Sharing Good News Doesn't Jinx Your Mental Health
A little while back I went through an amazing phase of remission. I started a new medication and it worked like magic in a very short period of time. In short, it was a miracle.
At the beginning, I kept the miracle to myself. Others noticed I had changed but no one said anything and neither did I.
But eventually, a few weeks passed and I just had to tell people how great I felt. I thought I was "safe." I thought the remission would be around for a while. I thought I would be able to announce the good news and then not disappoint people when the treatment stopped working.
I, of course, was wrong.
As fast as the remission came, it left. And I couldn't get it back. It felt like I was being punished about being happy about, well, being happy.
I Jinxed Myself
So someone recently mentioned to me, I jinxed myself by celebrating my good fortune.
This is poppycock.
Bipolar Doesn't Respond to Jinxes or Celebration
And while it sure felt like I was being punished for talking about my success, I wasn't. Thinking that bipolar disorder or remission responds to celebrations or "jinxing" is what therapists call magical thinking.
In clinical psychology, magical thinking is a condition that causes the patient to experience irrational fear of performing certain acts or having certain thoughts because they assume a correlation with their acts and threatening calamities. (from Wikipedia)
And magical thinking is common in people with a mental illness. It's a way of trying to make ourselves believe that we can control our illness even though we cannot.
If I don't tell people that I'm doing better, then it won't go away.
Magical thinking. Erroneous thinking. Crazy thinking.
Of course telling people about good news doesn't affect its existence. But thinking that it does allows a person to change their behavior in an attempt to control the uncontrollable. It also allows the person to beat themselves up when the uncontrollable occurs. It's my fault I got worse. I didn't follow the rules.
Good Things Happen - Celebrate Them!
And recently good things have been happening to me. A lot of them. In fact, my life feels so good right now that I think it might be someone else's life and not my own.
And I'm not afraid to say it.
The universe won't take these things away from me just because I tell people. Just because I insist on being grateful and celebrating. Just because I commit what some would call boasting.
Yes, I'm boasting because good things don't come along every day and I believe on celebrating while the celebrating is good. I believe in focusing on these good things because right now is all each of us has. I believe in getting friends and families together to talk about what's great because I think it makes us all stronger. And celebrating the good things is a form of self-care.
So - have something good to say? Tell me!
Tracy, N. (2011, December 8). Sharing Good News Doesn't Jinx Your Mental Health, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 13 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2011/12/sharing-good-news-doesnt-jinx-your-mental-health-so-celebrate
Author: Natasha Tracy
so you define remission as not experiencing depression or mania?
Well, as I said, it's an absence of bipolar symptoms which at the time, for me, meant depressive symptoms. It's pretty easily distinguishable from mania.
How would you define it?
and how do you distinguish that from it not being a swing the other direction, mania? i've never heard that not experiencing depressive symptoms is remission.
I know exactly the place you are in as I have lived there for many years. All I can say is that you're right - you will be there again someday. I wish I could tell you when, but for now, "someday" will just have to do.
Hang on. It's coming.
I think remission is defined in many ways but in this particular instance it means the disappearance of bipolar (particularly depressive) symptoms.
It's not! It only feels true sometimes. I admit to crowing about good things and I can promise, they didn't go away. Mood is tenuous at best, but I know it isn't reactive to glad words.
I'm in bipolar depression and haven't experienced remission in a long time. I have gotten little blips of normalcy during this episode, but mostly it's moderate depression with mild to severe symptoms.
I think it's great your in remission. It gives hope to others. I want to be that way and I'm sure one day I will be there again.
how do you define remission?
I know what you mean. I'm on a new med and have been feeling good, even happy. I feel like if I tell anyone I'll jinx myself. I keep waiting for it to end. I also feel guilty about feeling good because we just found out that my husband has cancer. Right around the same time I started feeling happy again. Even though I'm sad I still feel good and that makes me feel guilty. It's all so confusing. But I know what you mean about jinxing yourself and of course it's not true. At least I hope it's not true.