Making doctors listen to you is actually a tall order. I know it seems like it shouldn't be, but it is. If you read my piece last week, "Psychiatrists Won't Listen to Patients -- 8 Reasons Why," (applicable to any type of doctor) then you have an idea as to why. So while last week I focused on the problem, this week I want to focus on the possible solutions. Here is what you can do to make doctors listen to you.
Do you want to help a depressed friend or family member this holiday season? Many people do. Depression touches so many that it's almost a given you will know someone who struggles with it (or you, yourself, will) at some point. But many people don't know what to do to help a person with depression over the holidays. Here are some tips to consider.
Intrusive thoughts are something I deal with along with bipolar disorder, although I should say that intrusive thoughts are not, specifically, a known symptom of the disorder. That said, intrusive thoughts seem to be something many with bipolar disorder deal with. Here, I discuss what intrusive thoughts are and why people with bipolar disorder may experience intrusive thoughts.
Bipolar depression can last for years. Now, I know, bipolar disorder is a cyclical illness – i.e. you cycle through various states like hypomania, mania, depression and euthymia (no symptoms). This is true. But it is also true that a person can get trapped in one of the mood states. This isn’t necessarily the most common manifestation of bipolar disorder, but it does happen. And usually, if you’re trapped in a particular mood state, it’s bipolar depression that lasts for years.
It can be challenging to be a friend of a person with bipolar disorder. I freely admit this. I know that my life is difficult for me to deal with and, certainly, it can be difficult for anyone else. Nevertheless, friendship with a person who has bipolar disorder can be just as rewarding as any other friendship.
The opposite rule is a rule some people with bipolar disorder or another mental illness use to help deal with the unhealthy parts of a mental illness. It’s actually a really useful rule and I use it a lot as a bipolar coping skill. Here I tell you how and why to use the opposite rule if you have bipolar disorder or another mental illness.
I’m sorry to say I have found bipolar disorder requires a fake smile pretty much on demand, every day. We all have fake smiles for different situations but mine need to be at the ready, at all times, because I use them more than others. Fake smiles with bipolar disorder suck, but what can I say, I need them.
Bipolar disorder doesn’t have to mean that you can’t enjoy the holidays. Really. Even though bipolar disorder may complicate our holiday planning you can still enjoy the holidays with bipolar.
I have lost so much control because of bipolar disorder. This is really awful because I’m actually a control freak in some ways. And, possibly, losing control because of bipolar disorder has actually making me more so as I work tremendously hard, and rather pointlessly, to regain the control that I have lost. This type of control has its plusses and minuses but there’s no doubt that I have less control now than I had before the bipolar disorder came a-knocking.
It seems like there are 1000 things I can’t do because of bipolar disorder, but what I’ve learned is that I need to focus on what I can do with bipolar disorder, not what I can’t. Because there are things we all can do. We often take those things for granted – but they are still there. We all have a “can” list and a “can’t” list. We, with bipolar, need to focus on our “can” lists.