When Bipolar tries to be Nice

Bipolar people are generally emotional and impulsive. At times, their sudden mood swings create problems for them and others who are related to them like family, friends, and colleagues. This has nothing to do with morality and conduct. If a normal person screams at his colleague, he might be mad at him regarding work related stuff which might be a genuine reason but if a bipolar start yelling and over react in the similar situation, it is more likely to understood and perceived as bipolar mood shift. It might be true that the mistake of colleague is not that serious and he over reacted and created fuss in office because he is a bipolar. But in this case too, the seriousness of mistake should not be judged on the basis of disease.

This was just an example. More such cases happen in our families on daily basis. Anger, sorrow, frustration, excitement, these all are common moods that are experienced by every ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ person on this planet. In fact this happens with animals too. But when a bipolar is having a specific mood due to some particular incidence or situation, it is perceived by family as medication disturbance and they force you to plan immediate visit to doctor.

In the same way, Bipolar doesn’t afford to be ‘nice’ at all. When you care about your family, give attention to friends, organize your wardrobe, help mom in kitchen, discuss politics with dad, visit grand ma on weekend, dress up nicely, and feel good about your life, this would ring alarming bells to your family and those you have come out to. Something must have gone wrong with the medication that’s why s/he is so happy and excited. Let’s visit doctor before the condition becomes psychotic.

Bipolar Insomnia

Bipolar Insomnia is quite interesting. When a person suffers from insomnia in hypo/mania, he can get good sleep in depression. It’s strange to experience loss of sleep when you’re too excited and happy. Otherwise most of people have calm and relaxing sleep under the shadow of satisfaction. In addition to this, a person who is stressed and worried is unlikely to sleep peacefully but depression for bipolar sometime appear as blessing when it makes the depressed stick to his bed.

It’s true that Sometime insomnia occurs in severe depression as well. In that case, depression would not be a desired option to fall asleep. Luckily my depression gives me a good night sleep for 10 or more hours but the roller coaster mood swings and frequent depression cycles make me less fortunate to enjoy the full privilege of Bipolar insomnia.

For Some People Life is actually Bed of Roses

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Hoping for Happiness

We get to see many examples of people living a peaceful and comfortable life.. a life that we always wished for. We envy our friends when we find them enjoying moments that we always desired. Yes, I realize that they have their own problems and they are fighting with some other issues which I can’t see.
What is a comfortable lifestyle? Nice furnished apartment near by some beautiful beach, a luxurious car, Good job with handsome salary package and perks, Branded clothes & shoes, Foreign vacation trips and so on. Now If I ask define Happiness. You may have different answers. It might be your success in exam or a job promotion, a positive reply to a marriage proposal or news of first pregnancy.

At some point comfort and happiness overlap and share the same moments. Obviously I would be happy to lead a comfortable life. Or a comfortable lifestyle would cherish me with happiness. This is a typical situation that fits with a majority. A majority of normal people, who takes a degree, struggles for job stability, get married and have a smooth life (of course with usual life problems). Then there are people who are not normal like them. They follow the same life patterns, study, work, family, but they always get stuck for ages on each stage. In fact their struggle never come to an end even when they enter into next phase of life. Each day for them brings a great challenge than an opportunity. They are not always short of cash or family love. They do have friends and a lifestyle. They live a decent life and  participate in daily activities. But they have to fight for their survival. Their enemy is not an external force, ironically their own self, thoughts and emotions are their biggest enemy.

When they see their friends living a normal life with their spouses and kids, they ask God, what was their fault? why they were punished with such unrest? They studied well, they have good aptitude, they are equal to normal people in intelligence. Then why they can’t excel in career like others. They are sensitive and loving, and when they see others enjoying with loved ones, they look up at sky and think if they could ever get a loving and understanding life partner who would take them as they are.

This comfort and happiness is not available at any price in market. The feeling when you have everything and still empty from inside. When others envy you for what you have and you wish for a good night sleep without any pills.

Strange way to Defeat Insomnia

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Defeating Insomnia

I’m not sure about my fluctuating emotions related to regular thoughts and memory flashbacks. I can’t say I’m thinking too much because this is one of the thing I can do very well, to an extend that it hurts me ultimately. I love my psychologist. We guys talk quite often and sometime our conversation lasts for hours (mostly in case of insomnia). My psychologist is very clever to drive the conversation in his favor, like you know, these people could discuss things but won’t let you win the argument. Reason being their intellectual superiority and professional experience of reading and interpreting minds and behavior.

