Guest Post: 10 Things I’ve Learned Since I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder by Jake

deljaThe things I’ve learned since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder:

1) Naps are critical. Whether it’s because of a mood swing, medications or being tired,  I often try to sleep through the worst parts.
2) I’m still trying to grasp the concept that people take drugs to get high. My medications make me feel normal.
3) My mental health is more important than any situation. If something doesn’t feel right. I leave.
4) Keeping a regular sleep pattern is a necessity. The more mature my condition gets, the more being tired affects everything I do.
5) Bipolar isn’t just a mental illness. It has some very real physical symptoms as well. Stomach pains and headaches are very common for me. And are mostly stress induced.
6) You tend to live in the moment. Which makes it hard to plan for things. Because you’re busy caring for yourself in the moment.
7) Your extremely in tune with your emotions. After 8 years of psychotherapy, I’m a practical dictionary of coping skills.
8) You need to take care of yourself in the moment and find little things that are natural antidepressants. For me it’s almond M&Ms, Mountain Dew and pineapple orange juice. Little things like that help get me over humps.
9) Whenever you bring a new friend into your life, you realize that one day you’re going to have to have “the talk.”
10) I’m the one who has the illness. People’s judgments of me are largely irrelevant. They don’t know and have no idea what it’s like to wake up in my world.

About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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