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Where We Learn To Connect With Our Authentic Selves.

Month: May 2020

THE MORE OF BIPOLAR MANAGEMENT

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the post’s title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

There Is More To Bipolar Management.

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip Toe if you must, but take a step.” – Naeem Callaway

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. That individuality is the reason that bipolar disorder management must be tailored to the individual. There are generalities that apply to most of us, but there are cases where none of the generalities apply.

I end every post with the same statements because they are true. The ones that apply to this post are,

“Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

“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.”

Standard Bipolar Management Strategies.

When you check out the standard bipolar management strategies, they usually say:

  1. eat healthy,
  2. sleep properly
  3.  exercise.

Everyone is supposed to do that! That advice is not specific to bipolar management. Not only that, but you can eat as healthy as you can, sleep eight or nine hours a night, and exercise like a fiend, but none of those actions will fix your mental state.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Medication.

There are now 50 or more medications recommended for the treatment of the bipolar disorder. Research is proving that there are many nutraceuticals (supplements) that are also beneficial in bipolar management.

Bipolar disorder is as individual as the people that suffer from it. This means it takes a commitment from both the bipolar sufferer and the medical professional to find the pharmaceutical or the combination of pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, that actually work for the individual.

Medications, be it pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals, do not fix your mental state. Medications stabilize your mind giving you a stable platform with which to work on the real problem.

Manage Bipolar Disorder With Therapy.

There is a misconception when it comes to therapy and that is that the therapist is going to fix you. Nothing could be further from the truth. A good therapist is nothing more that a guide and sounding board. The therapist’s job is to challenge our thinking and help us confront our false beliefs.

Bipolar disorder fills our minds with misconceptions and false beliefs that are firmly embedded and only with help can we overcome these. These misconceptions and false beliefs act like walls that stop us from connecting with our authentic selves.

Managing Bipolar Disorder With Mood Tracking.

“There is an app for that.” There is no truer statement for the area of mood tracking. At my last count there are some 30 apps solely devoted to mood tracking and many more that combine mood tracking with journaling.

Mood tracking is more than just noting your highs and lows. Mood tracking allows you to see how outside influences affect your mood. Diligent mood tracking will quickly highlight the things that trigger your emotions.

The More Of Bipolar Management.

By incorporating all of the above, taking your medication, eating well, exercising, practicing good sleep hygiene, tracking your moods, and working with your therapist, you have a decent bipolar management strategy. This strategy may even give you a decent life. But if you want that “Ducky” life there is more and that more is learning.

Learning how bipolar disorder affects you as an individual.

Learning what works for you to manage your bipolar symptoms.

Learning who the person is that bipolar disorder hid away.

Learning skills like proper boundaries.

Learning to improve both your mental and emotional resilience.

The path to mental wellness is hard, it involves a good basic routine and lots of learning. It involves consistency and looking solely at yourself. Remember, “Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations, or other external things.”

Adding learning to your bipolar management is worth it, because if you do those things your life will change like magic.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

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

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

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

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 Dana Arcuri

http://www.danaarcuri.com/blog/what-is-stealing-your-peace-of-mind

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Why We Should Stop Using The Term “High Functioning” In The Mental Health Community.

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the posts title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am just a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences in the hope they may help you. Please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you). At the end of each post, I will be recommending through links the books and other products I personally use to connect with my authentic self.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

Why We Should Stop Using The Term “High Functioning” In The Mental Health Community.

I have never felt the need to start a campaign, but I do on this issue. In the mental health community, the term “High Functioning” is being used to describe a set of people with a mental illness who have better-coping skills in some situations than others who suffer from the same illness. My campaign is to remove the term “High Functioning” from the language of the mental health community.

In my own case someone could apply the term “High Functioning” to me today, but until 10 years ago it would not have applied to my life at all as I could not function at all. Does that mean I no longer have bipolar 1 disorder? No, it means I have worked my ass off learning to manage my illness. Everyone who has learned to manage their mental illness should get a medal not a label that sets them apart.

What caused me to start this campaign?

In a medical file, a mental health professional wrote – he suffers from “high functioning” depression. Where they should have written – he suffers from dysthymia.

The use of the term, “High Functioning” has caused an individual no end of grief. The inability to qualify for any medical benefits or health insurance payments being the most devastating as these entities equate “High Functioning” as not having depression at all.

And of course, the mental health professional who wrote that statement bears no responsibility, stating: “It is a commonly used term within the mental health community.”

Why should this concern anyone?

The term “High Functioning” is not in any manual or diagnostic tool related to mental illnesses. Using a term that has no basis in any manual or diagnostic tool means other agencies can define the term as they see fit.

Origins Of The Term “High Functioning.”  

My research is showing the term “High Functioning” originally comes from either the area of mental disability or autism. I cannot be sure of which area the term escaped into the mental health community.

 I have experience in the field of the mentally and physically disabled. That is where my education is, and I worked in that field. A mental disability affects the persons intellectual capacity. The term “Higher Functioning” was used to describe the level of care a client required.

In one of the places I worked, we had two 30-year-old clients, one with an intellectual capacity of a teenager, the other client that had the intellectual capacity of a two-year-old  The client with the capacity of a teenager was “Higher Functioning” than the other client and needed less care as they could do certain tasks themselves, like dress themselves and eat unaided.

In the situation of mental disability, the term ‘higher functioning’ fits because it relates to level of care.

