The three things that help me succeed.
There are three times during the year I know to expect bipolar depression: in the spring, midsummer, and late December. Other times, it walks up and smacks the back of my head with all the shock of an unwanted surprise party.
While painful, bipolar depression is no reason to quit. You can keep winning at bipolar depression battles.
In the last few weeks, I can feel the depression monster knocking around in my brain. He’s restless and looking for a place to set up camp.
Before, I would give in and let the dark forces take over my mind. But now, I refuse to quit. While stopping bipolar depression completely may not be possible, there are ways to decrease its impact.Start Today!
Here are three tips I’ve learned about how to stop being a quitter and start winning at bipolar depression:
Know your triggers. For me, bipolar depression is mostly seasonal. It can also take off when I’m not getting enough rest or pushing myself too hard. If I force myself into mania, depression will follow. Knowing my triggers helps me be proactive about preventing it.
The pain of depression often follows a manic cycle. If you have gone days without sleep or eating little, you can almost guarantee a depressive episode will follow. When you keep mania under control, you also decrease the chances for a deep depressive episode.
Make a plan. Once I know my bipolar depression is coming on, I make a plan of action. This usually includes things like increasing my self-care, scheduling more fun activities, and reaching out to my support system. I take steps every day to keep myself balanced, so when depression hits, it’s easier to hold on to hope.
Your plan should include taking your meds every day, getting enough rest, and eating regular, healthy meals. Positive mindset activities such as practicing gratitude and mindfulness also decrease the frequency and intensity of depression.
Reach out for help. Bipolar depression can be very isolating, but it’s important to reach out for help. This could mean talking to your therapist, joining a bipolar support group, or even just talking to a friend.
I get it, though. When you’re depressed, the last thing you want to do is interact with people. I want to be alone, shades pulled, phone off, with a comfy blanket pulled up to my chin. I don’t want to tell anyone how I’m doing or waste the energy to smile and act like a real human being.
Even so, isolation is dangerous. So reach out to your family and friends, even if it’s only through text messages. You need the connection to others to give you strength to continue fighting.
“No man is ever whipped until he quits in his own mind.”– Napoleon Hill
Bipolar depression is something I used to be a quitter about, but not anymore. By knowing my triggers and making a plan, I can usually stop bipolar depression in its tracks. And if bipolar depression takes over, I know I’m not alone. There’s a support system propping me up.
I’m having a tough time right now, but it’s nothing like what I used to experience before I learned to manage my mental illness. Plus, I know it will end. It always has and always will. I just need to hold on and I’ll beat it.
You can keep winning at bipolar depression too. Depressive cycles are part of living with bipolar, but you don’t have to stay there. The harder you work on stability, the easier you’ll tackle your depression.
Until next time, keep fighting.