Waiting for depression to pass is interminable, but sometimes it's the only thing to do. In bipolar disorder, what goes down must come up -- at some point, anyway. The trouble is, no one knows when that's going to happen. There can be a lot of waiting for depression to pass in bipolar disorder. I hate it.
I often hide depression with a smile, even when I'm actually extremely depressed. This is a characteristic of "high-functioning" bipolar or depression. In other words, I'm carrying on with life and maybe even look okay, but really, I am drying inside. I've had practice looking mentally well when being really sick for years. I'm awfully good at it. But while this allows me to move through the world more successfully than some, there are also problems when you hide depression despite being very ill.
I have a bipolar routine that I adhere to pretty rigidly. This is important for my mental wellness. However, I know that one reason some people don't want a bipolar routine is because they fear the rigidity that can come with it. I can understand that, so let's take a look at bipolar routines and their rigidity.
I have found that being too overwhelmed can lead to a loss of executive function. Basically, my head gets filled with life's troubles and illness, and then it can't think complicated thoughts. That's the crux of it. The thing is, complicated thoughts like those involved in planning and problem-solving are pretty crucial for getting through your day. So, how do we deal with the effects of overwhelm on executive function?
This is your reminder to continue to use your support system over the holidays. I say this for a specific reason. Sometimes, the holidays make our bipolar support system more accessible, it's true, but then, sometimes, the holidays make them less. We visit the people we don't normally see over the holidays, and they may not be part of our trusted circle. If we're going out of town, for example, the people we rely on may disappear for a time. But we need to continue to connect with our support system over the holidays.
I control my daydreaming to lessen depression. I know "controlling your daydreaming" sounds a bit odd, but I've found that most mental processes can be controlled to some extent by paying attention. Interestingly, a new study has come out suggesting I had the right idea all along. If you control your daydreaming, you might reduce depression.
Drinking alcohol with bipolar is a no-no, but over the holidays, it can be hard to remember that. After all, at holiday parties, everyone seems to be drinking. What might help is understanding why people with bipolar disorder shouldn't imbibe alcohol.
Some people with bipolar seem like they're so angry. Sometimes, I'm one of those people. I don't take this feeling out on other people, but that doesn't mean I don't feel the anger intensely. Let's discuss why bipolar makes me so angry.
Rumination can be part of depression, and it's critical to understand and recognize depressed ruminations because they can just be the start of a horrible cycle. I have experienced ruminations in depression many times, but now I recognize them and know what to do to mitigate them.
Somewhere along the way, the political correctness (PC) police decided that we were no longer allowed to say that we "suffer" from bipolar disorder. Now, we have to say that we "live with" or "experience" bipolar disorder. If you know me, you can probably guess how I feel about that. I feel it's ridiculous. It puts unnecessary rules on language, which, as a writer, I despise, but perhaps more importantly, it genuinely denies people's legitimate experience of a serious mental illness. I suffer from bipolar disorder, and I think it's okay to say it.