On the anvil:
Professional help from Psychiatrists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists in the form of Columns and or Q and A.
Alternative therapy practitioners, too.
After all, bipolarindia is a bridge between you and people out to help you.
Meanwhile, here are a list of practical DO’s and DON’T’s from a veteran Bipolar (Me!!):
- Walk. Walking daily for 30 to 40 minutes helps in many ways. The fresh air makes you feel energetic, the exercise works as a mood elevator due to release of chemicals in the brain. I prefer walking in the early part of the evenings, amid nature and the sound of chirping birds.
- Smile as often as you can (even if you don’t feel like it one bit!) Smiling sends the right sort of signals to the brain. The bonus- it is the cheapest make up known to mankind and makes you more personable!
- Laugh– Can’t stress the value of this enough. Watch funny movies, read funny quips and cartoons, just about any antic that makes you see the brighter side of things.
- Music is known to have therapeutic qualities. The joy of enjoying a favourite oldie or some relaxing lounge music!! Try this at night time to relax your mind before you fall asleep.
- Exercises like aerobics and Yoga keep you fit and healthy besides they are a boost for the mind, too.
- Yoga, especially, has dramatic curative abilities. This could be practised by even healthy persons to keep stress at bay in the jet age we live in.
- Socialise: befriend new people, play with children, rejoice at their creativity and sense of fun
- Stay active and productive: the feeling that you are a no-gooder, a burden on society can be crippling
- Meditation: although a part of Yoga, needs special mention. Calming of the mind, clarity of thought, focus and improved concentration are the resultant benefits for the mind. New research has discovered startling general well being benefits, too.
- Spirituality: whatever your faith (unless you are an atheist) prayer has miraculous powers. The faith that the Supreme Being is listening to you, belief that your prayer will be met takes a huge burden off your shoulders.
- Breathing techniques: had the privilege of learning quite a few Yoga asanas as well as some Tibetan breathing techniques. During moments of stress breathing is rapid and shallow. By controlling your breathing you can calm down your mind and cope with panic attacks
- Self esteem: what others think of you is the least of your concerns, what do you think about yourself? If your self esteem is low you are prone to acquiring a inferiority complex that overshadows all your stellar qualities. Take care of your appearance, fitness, health and state of mind so that you never lower the guard.
- Engage yourself in hobbies. There is a strong link between Bipolar and creativity, why not make your creative streak your strength? An empty mind is a devil’s workshop: your strong imagination, if not put to good use can cook up problems that just don’t exist!
- Read Books, articles, Blogs…anything that inspires you, empowers you to fight the inner demons.
- Above all, RELAX! Nothing in the world is ever so important that it can’t wait! Stress builds up when you are overwhelmed with the pressure of pending tasks and having fallen behind schedule. Make space for breaks in between to ensure boredom does not set in.
- Ultimately remember, even your darkest phase will pass over. Give it time, time heals like nothing else can
My self affirmation:
Am a HAPPY person! HAPPIER than I ever was!!
- Self pity is a dangerous, never ending pit to fall into. If you are keen to recover, courage and raising your tolerance threshold are required.
- Vices and substance addiction– these shortcuts are the coward’s recourse of running away from reality. Be it alcohol, drugs or illicit relationships, vices will break your resolve and magnify your problem. Beware of unwanted serious reaction of substance abuse along with your prescribed medication!
- Underestimate the gravity of the illness: you’d be doing yourself no favour by neglecting the condition. Even qualified Physicians have the audacity to sometimes say that ‘there is nothing much to be concerned about, you are being over-medicated’. (I speak from personal experience). Such conflicting advice can be destructive. ONLY your Psychiatrist is qualified to determine your condition and treat you.
- Withdrawal from medical regimen: most bipolar patients plainly refuse to seek Psychiatric treatment. Being treated and then suddenly dumping all your prescribed medicines can plunge you into a major episode of illness.
- Don’t be afraid of a societal backlash and as a result, avoid going to a Doctor and keep the illness to yourself and family. Keeping it under the wraps is not going help you. You have no reason to hide anything- you are not a criminal, you are not responsible for the illness.
Hang on. You have possibly braved a similar crisis in your life before. This too, will pass by.