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Depression – Breaking Bipolar

Natasha Tracy
It's hard to look forward with bipolar disorder sometimes. Sure, if you happen to be hypomanic, or manic even, looking forward might make you feel great. You might feel like your hope is boundless and your life is limitless. If, however, you are in a depression, or even if you're euthymic (not in a bipolar mood episode), you might find looking forward with bipolar to be very hard indeed. I'm here to say, though, while it can be hard to be positive about the future with bipolar, it isn't impossible to see a glimmer or two on the horizon.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
Medical consensus in psychiatry is critical. Many people do have many opinions, of course, but understanding psychiatric medical consensus is what makes all the difference. If you have 1000 psychiatrists in a room, after all, you can be guaranteed someone is going to disagree on any subject, but who do you believe, the 999 or the one? And is a medical consensus in psychiatry worth more than the opinion of psychiatric patients?
Natasha Tracy
I believe depression prevents self-improvement. Maybe not in its entirety, but certainly overall. I feel like depression is a wall and I'm chained to it so forward progress is all but impossible. So what do you do if you think depression is preventing your self-improvement?
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.