Tag Archives: BiPolar

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to 2018. This site has always been dedicated to learning to manage, live with and enjoy life even with bipolar disorder. For 365daysofbipolar.com there is a new direction. I want to provide important information on something I believe in strongly. How to build a professional and non-professional support team. What works and what doesn’t and who should make up your team. I am going to include interviews with both professional and non-professional people who support many people with our shared illness of bipolar disorder.

Managing and living well with bipolar cannot be done without proper support. Although we, the individual sufferer, are expected to do the work required to manage our illness. We need others to act as guides and sounding boards to keep us on track. To help us through the ups and downs of life and to tell us the truth when our bipolar minds lead us astray.

Our bipolar minds cause us to be at least standoffish and at times total isolationists. We bring our past hurts into every new encounter and destroy things before they even start. We, as bipolar sufferers, find it difficult to build and keep relationships. Which makes building a great support team difficult for us as a support team is nothing more than many relationships on many levels. The starting point for all relationships and my other focus for 2018 is how to build a proper relationship with yourself.

Mental wellness is all about knowledge of our selves and learning skills to overcome our bipolar symptoms.  There are many great books and apps that have appeared on the market in the past few years that are proving helpful. To aid in this process of finding what may work for you  I plan on doing book and app reviews in the coming year.

I am looking forward to an exiting 2018 for 365daysofbipolar.com

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog created by: Hillary Jacob Hendel

https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/its-not-always-depression-sometimes-its-

Self Care Is Like Gardening

 

Self-care is never selfish, self-care is a lot like gardening. Gardening can look selfish spending all that time alone in your yard digging, planting and watering.  You could be out with your friends, but you are home getting dirty. That is until you share the produce, the things you have grown, be it a harvest of flowers, fruits or vegetables.  It is then your friends benefit from all your hard work that you have done. Yes, self-care is like gardening.

The reason I started this way and used the quote I did is that in all honesty, this is the fourth post I have written this week. The other three were totally negative in both tone and subject. When I write as negatively as I have during this past week its time for a little self-care, a little weeding in my garden before I lose what I am trying to produce which is, hope. I want to share hope with you. I want to show that with hard work on yourself you can learn to manage this illness of bipolar that we share and have a useful and productive life. I want to show that it is possible to build a helpful support team of both professional and non-professional people that are there for you.

I want to take you to the garden store of bipolar management and show you the tools you may need and how to use them.  I want to show you how to clean and sharpen those tools after you used them for a while, so they stay sharp. I want to show you the best seeds to plant within yourself and the process with which they grow so you can have that harvest of usefulness.

Self-care is about looking at and after yourself. It is about getting the weeds before they get too big and are harder to pull out. I found the weed that was causing the negativity, it is called expectations. I expected different results than I got from an action. I thought I had cleared my garden of expectations, but a small seed snuck in there from somewhere and began to grow. So, I spent the last few days pulling it out before it produced its own seeds. Because if you let just one weed go to seed you will have seven years of weeding to get rid of that weed again.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle is with bipolar disorder and with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365daysofbipolarcom. Follow us on twitter @365daysofbipol2.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog created by Sandy Swenson

https://www.sandyswenson.com/blog/

 

 

Seasonal Affected Bipolar Disorder 2

Learning to manage any aspect of bipolar disorder on the individual level is going to be by trial and error. Some people find what works quickly, like when their Psychiatrist prescribes a medication that works without side effects right away. These people are quite rare. For most of us learning manage our bipolar is a struggle of trying this or that until we find what works. What I encourage in myself and I also encourage in others is to embrace that struggle. Enjoy learning how your bipolar disorder affects you and how overcoming this illness makes you a better, stronger person. What works for me and helps me manage my bipolar may not work for you. However, what works for me may give you a starting point.

On the subject of seasonally affected bipolar disorder management, this was for me a many year journey. Even today I am tweaking my management system of what I need to do to ward off the winter blues. As I write this I have my sunglasses on and am bathed by the light of my Litebook Edge therapy light. This light was added a year ago when winter set in really early and what usually worked quit working or didn’t have time to work.  Another pitfall of bipolar management is sometimes our management system quits working and we have to develop a new one.

Today my management system for the fall/winter part of the seasonally affected bipolar disorder is very simple. I take 2000 IU of Vitamin D and 50 mg B6 + B12 starting in early August. I introduce 15 minutes of light therapy in early October.  I keep this routine up until the middle of May. Which is about when spring begins to come about where I live.

