School can be overwhelming and life with bipolar disorder can present additional challenges. Whether you are dealing with mental illness in high school or college, surviving school and keeping yourself healthy while doing it is possible. Adding some healthy habits to your academic routine can make all the difference. Here are some tips for setting yourself up for success. Keep reading
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is characterized by highs and lows in mood. A person living with bipolar disorder experiences shifts in their thought processes, energy levels, behaviors, and emotions. Although the onset of bipolar disorder is typically in early adulthood, an individual can begin to experience symptoms as a teenager. Receiving a diagnosis at such a young age can seem like the end of the world. This doesn’t have to be the case.
As many of you know, I have just graduated from college, and it’s time for me to begin my journey into “Real Life.” I’m not quite sure what this means for me quite yet, but I can feel many, many changes coming my way, and that means a loss of stability – at least for awhile (Stability in Bipolar Disorder Requires Routine).
I’ve read and heard about the mental health benefits of journaling for years. For those living with a mental illness, journaling as self-care can be even more beneficial and therapeutic. I’ve always loved the idea of journaling; the book itself, the pens, the prompt, but I could never seem to keep up with it. I never knew what to put in it once I got started. Over time, though, I realized that there isn’t a right or a wrong way to journal. I think of it as a “stream of consciousness.”
A professor of mine died last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I had him during my first semester at university for a human spirituality course, and even though I didn’t know him well, I thought he was amazing and admired him very much. He was brilliant and charming and funny, and during the service, so many of his students and colleagues, peers, and other experts in his field spoke of how caring and gentle he was, how he could shrug off anything and just be at peace.
This time of year is supposed to be special and joyful and full of fun. We all have our own ideas of the perfect holiday, the perfect family get-togethers and conversations, the perfect meal (Dealing with Bipolar at the Holidays – Expectations). But then life gets in the way and we’re all wrenched from our festive holiday bubble.
Regardless of whether or not you’re experiencing a state of depression or in a crisis or feeling pretty positive, it can be hard to love yourself and practice self-compassion. A lot of times, I hear other people who live with bipolar disorder and other mental health problems say that they hate themselves or feel ashamed of the things they feel (My Irrational Bipolar Brain Makes Me Hate Myself). For me, personally, I can tell myself, cognitively, that my feelings aren’t my fault, but it’s very hard to believe that emotionally.
Sometimes, I think about the people I went to school with when I was a kid and a teenager and I wonder where they are now, what their lives are like. Are they successful? Do they have their own homes? A nice and enjoyable career, or have they moved away? Rarely do I consider whether they have a severe mental illness.
Many of us view our young adulthood years as the time when we find some of our first jobs and apartments and having the freedom to begin “Life.” But some of us aren’t so lucky. Our severe mental illnesses take an enormous toll on living (Living With A Mental Illness And Self-Stigma).