Last night I met my psychologist. I almost made all arrangements to defeat insomnia and started manipulating my brain with soothing music and relaxing thoughts. But I failed to sleep. I tried another trick: fetched a book “Aleph” by Paulo Coelho (one of my favorite writers) and continue reading from where I stopped last time. I read entire chapter and started yawning. Wow, it worked.. I read for some more time to ensure if my mind is fully ready to sleep. I slowly put book aside and turned off lights. I was super excited to sleep. I was enjoying the calmness in my dark room and thinking about good things and happy moments. I noticed my excitement is increasing and need for sleep is decreasing (Ahh, Not Again 😦 ) well I failed again. I was so mad at me for being over smart to defeat insomnia. I gave up and called my psychologist.

It was 1 AM midnight but my psychologist is a free person, he meets me anytime as sometime I feel, I’m his only client. Well, its good for me. I got very tired yesterday because of not sleeping the previous night and heavy workout in gym. I was getting desperate to sleep early last night therefore hit bed at 11 PM. When I saw my psychologist, my anger and desperation for sleep transformed into severe depression. He said, its simply because of tiredness, and I need a relaxing sleep so that my body and brain get some rest. First, we talked about my failed effort to sleep; soothing music, book reading etc. Suddenly, i started crying apparently for no reason but my mind works superb in waking memories & connecting past incidents with present thoughts. I started cursing myself and people whom I think, responsible for my griefs. One thing lead to other, there was a series of past incidents traveling through my mind like my childhood events, professional failures, break ups everything that could do well to aggravate my depression. My psychologist said to tune into sad songs, I did the same.. and played  my favorite sad songs which made me cry even more.

After 10 minutes, there was a deep silence in room. He asked, how I was feeling then. I was silent. Couldn’t name the feeling I was going through at that moment. I could feel more silence within than in the outer world. It seemed that severe emotions of excitement and depression killed each other and made me hollow and emotionless from inside. Last thing I remembered that my pillow was quite wet, then everything blurred and disappeared eventually.

I woke up at 10 in morning with a new energy and smile on face.

Things Bipolar Should Be Doing !!

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Expression often heals you

Here’s a list of things Bipolar should do to deal with illness:

1- You should First accept who you are.. and Don’t hate yourself to be BP

2- Do things you love like I found a great pleasure in Exercise and Cinema.

3- Meet with those who make you feel happy NOT those who make you aggressive

4- Avoid indulging into Argument with family or friends, at times a casual discussion or debate leads to a serious argument

5- Keep a journal with you and record your changing thoughts and mood swings. Also important situations that trigger your deep emotions

6- Don’t keep on thinking on the same issue for a long time.

7- Go for a Walk in evening

8- Meet new people, Try new Food, Travel. Exploring new things broaden your horizons

9- Change your room setting or at least desktop wallpaper

10- Listen soothing music

11- Expect less from People. Think You can make yourself happy and sad. No one else.

12- And most Importantly, EXPRESS yourself, I know its hard for a Bipolar to express his crazy views at times, so find some creative hobby like writing, painting or dancing for Self expressions. The more you keep thoughts n feelings inside, they keep killing ya..

13- Finally, VALUE YOURSELF, Take good care of yourself, diet, body, soul. We put extra effort to know our new date and make him/her happy. But we hardly get time to know our mind and behavior.

I’m Bipolar ! Can’t have a stable Job?

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Bipolar at Work

Although bipolar patients share almost same sufferings in their struggle to fight against their mood swings & rapidly changing thoughts that result in impulsive behavior, but amongst them, those who are working professionals have to put extra effort to act normally to secure their job. It’s somewhat easier to tackle with your mood swings at home because normally your family is aware of it. They may not understand your state of mind exactly same as you but at least you know that they have accepted you with your illness and in most cases they are willing to cooperate with you.

For a working professional, it’s harder to cope with his swinging thoughts and changing moods. He is sensitive and less tolerant than others but his colleagues don’t realize it. There are many occasions like cracking jokes, taunts, sarcasm, office politics, or as simple as work pressure that could be potential triggers for any unwanted situation for a bipolar. Sometime, a casual conversation with colleagues or serious discussion in board meeting disconnects him from his present and engages in some personal, domestic or other irrelevant issue, he keeps on thinking and trying to draw a conclusion but fails to do so.

Job dis-satisfaction is another issue faced by us. Like for me, maintaining a job for a significant period of time is much harder than getting it. At the time of joining, I get super excited for my new job and salary package and soon this excitement changes into frustration and later desperation to quit. My friends use every means to get a job and then they keep doing it for 2-3 or even 5 years. I always wonder how they could do it for so long. In these 4 years since I passed from University, I have 5 employers on my resume. I resigned from my last job in December 2012 and unemployed right now. What makes me feel good is that none of my employers kicked me out, I’m the one who kicked the job 🙂 well in any case, I lost the job !! There was a time when I was extremely worried if I could ever have a stable career like my friends who are now at decent jobs and good positions. I had a shining academic journey with distinctions; in fact I was one of the favorite students of teachers. Now I see my friends, who passed with poor grades, excel in their professional fields.

