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Understanding Mental Illness

In bipolar disorder, stress is a problem. This is not to suggest that stress can't be a problem for anyone, but stress can actually worsen the symptoms of bipolar disorder and decrease stability so it's something we with bipolar really have to be concerned about. Read about how stress feels in bipolar disorder and what you can do about it.
Many people associate self-harm with borderline personality disorder -- and rightly so, as self-harm is a symptom of borderline personality disorder -- but can you self-harm and not have borderline personality disorder? Or, more specifically, can you self-harm and still be correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder (or something else) and not borderline personality disorder? Self-harming and not having borderline personality disorder is actually quite common.
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?
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.
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 am a person with extreme willpower and this helps my mental illness. I know this. It’s obvious. Willpower affects every aspect of my life, of course. But people may think I have no willpower because of my mental illness. This is because people overestimate how much willpower can help a mental illness.
There are so many things that I want to do during the day but I can’t do them due to the invisible barrier of bipolar disorder. When I try to explain that to people, it’s almost impossible. I just can’t do things. It’s like I’m weighed down with 1000s of pounds. There’s an invisible barrier that bipolar disorder erects between me and what I want to do.
There are many things you have to cope with when you have bipolar disorder and one of those things may be intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that are beyond your control and can become obsessions. But they are thoughts you do not want and, certainly, obsessions you don’t want to have. Here are some ways to cope with intrusive thoughts in bipolar disorder.
Because of my bipolar disorder, I fake happiness – a lot – like, all the time; like, every time I leave the house. This is due to several factors but, obviously, one of the primary ones is that I, typically, am not actually happy. I am, typically, depressed. And people don’t like that. People don’t like constantly-depressed people. So my bipolar disorder forces me to fake happiness.
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