 I have no experience with Autism other than the understanding autism is a developmental condition. The term “High Functioning” seems to differentiate the level of social skills a person with autism displays.

This was the first use of the exact term “High Functioning” instead of the term “Higher Functioning” that is used in the field of mental disability.

How did the term “High functioning” invade the mental health community?

The term “High Functioning” seems o be applied by mental health professionals to an individual. The reasons seem to vary but the most common is to “take the sting out of a diagnosis” or “because it sounds better ( I got this statement from the professional who wrote the term “High Functioning” in my friend’s file).

The fact that the mental health professionals are perpetuating this term is perplexing as its professionals that should know better than to transfer terminology between fields with different parameters

As individuals we then perpetuate the term “High Functioning” by applying the term to ourselves without thinking how that term sets us apart.

Terminology effectively used in one field is terminology improperly used in another if the basic parameters of the fields are not the same. The fields of mental disability and autism may be similar enough to allow the term “High Functioning” to apply to both. But there are no similarities between those fields and the field of mental illness.

The Danger of Using The Term “High Functioning” In Regard To Mental Illness.

  1. The term “High Functioning” has no meaning in the realm of mental illness. The term “High Functioning” has no place in the conversations about mental health or because it may “sound better” than an actual diagnosis.
  2. is not a diagnosis, but a judgment on a person. In the fields of mental disability, this judgment is on the level of care required for them by the caregivers, not how they live their lives. In the mental health community, it is a judgment on how we live our lives.
  3. Using The term “High Functioning” and writing it in a file may cause a person to not qualify for disability benefits or disability insurance when the person needs it because they are no longer “High Functioning”.
  4. The term “High Functioning” negates the fact that someone has “learned” the skills to cope in some situations. Because they are labeled “High Functioning” leads people to believe they no longer have a mental illness. In reality, all they have done is learn to cope a little better some of the time and still suffer from the illness in all areas.
  5. divides us within the mental health community. Because a person is said to be “High Functioning” this leads others with the shared illness to think that the “High Functioning” person is not as affected by the illness the same as they are.
  6. “High Functioning” adds to the stigma put on everyone who suffers from a mental illness. Because one is able to cope a little better and gets the label “High Functioning” the outside world, which has no concept of the labels meaning, has another excuse to use against those who are not functioning as well with the same mental illness.

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If we do not allow ourselves to be labeled as “High Functioning” or label ourselves in that way, it would not take long for that term to disappear from the language of mental health conversations.

The term “High Functioning” has no place in the conversations about mental health as the term has no meaning in the field of mental illness.

It is true that all fields have their jargon and agreed-upon terminology, but in most cases, they also have the backbone to explain the jargon and terminology to outside agencies. The mental health community seems to be sorely lacking in this capacity. 

In 2017, I wrote a post entitled “Is Bipolar Like A Cold” outlining how the symptoms of a cold do not affect me a deeply as my girl friend. No medical professional would dare say I had a “High Functioning” cold even though I am not affected by the symptoms as deeply as my girlfriend. A cold is a cold as a mental illness is a mental illness. There are no varying degrees in the diagnosis. The only variation is in the way the symptoms affect the individual.

It is unfortunate “High Functioning” was allowed to pervade the mental health industry as it is divisive, hurtful to all who have mental illness and adds to the stigma that already follows those of us with a mental illness. Let us use stop using the term “High Functioning” and start using defined diagnosis only in speech and writing.

Please share post with as many people as possible so we may kill the term “High Functioning” and remove it from our community.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds and lives.

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

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

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

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am extremely interested in your opinion.

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 Alexa Ceza

https://www.alexaceza.com/post/5-things-you-should-stop-doing-to-yourself-mental-health

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

If you are visiting through the website, please click on the posts title to open this post in a separate window for a better experience and to comment.

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, I am not a doctor or therapist, I am a fellow bipolar sufferer sharing my experiences and knowledge that I have gained in the hope those experiences and knowledge may help you.

Please read my full disclosure and policy statement here:

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

A Bit Of History.

May was established as Mental Health Awareness Month in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization. Mental Health Awareness month reaches millions of people through the media, local events, and other promotions.

Mental Health Awareness Has A Purpose.

The purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illness.

To draw attention to what its like to live with depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

To help provide strategies for mental health and wellness.

To draw attention to the potential for suicide that prevalent with these mental illnesses.

To help reduce the stigma given to those that suffer from mental illness.

Every year Mental Health Awareness Month has a theme and since 2018 the theme has been #4mind4Body.

Each there is a tool kit.

https://www.mhanational.org/2020toolkit

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020

The four months leading up to May 2020 have shed a light on the fragility of the world’s mental health when everyone’s world turned upside down. From the fear of Covid -19 infection to forced isolation, to unprecedented business closures and layoffs. If you are working unless you are a front line worker or an essential service, you are likely working from home. Our world seems out of control or at least out of our personal control.

This is unheard of in anyone’s lifetime and it is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health.

Finding Positivity in the Crisis.

One of the most positive things that I have seen is the outreach on social media and the prevalence of zoom and other connection apps. This has brought about a new way to connect with our support, be it professional and non-professional.

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.  Our goal is to develop the self-discipline to take control of our emotions, minds, and lives.

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

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

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

Subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the subscription box to the right of this post. In that way, you will be notified of all the new posts and happenings in 2020. Please comment below as I am very interested in your opinion.

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 John Poehler

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