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Impact of Bipolar

Recently a friend ruined my mental health. Well, a friend combined with preexisting bipolar disorder, ruined my mental health. I don't believe in blaming people for mental health problems, per se; but, sometimes people do things that are so damaging, a change in mental health really is pretty much their fault. So, what do you do when a friend ruins your mental health?
I can't stop insulting myself. I'm depressed, and that's one of the things that I do when I'm depressed. The insults I say at myself are unbelievably harsh and things I would never say to anyone else. But even though I know that it's the depression, and even though I know that it's negative and harmful, I just can't stop insulting myself.
I've recently, painfully, discovered that stress increases anxiety to interminable levels. Stress, of course, worsens one's mental health in many ways, but the way that I'm primarily feeling it is through anxiety (and probably depression; anxiety and depression being knitted together as they are). Previously, I didn't have the anxiety problems I do today, and I didn't realize just how bad anxiety could feel until this latest bought of stress increasing my anxiety.
Do you suffer from an inner voice that tells you others are thinking you're ugly, an idiot, or just plain crazy? You might try combatting that by trying to get over yourself. I know this sounds a bit harsh, and admittedly, I've been known to be overly harsh with myself, but I think there's something to this. Let me explain what I mean when I say, "Get over yourself." 
This year, the holidays have made me mad. Now, there's a lot to unpack in that statement, but I want to start with that simple statement because that's how it feels. I feel mad, and I feel mad because of the holidays. Not surprisingly, that's not all there is to it, however.
The holidays can cause a bipolar mood swing. And by that, I mean they can cause a mood episode that wasn't present before the holidays. So, for example, you might have been stable before the holidays, and then depression sets in. You might have been depressed, and then mania sets in. A swing from one mood or euthymia (a state without mood episode characteristics; stability) to another mood is pretty common at this time of year. So, let's take a look at bipolar mood swings during the holidays.
When bipolar symptoms quell, I tend to fear bipolar symptoms coming back. That's right, the absence of bipolar symptoms can actually bring about fear and anxiety. I know that might sound self-defeating, but if you've been on the bipolar rollercoaster for as long as I have, and have seen as much bipolar devastation as I have, you'll understand that fear of bipolar symptoms is actually quite rational. It's a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop feeling. So if you fear the return of bipolar symptoms, what do you do?
I find pain destroys my ability to think. I find that once pain reaches a certain level, I can no long formulate rational thoughts, and all I can think about is the pain. I short, pain kills my brain. This feels like a curse for someone who uses her brain for a living. However, pain's penchant for affecting one's ability to think is hardly limited to me.
Last week I applied for the disability tax credit (DTC). The DTC is something we have in Canada for people with severe disabilities that still pay taxes. It doesn't just allow for a tax credit; it also allows for access to extended medical healthcare, special retirement savings benefits, and more. If you have been reading Breaking Bipolar for a very long time, you might recall that I previously applied for the disability tax credit and was rejected. Well, last week, we entered round two of applying for the disability tax credit.
I feel like I'm a professional patient right now -- a professional patient being one who has found that maintaining their health is a full-time job. This is not a job I applied for, not one I accepted, and not one I want. In fact, being a professional patient might be the worst job one can have. So, let's talk about being a professional patient, how to live with it and how to get through it.