I also hope that my writings will reach others with the same illness. Hopefully, you will feel comfortable commenting and corresponding.
Once last thing. I have ADHD with horrible grammar and punctuation so please forgive me.