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Breaking Bipolar

Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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?
Natasha Tracy
Unfortunately, it is the case that bipolar coping skills can sometimes stop working. This echoes the unpleasant experience of many with medications that can stop working due to tolerance. One doesn’t develop a physical tolerance to a coping skill, but sometimes changes in life or treatment can cause a bipolar coping skill to stop working. Here’s how to handle it when you rely on a bipolar coping skill that just stops working.
Natasha Tracy
Attempting to accomplish big goals when you have bipolar disorder can end very badly. I know this; it has happened to me. But some big tasks must get done. Sometimes we have to move halfway across the country. Sometimes we have a six-month-long project for work. Sometimes we have to raise a child. Big goals don’t go away just because a person has bipolar disorder. So here are some tips I’ve learned on how to accomplish big goals with bipolar disorder.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
The opposite rule is a rule some people with bipolar disorder or another mental illness use to help deal with the unhealthy parts of a mental illness. It’s actually a really useful rule and I use it a lot as a bipolar coping skill. Here I tell you how and why to use the opposite rule if you have bipolar disorder or another mental illness.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
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.
Natasha Tracy
Sometimes it feels as if your body isn’t yours because of bipolar medication. It feels like the medication takes over your very being. It feels like you no longer have a human body but, rather, a collection of drug-related effects. This particularly happens when you’re getting on medications or tapering off medications, but really, bipolar medication can make you feel like your body is not your own at any time.