I want to point out why I take both Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 as well as B6. It has been scientifically proven that if you are low on Vitamin D you are more than likely low on Vitamin B12 as well. I take Vitamin B6 because of its scientifically proven link to cognitive function.

When spring has sprung this requires a whole new management system. The first requirement of this portion of the management system is compete honesty with myself. Why? Because no one ever complains about mania. Mania is great, we get stuff done. We are usually happy and excited about life.  I have had a handle on quelling the summer mania for a lot longer than I have the winter depression. For me, when the first urge to buy every garden tool in the Johnny’s seed catalog strikes that is my sign to have a talk with the doctor to decide this year’s course of action. Most years it has meant an increase in meds for a period of time. Some years it has only meant increased diligence on my part to do the tips set out later. This is when I need constant monitoring by my professional and non- professional network. This is my program for managing seasonal affected bipolar disorder. It works for me.

Bipolar is as individual as the people who suffer from it. The treatment of this illness in every aspect, be it medication or seasonal affected bipolar disorder, has to be individual as well. We each have to develop our own ways to manage our particular bipolar disorder.

Last week I promised some tips and techniques for dealing seasonal affected bipolar disorder. The first tip I want to offer is:

  1. build the best professional and non-professional support team you possibly can.
  2. build the best professional and non-professional support team you possibly can.

I can not stress this point enough. We are not rocks, and we cannot fight this illness alone, despite popular belief. If you have bipolar you inwardly believe you are alone.

We are the ones that have to do the work, but we need the best team we can put together to cheer us on and give us advice when we need it.

Tips for dealing with depression when your meds don’t seem to be. This happened to me last winter until the light therapy started to work.

  1. Take the initiative against depression. Get up and keep moving even though you feel like one of those deep-sea divers in the big suits walking through molasses. Force yourself to eat and wash the dishes. Make a gratitude list of 5 things you are grateful for every evening, try to do 5 different ones every night.
  2. Learn what triggers your depression besides the change of seasons. As a lifetime sufferer of seasonally affected bipolar, when I started to learn to manage seasonal depression I found other triggers that elevated that depression. Anything that I perceived to negatively affect me compounded my depression. When my management system was working if something negative happened I still became depressed. This is what I touched on last week.
  3. Make a commitment and keep on keeping it. I found this one very helpful. I hang out with a bunch of people every Sunday morning for breakfast. No matter how low I am I force myself to attend. Actually, if I am not there they come looking for me.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up for how you feel. This one is hard to get over. I practiced self-encouragement for a long time before I was able to use it effectively when I was deeply depressed.
  5. Do not let your mind convince you that you have to do some great thing or be perfect to beat your depression. It is by doing the simple things, some of them badly, that we overcome depression. Sticking to an already set routine does wonders for beating depression. This is similar to #3 but different. This has to do with a commitment to yourself the first thing that used to go when depression struck was my morning routine of daily reading of inspirational material. Now it doesn’t matter, I go through the motions of coffee and books no matter what. I may not comprehend what I am reading all the time, but I am there in body every day and I do it.
  6. Don’t let your mind create catastrophes that do not exist and thoughts of self-harm. These thoughts of loss, disaster and self-harm are the true dangers of depression. This is when we absolutely have to reach out to others. I also know that when these thoughts happen we most want to isolate. We can, with help, learn to defeat these thoughts but it takes time and effort. What we must quickly learn is to reach out whenever these thoughts appear.

Tips for dealing with Mania.

  1. Learn what triggers your mania. As I said earlier one of mine is wanting to spend.
  2. Monitor your thinking. Our feelings of self-importance start to grow when manic. Our thoughts begin to race. We are bombarded with one idea after the other. We become more mentally creative. These are all signs of mania. Learn yours.
  3. Watch your behaviors. Mania causes us to engage in risky behaviors and behaviors that will threaten our lives and relationships more easily.
  4. Keep your regular sleep/eat schedule. This is not easy. I don’t sleep, and I don’t eat when manic. Forcing your self to bed and to eat can reign in a manic episode.

