There is a horrible relationship that people with bipolar disorder live with: bipolar affects sleep and sleep affects bipolar disorder. And neither one of them likes each other. It's like being followed around by a bickering couple that occasionally starts screaming at each other. I downright hate it. So let's take a look at how bipolar affects sleep and how sleep affects bipolar disorder (and you) and what you can do about it.
I’ll never forget the first time I was prescribed medication for my mental health. At this point in my life, I was undiagnosed and had suffered a panic attack. At a loss, I met with my primary care physician for help. After a brief consultation, she sent me home with a prescription for a common selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). I did not know that this would be the first of many medications I would take on my healing journey.
"Why are you writing about binge eating disorder recovery?" my boyfriend asked the other day. "Did you have a problem with it when you were little?" A blanket of shame due to binge eating disorder wrapped itself around my body, weighing me down like lead. I felt my face contort into a half-cringe, half-grimace. A familiar knot formed in my stomach — he didn't know, and now I was going to have to tell him.
Two years ago, I went through a breakup with my therapist. I ghosted my therapist when I began to suspect we weren't a good fit. I started small, canceling an appointment here and there. Then I went on vacation. When I came back, I "forgot" to get in touch. But when she reached out, I felt guilty. I scheduled a session. But a few weeks later, I repeated the cycle. Finally, she stopped reaching out. We were done.
Trying new foods and eating disorder recovery went hand and hand for me. For years, my eating disorder had me believing that there were only a handful of foods that were good and the rest I needed to avoid like the plague or I'd gain weight. However, this thinking was holding back my recovery.
I am learning that weight gain in my recovery from depression and anxiety acts as a trigger for those disorders. Last November, I had a baby and I gained a lot of weight while I was pregnant. I knew I wouldn't return to my old size right away, but I assumed it would happen after a few months.
In my life, I have become accustomed to experiencing anxiety. Depending on my current life situation and the experiences I'm going through, it might be worse, or it might be better.
Mindfulness activities like the R.A.I.N. method is not an instant cure for self-injury, but with practice, it can help you control your self-harm urges. Think of it as a yoga exercise for your mind -- if you show up regularly, you will get stronger, more resilient, and more in control of your feelings.
Laura A. Barton
Privilege has a role in overcoming mental health stigma, although it's not often at the forefront of our conversations in this sphere. I hadn't thought about it until recently, but when I mull over it and think about the many ways that privilege manifests, I can absolutely see privilege's role in overcoming the stigma around mental health.
The murder of George Floyd sparked an unprecedented civil rights movement and has changed our country dramatically. The face of the Internet has been completely reshaped, and discourse about racism is at the forefront of all of our conversations. Sometimes, especially for the mentally ill, the amount of information whizzing by is overwhelming.