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.
Depression – Breaking Bipolar
The holidays are full of good things, but even these good things can cause bad bipolar moods. I know this might not make sense to some people -- after all, when something good happens, shouldn't that improve a person's mood? Well, this isn't exactly true if you have a serious mental illness like bipolar disorder. Yes, you might find good things improve your mood or you might find good things actually cause bad bipolar mood symptoms. Read on to learn more.
Sometimes we can't feel thankful over the holidays. And by that, I don't mean that we don't have things to be thankful for, I mean we literally can't feel that thankfulness. This could be for many reasons. You might not be able to feel thankful because of mental illness, because of grief and bereavement or for many other reasons. I want to say, this is okay. I get it. But that doesn't mean it isn't hard. Here's what to do if you can't feel thankful over the holidays.
If you can't make decisions because of depression, you're not alone. Not being able to make decisions (indecisiveness) is actually a symptom of depression. People don't tend to talk about it, but that doesn't mean it isn't a huge problem for people. In fact, I've had people literally beg me to help them make decisions because they are feeling so debilitated from depression. I've written about making decisions before and how you might go about it, but today, I want to focus on one particular coping technique that I use every day to mitigate an inability to make decisions because of depression.
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.
Celebrity suicide can take a toll on those who are depressed and that happened to me this week with the suicide of Kate Spade and the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, reported just this morning. I can say I was upset by Kate Spade’s suicide (particularly the details, which I won’t discuss here) earlier in the week and then this morning, when I learned of Anthony Bourdain’s suicide (not an official ruling at this time), it felt like adding insult to injury. The celebrity suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have actually worsened my depression.
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.
Rumination in depression (both unipolar and bipolar depression) is common, and it is typically a negative thing. Doctors will ask about ruminations as will therapists; but what is rumination and how do you handle rumination in depression?
I likely don’t need to tell you bipolar depression is hard, and I probably don’t need to tell you concerted effort – trying hard – is difficult, too. But the thing is, bipolar depression management (or bipolar management in general) requires trying hard all the time. The effort of this is not something to be underestimated. This is a tall order. Trying hard with bipolar depression requires such energy and focus it feels impossible to do it all right all the time in spite of the need to do it constantly.
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.