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Breaking Bipolar

Natasha Tracy
It's critical to have a support system when you have bipolar disorder. Support systems, in fact, are very important for every person, but they're even more so when you have a serious mental illness. But the questions people sometimes ask are what is a bipolar support system, how do I get one and how do I use it. 
Natasha Tracy
I suffer from doctor anxiety. Well, I suppose I suffer from generalized anxiety, but, certainly, some of it belongs to doctors specifically. And this week, I have a great (mis)fortune of meeting two new doctors. Meeting doctors is part of healthcare and part of trying to keep yourself as healthy as possible, so, in that sense, it's a positive thing. On the other hand, the anxiety I feel around doctors is looming large.
Natasha Tracy
I thought for a very long time that I could outthink bipolar disorder. I thought, if bipolar disorder is in my mind, then my mind can defeat it. I thought that if I just read the right book, learned the right coping skill or understood the right philosophy, I could outthink the bipolar disorder. And this is not an uncommon feeling. It's one of the reasons that people refuse medications or go off their medications -- whether they express it in those words or not. People think -- errantly -- that bipolar disorder is all in their head, and so their head can fix it.
Natasha Tracy
Going off bipolar medication is a bad idea -- well, it's almost always a bad idea. I know why people want to do it. I would suggest that pretty much everyone on bipolar disorder medication has wanted to go off of it multiple times during treatment. This is completely normal and almost unavoidable. In spite of this strong desire, though, going off bipolar medication is almost always a bad idea.
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 feel like you can't handle the holidays that are right around the corner? If you are in this boat, you aren't alone. I suspect this is going to be one of the hardest holiday seasons in years for many people and many families. However, if you have bipolar disorder, not being able to handle the holidays can be even worse than for the average person. Today, I'll be discussing what to do if you feel like you can't handle the holidays because you're overwhelmed or otherwise.
Natasha Tracy
Have you tried (and maybe failed) to get your health boundaries respect in the past? If so, you know how tricky it can be. In my last post, I talked about setting health and mental health boundaries. I acknowledged their importance, particularly now, in the midst of a pandemic. Today, I want to talk about how to communicate with others such that they respect your health boundaries.
Natasha Tracy
Health boundaries, including mental health boundaries, can save your sanity or even your life, especially in the times of COVID-19. Setting health boundaries with those we love -- especially over the holidays -- can be very difficult, but is also so very important. Read on to learn about how to set your own personal health boundaries.
Natasha Tracy
I had to find out what taking a COVID-19 test was like the hard way. I had to learn about the extreme anxiety that is taking a COVID-19 test the hard way. Yes, I had to take a COVID-19 test, and while I didn't want to do it, and it made for a horrifically anxious couple of days, I would do it again anyway.
Natasha Tracy
I recently had to hire someone to help clean my apartment, and this made me feel like a failure. And when I say failure, I mean I felt like an abject failure. I actually cried when I made the appointment. I don't want someone in my space. I don't want someone touching my things. I don't want someone doing things I should be capable of doing. In short, I don't want help. Help makes me feel like a failure.