Unfortunately for most of us, medication is the only way to effectively deal with mania.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook facebook/365daysofbipolar.com. Follow us on twitter @365daysofbipol2.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog created by Hillary Jacobs Hendel.

https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/single-post/2017/09/26/Beyond-Life%E2%80%99s-Disappointments

 

Seasonally Affected Bipolar Disorder

Studies show that about 20% of bipolar sufferers are affected by seasonal changes. This is a major trigger for many bipolar sufferers. For many to be affected by the seasons usually means moving towards depression as the days shorten into winter and towards mania as the days lengthen in the spring and summer. This is not always the case, some are affected in other ways, but I can only share my own experience

Seasonal Affected Bipolar was a major part of my bipolar life, depressed to the point of not being able to function during short days of winter. Then taking off like a rocket as the days lengthen in the spring. Learning to manage my bipolar during these seasonal changes has been a large part of my recovery program.  As with all management of bipolar disorder it has been by trial and error. I have learned the proper time to increase my Vitamin D and B12 intake and when to introduce light therapy as an added boost to my program to ward off the winter depression. Conversely, I have also learned when is the best time of year to introduce extra medication to prevent the lengthening days from launching me into mania.

I never discuss prescribed medications or the doses of vitamins and supplements a bipolar suffer should take as our illness is so individual. What works for me may do you great harm in the areas of medication, vitamins and supplements. In those areas I recommend working with your professional support team.

What I can talk about is the generalities that many studies have pointed out on using Vitamins D and B12 for Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) and Seasonally Affected Bipolar Disorder (SABD) as well as techniques that work to ward off winter depression.

These will be next week’s topics.

I want to end this week’s blog explaining something about triggers and bipolar disorder.

Triggers are the things that cause you to relapse into full blown bipolar episodes. Here is the distinction that helped me understand this definition. You must have some control or management of your bipolar disorder before you can relapse. If you are not doing anything to manage your illness you cannot relapse.  What I have learned is that when you have a major trigger like SABD, as you learn to manage that trigger a lot of other triggers seem to suddenly appear that you no idea even affected you. These triggers that seemed hidden by SABD seemed overwhelming to me when they showed themselves. I soon realized how they helped increase effect of the seasons on me, especially my winter depression.

What triggers you may not trigger me and what really triggers me may not even affect you. It is important that we learn the early signs and warnings that our bipolar disorder is about to take over our lives again.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching a link to their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog created by Carrie Elizabeth Lin

http://ibpf.org/blog/spotting-icebergs-miles-away-how-use-early-warning-signs-bipolar-disorder-relapse-prevention

 

Bipolar Induced Cognitive Impairment

The scariest day of my bipolar life was Wednesday, May 14th, 2008. A day I will never forget, nor repeat. That day I learned first hand what bipolar generated cognitive impairment was all about.

At nine in the morning, I went into my office to read reports from the past few days of operations. I remember picking up the first report and reading the first few lines and then…. At five one of my staff came in to ask if I was coming to brief the afternoon shift. I was still holding that first report in my hand and eight hours had elapsed. I had no memory of that time and still don’t.

I feigned illness and left. The problem, I really had no idea where I was to go. I couldn’t remember where I lived. I just sat in my car, scared and getting angrier by the second.

My staff called my wife, who came and got me and took me home.

That day started the process towards my proper diagnosis of Bipolar 1 disorder almost a year to the day later, Tuesday, May 12th, 2009.

Bipolar generated cognitive impairment is real and it is scary for anyone that has experienced it.

Sometimes it is subtle, by that I mean we are not aware of it, like when we ask the same question over and over. When we tell the same story six times in a row. At those times those around us see it, but we don’t.

Sometimes we blame other known parts of our bipolar like when we have difficulty planning and carrying out tasks, blaming our anxiety or depression. When our irritability reaches all time highs, irritability and rage are part of being bipolar. When we make bad judgment calls on important issues that affect our lives, like cashing in all our retirement savings to buy a truck we don’t need. Those kind of bad judgment calls is part of mania.

Then there are the issues that have no other explanation. When we accidentally drive into the back of the car in front of us because we thought we were at least six feet away. When all we hear is a buzzing sound or it sounds like the speaker is miles away. When we can’t remember, not just where we put the car keys but the entire car or where we live. When we lose incredible amounts of time, like I did on that sunny day in May of 2008 and many times before. When we run into people we have known all our lives and do not recognize them or walk down to our favorite coffee shop and don’t recognize anything and can’t find the coffee shop. When we seem to have impaired ability to walk or hold objects

These are the signs and symptoms of bipolar generated cognitive impairment

Memory loss

Loss of time

Repeating questions or stories over and over to the same audience.

