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Coping

Do you wake up sometimes and know it's going to be a bad day from the outset? I do. Sometimes before I put my feet on the floor, I know it's going to be a bad day. Now, I think, for the average non-sick person, this sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you think it's going to be a bad day, then it certainly will be. This is not the reality for a person with a chronic illness, though. Sometimes we know it's going to be a bad day. If you have this feeling sometimes, here's how to handle it.
Do you think you can deal with bipolar disorder alone? Do you think you can keep your bipolar a secret and just do what it requires by yourself? If so, you're not alone. Many people try, sometimes for years, to handle bipolar disorder alone. They do Google searches and online research about bipolar and its treatments and somehow that makes people think they can do it on their own. But I have news for you: you can't deal with bipolar disorder alone.
You're going to need to talk to people about your bipolar disorder. It doesn't matter what stage of the illness you are in -- just after diagnosis, deep into treatment or in remission -- you need other people to know about your mental illness. So let's talk about why you need to talk to people about your bipolar and how to do it.
There is a horrible relationship that people with bipolar disorder live with: bipolar affects sleep and sleep affects bipolar disorder. And neither one of them likes each other. It's like being followed around by a bickering couple that occasionally starts screaming at each other. I downright hate it. So let's take a look at how bipolar affects sleep and how sleep affects bipolar disorder (and you) and what you can do about it.
Luckily, coronavirus good news has finally made its way into the media. I'm finally seeing signs that the COVID-19 pandemic is easing in some places. This, of course, means the lockdowns that have taken place all over the world are now calming as well. Hearing this good news about the coronavirus has had a significant effect on my mental health.
Negative emotions can be a real problem in bipolar disorder (and, really, in any mental illness). And right now, many people are finding the negative emotions associated with bipolar disorder are heightened due to this incredibly taxing pandemic we're all living through right now. Between the COVID-19 anxiety and the stress of losing your bipolar routine, it's no surprise that bipolar symptoms are worsening for so many people. And for me, the worsening bipolar is coming in the form of negative emotions today. Negative emotions and negative self-talk are plaguing me right now.
I believe there are real dangers to losing your bipolar routine during isolation. There are issues of work, school, socializing and more that are affected by social distancing; and any one of those things can interrupt a carefully planned routine. I know my bipolar routine has been lost during isolation due to the novel coronavirus, and I know it's hurting my mental health.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) anxiety is a real problem for me and so many others. I keep hearing from people daily about how this anxiety is hurting them. One woman told me she literally shook when she had to leave her apartment. Another mentioned that she has had to almost double her anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) medication just to stay semi-functional. And I admit, COVID-19 anxiety is getting to me too. So here's my number one tip for reducing COVID-19 anxiety.
People judge how I cope with bipolar. Judging people is an Internet thing and it's a human thing. People just seem to feel free to tell me that how I live my life and how I deal with my bipolar disorder is wrong. I get it, I put myself out there, so that's what happens. Unfortunately, I suspect it happens to a lot of people with bipolar disorder. People just want to judge our bipolar coping skills.
I've found hope is harmful. I know, the reflex is to disagree with this, but, at least in my case, hope is harmful. I recently found a bit of hope of ending a profound, debilitating depression. I knew feeling that hope was a mistake, but some part of my brain refused to listen to that. And sure enough, it turned out that hope was harmful.