Difficulty planning and carrying out tasks

Vision problems – depth perception, blurred vision, tunnel vision.

Hearing problems – buzzing, hearing like the speaker is far away.

No facial recognition.

Inability to recognize places that should be familiar.

Impaired motor function

Unusual changes in moods and behavior.

Radical life choices and poor life judgment

Bipolar generated cognitive impairment is part of our bipolar illness. It most often strikes when our bipolar disorder is acute. According to a 2004 study published in Bipolar Disorder Magazine Volume 6, some of these symptoms can also be part of our illness when our illness seems to be under control. Be patient with yourself if some of these symptoms, like memory loss persist when you are stable. The inability to recall some things from prior to spring and summer of 2008, seems to be part of my life today.

When the symptoms of bipolar generated cognitive impairment became severe was not the first time I sought help, it was the first time all my symptoms lined up to prove that I was BP 1 instead of OCD. I know first hand that it is sometimes a long process to receive proper help but stick with it.  It is worth it.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog created by Jonice Webb PhD

Emptiness: The Un-Feeling Feeling

 

 

They Want To Do Better, But They Won’t.

 

Image result for The worst thing you can do to a person is pretend you care.

 

As the quote says, “The cruelest thing you can do to another person is pretend you care about them more than you really do .” When it comes to the treatment of Mental Health and Addiction issues this unfortunately is blatantly obvious. This treatment is totally in the hands of government or insurance plans or both, huge machines that have no feelings and are incapable of compassion. The people elected to government, unless directly affected by metal health issues, have other priorities.

In May of 2017, there was a protest at our provincial legislator calling for less talk and more action on Mental Health issues. People got up made speeches, recounted tragic losses of loved ones who fell through the cracks of the system and spread awareness of how dire this issue is.

The Health Minister showed up and laid out what the government has done to help, ending his talk with, “We want to do better.”

To many this was taken as “someone may care, there is hope.”

Most of the people at the protest did not know that a local philanthropist and many others had been quietly raising funds to create a dedicated Mental Health Emergency Ward at one of our hospitals. This dedicated unit was planned to be constructed and opened in the fall of 2017. This was the chance for the government to step up.

Instead we woke up to the headline “New (could be anywhere) mental health emergency wing that would ‘save lives guaranteed’ on hold. It is on hold because the money to build the unit is there but the government claims it has no money to staff this unit. The government has other priorities.

To many at the protest it was like a slap in the face.

This particular hospital emergency saw 60,000 patients last year of which 9,000 were for mental health and addiction issues (statistics from hospital foundation web site.) Those 9, 000 were the ones they saw. How many got tired of waiting and walked away before they were seen. It is a fact those of us with mental health issues are not considered critical in a regular emergency room. We are not bleeding or having a heart attack, so they don’t think we will die. The problem is many of us just might die, because if we are sitting in an emergency room that’s usually how we are thinking.

This is just one instance in many. What this one instance does show is that relying on government or insurance policies to fix our mental health problems is never going to be the solution. We must act ourselves and learn Mental Health First Aid to help each other. We need professional help, you bet. But if we stand by one person each and demand they get help, waiting with them, encouraging them. Governments may just take notice because there is this army of people that don’t need them and therefore make them worry they will lose votes.

Don’t just talk, look for someone to help.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday at 12:00 p.m. CST. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://joeroe.co.uk/

 

Developing Enthusiasm for the Reality of Life Part Two

 

Image result for make your life a story worth telling

This is part two of developing enthusiasm for the reality of life. The subtitle of this series is Adam Braun’s quote, “Make your life a story worth telling.” If you have ever heard a good story teller, they all have one thing in common, they are enthusiastic about their stories. Our life is our story and we need to get enthusiastic about our lives for it to be a good story.

Here are five internal things to do to become enthusiastic about your life:

  1. Stop letting your thinking control your life and learn to control your thinking. As I say at the end of every blog our battle is with our minds. By that I mean specifically our thinking. Our thinking generates our reactions to life and our self talk. We need to take control of our thinking to change our reactions and our self talk.
  2. Develop a positive attitude and keep it. According to Earle Nightengale, the motivational speaker and radio broadcaster, attitude is most important word in the English language.
  3. Ask yourself questions. The net result of two years of counselling was instead of the counselor asking me questions and me answering, I learned to question myself and find my own answers within myself. From the semi negative questions like: Why am feeling this way? What caused that thought? Why do I believe that? To the positive questions like: How do I get better and stay better? What is the best way to respond here?
  4. Remember what situations made you enthusiastic in the past and bring that feeling to the present. When I first met my girlfriend she always said, “I am a different person on holidays, more involved, happier.” My response was, “Go on a holiday and bring that person back.” She has found that “holiday” person hidden inside herself and brought her out, now she is that person all the time.
  5. Act Enthusiastic. Fake it until you make it, sounds corny but it is true. The more you practice enthusiasm, the more enthusiastic you become.

Here are five external things you can do to become enthusiastic about your life:

  1. Make a daily gratitude list. It is easy to become enthusiastic about life if you see on paper in front of you all the things you have to be grateful for.
  2. Create a wellness plan. Enthusiasm and trying to achieve something go hand in hand. If we know where we are going it is easy to become enthusiastic about it. A wellness plan outlines where we want go and how to get there.
  3. Find enthusiastic people to hang with. Enthusiast people have a tendency to rub off on you. Putting more and more enthusiastic people into your life will help keep your enthusiasm level up.
  4. Develop an exercise plan and do it along with a proper sleep routine. Being a couch potato and an insomniac keep our enthusiasm down. Regular exercise and proper sleep help us by providing a body that can become enthusiastic.
  5. Connect with nature. To go to places that connect you with nature lifts your spirits. If you can incorporate nature settings into your exercise routine, like a park, you will find your enthusiasm increases. Failing that, find a beautiful nature picture to look at from the treadmill.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

 

 

 

 

 

Internal Reflection

Image result for Looking interally quotes

 

 

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. So it stands to reason that our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things. Battling bipolar is a totally internal battle, we may be triggered by external things but it is what we do internally before we respond to that trigger that makes the situation a great one or disaster.  Do you know that there is a choice in that statement? There actually is, we can choose to, or not to, do something internally before we respond to that external thing that is triggering us. In the English language we also have two different words we can use depending on whether we do something internally or we do not. If we do something internally, it is called responding. If we do nothing internally, it is called reacting. I always reacted and it never got me anywhere.

What I found really interesting is that in learning to respond the trigger diminished. What I mean by that is; when I go internal to find an appropriate response, the trigger, no matter what it is, disappears while I look inside myself for the response. It is physically impossible to look two places at once. When I focus on the internal, the external disappears. That was a novel discovery for me and turned out to be the key to really managing my bipolar disorder.

By concentrating on my internal communication, before it became external, I learned I could find myself. Through this I learned that I could hear what my body was telling me. It turns out my body is my early warning system. If something is affecting me, my body is the first to react. Stress causes my digestive tract to revolt. Worry increased my blood pressure. In learning to listen to my body I can head off negative influences in the early stages.

By looking internally, I found my mind mostly lied to me and it was my job to root out those lies and replace them with truths.

Our illness causes us to look externally for both cause and cure. Yet internal reflection makes us realize that beyond our medication which created the stability to look inside ourselves, our causes and cures are strictly internal.

Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://hubpages.com/education/How-to-Discover-Your-Best-Possible-Self

 

 

Opinion, Belief and Conviction

Image result for Quotes on negative convictions

Last week I started talking about how to maintain mental wellness long term and ended by stating, “it is our thinking that starts our emotional turmoil and our mood swings. If we do not work to change our minds we have nothing with which to deal with any crisis we encounter, but our same old fall back emotional responses that have never worked for us in the past.”  This week I want to examine how our thinking works to defeat us and how we can change our thinking with the help of a good therapist to bring us real change in our lives.

In setting some very ambitious goals for 2016 and reaching many and setting higher goals for 2017, that old familiar feeling of self doubt attacked me. Those statements in my head that persistently, and loudly, say you will never meet those goals, amount to anything, are a perpetual failure, rang around in my mind.

This is where being the most fortunate suffer of bipolar disorder in the world pays off.  I am employed at the same place as my psychiatrist, my GP and my mental health counselors, which means when my mind attacks me, I do not have to wait to talk to someone. I can just knock on their door and if they have a few minutes, I can tell them the issue and they can give me instant feed back. Basically they can tell me what I am telling myself is a load of crap and not to believe it. Besides reinforcing the positive things going on in my life.

That is the essence of therapy, to have an impartial person of skill and training to point out, and have us then challenge the false negative opinions, beliefs and convictions we hold of ourselves, others and the world around us. We then have to follow up by putting positive information into our minds, which surprisingly can be as false as the negative stuff we just removed. The mind knows no difference. We cannot see our own false beliefs, negative or positive, because we believe them even if they are totally false and bear no resemblance to reality. We convince ourselves to believe things to be true. We really have no idea if they are true or not.  It is by what we see, what we hear, and what we experience that we form our opinions on life. Those opinions we form, become our beliefs and then deep our deep convictions of how things work. At the deep conviction stage, it is difficult to root them out.

Luckily I took action at the opinion stage of things and didn’t wait for them to start digging in. I spent two and half years in therapy to dig out my negative convictions about myself, others and the world around me. It was damn hard work. I would prefer never to have to repeat that work.  By catching those negative thoughts at the opinion stage, it was much easier to remove those negative thoughts and replace those thoughts with positive things.

It is by understanding that those deep convictions, or core beliefs, create the prism through which we view life, that we can begin to change. We need a guide to show us which of these deep convictions is helping us or hurting us. This guide can also give is the insight into new ways of looking at things, past, present and future. That guide is our therapist.

The essence of therapy is to have an impartial person of skill and training to point out and have us then challenge the false beliefs, negative opinions,  and convictions we hold of ourselves, others and the world around us. Please see this attached article by Betterhelp.com on how to find an online therapist near you.

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/how-do-i-find-a-therapist-near-me/

 

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Wednesday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this week’s Blog by Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Accardi from Consultinghealth.com.

Psychoanalytic Therapy: Unconscious vs. Subconscious Mind

A Questioning Attitude for 2017

 

Let’s start 2017 with a question, or a series of questions. Let us start the year with a questioning attitude that keeps us questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes all year long. Questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes leads to change and 2017 is a great year to change ourselves.

When someone speaks of managing bipolar disorder, they speak of eating right and physical exercise. Why are nutrition and exercise spoke of more often than fixing our thinking and feeding our minds things of a positive nature for a mental illness? Is it not our minds that are sick?

Why is the pain that causes many of our bizarre behaviours and addictions never identified as spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions?

Why do so many people think that taking medication is enough to manage bipolar disorder?

This first question is my aim for 2017, to speak out about feeding our minds. Changing our thinking is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. I am not negating proper nutrition and exercise. I just want to put the importance of each in the right order. What we feed our minds with bipolar disorder can be more important than what we feed our bodies. Training our thinking can be far more important than training our muscles. We are dealing with an illness of the mind; we need to concentrate on healing our mind.

There is mounting scientific evidence that developing a strong spiritual self is helpful in dealing with bipolar disorder. It is becoming evident that the pain that drives our bizarre behaviours and many of our addictive ways is spiritual pain as expressed by our emotions. Our emotions are the only way to express pain, be it physical, mental or spiritual. It is impossible for emotions to express pain as emotions are the vehicle of expression, not a location like mind, body and spirit. When people suggest they are expressing emotional pain, they are really expressing spiritual pain.

As we feel pain when we over use our muscles or over tax our minds, we can and do feel spiritual pain. We can also strengthen our spirits, just as we improve our muscles and our knowledge. In strengthening our spirits, we are better able to cope with the ups and downs of our lives.

So many feel that once they find medications that level out their highs and lows and they feel stable that is all they have to do to manage their bipolar disorder. Popping a few pills only gives you a stable platform on which to build. We failed in building the life we wanted because we had no stability. We could play the blame game or be victims of our illness, but in reality our lack of emotional stability stopped us from building anything. Once we have a proper diagnosis and proper medication that gives us some stability we can fully enter the school of life and unlearn all the bad habits that bipolar disorder created in our lives. Replacing them with good habits that allow us to become useful and productive members of society.

Let us make our goal for 2017 mental wellness and becoming useful and productive members of society through constantly questioning our ideas, beliefs and attitudes, replacing those that lead to false ideals with realistic beliefs and attitudes.

 

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on twitter.

 

BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. I hope you enjoy this weeks Blog:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2017/01/01/few-smokers-with-serious-mental-illness-get-help-to-kick-habit/114511.html