This has been a great trigger for my depression in last few years. I used to blame myself that I am not competent enough to excel in professional life. Recently, I read if my disease has some connection with job inconsistency. I was pleasantly surprised to know I’m not the only bipolar patient who is going through this. Almost all bipolar people face some kind of difficultly in managing their disease and its outcomes on job. Also, there are some tips available online how to cope with this problem at work.

I have developed my own coping strategy. I accepted myself that I’m a patient suffering from a mental disorder. Well, I know it’s hard to accept. We all take medications to live like a normal person. There is absolutely no harm in it. But we should not think that these few medicines could make us a normal person. We are diagnosed as Bipolar and we take medication and therapies to ‘control’ our illness Not to become a normal person. Bipolar treatment teaches you how to treat your illness, and you can treat it well when you realize it and accept it. You don’t have to TRY TO BE NORMAL PERSON. You can’t do that because you cannot get this disease out of your mind. OK I seem to be talking rubbish, let me come to my point.

When you realize that you are a Bipolar, then you develop your own treatment. For instance, Job inconsistency, I was very disappointed with my job performance and frequent thoughts to change career. Now I said Ok, this is a serious problem and I have to face it all my life. So counseled myself that my friends who have stable jobs are not Bipolar, of course they must have their personal problems but not suffering from any mental disease. They neither have to struggle with their own thoughts nor do they take medicines before going to sleep. They too get happy, sad, depress, laugh out loud but don’t have a fear to get into bipolar depressive or manic episode. It means they are different than me and I should not judge myself on their scale or any normal social scale of a successful professional.

I read that some people have to take even 2 years of break from work and I cannot realize the effort they put in to get back into the field. I’m sure there must be single parents struggling with their disease and earning to feed their children. There are some bipolar patients who are in sales and marketing, and have to work under too much pressure of sales target and deadlines.

OK getting inspired by it, I should apply for job that matches my skills and let’s see what happens. What if I get a job and then quit it like before… So what? I will get another job.. Oh, but it doesn’t look good on my resume.. well who cares, life is a far more greater than few employments. There are thousands of things to do and millions of ways to earn. Most important is, your happiness. Get a job, enjoy your work, and make your ‘identity’. Explore yourself.

When I thought on these points I get confidence in myself that if they are doing then I can also do it. But the key is not to compare you with ‘normal’ people. When I see my friends making good money I lose my self-esteem but if I read about bipolar patients doing well in their fields, I get enough motivation to move a step forward.

Bipolar is not a Disease. It’s a Magical Mystery !!

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Bipolar Magical Mystery

After increasing my dose, I got my sleep back after severe Manic episode. Things apparently got back to normal so as my alarming impulsive behavior. Now, I give it a second thought before saying anything or materializing my thoughts into actions. This is quite rational i guess. I may appear normal to my family and friends including my Facebook contacts who started doubting on my mental health in reaction to my crazy Facebook posts. But somehow, I’m not liking it. It’s just that a deep silence after thunder storm, everything is still and calm. I feel somebody has squeezed all energy from my body and I am a dead body now and my soul is wandering here and there. Sometime I feel like an old guy, very mature and sensible, who thinks well before doing anything, always calculate his actions on the scale of its consequences. Its quite normal display of behavior, after all who doesn’t like to behave normally. But I’m simply not liking this ‘normality’ of my behavior somehow.

This strange feeling of dislike made me wonder if Bipolar people really love their disease. Manic is an awesome bipolar episode, when you’re walking on clouds and climbing peak of snow covered mountain tip and touching the sky. I bet a manic can even promise to make a new record by walking around the earth. Medical science doesn’t have any instrument to measure the level of energy and excitement a manic absorbed in his mind and body. Besides mania, I am sure there is certain state or condition when a bipolar even enjoys to be depressed. I heard that tears for true love also give you immense pleasure. Probably that’s why many poets & artists do wonders in their respective fields.

I read that Bipolar people have God gifted Creativity and Energy. As I talked above, even we can successfully and meaningfully use our negative energy that is resulted in depression episode. This could happen if we have a realization that its just another depressive episode and I’ll get over it soon. But what happens is, when we are going through any extreme emotional phase (Mania or Depression) we perceive it as eternal as this is the end of the universe. However, when the same thing flashes back into our mind later on, we have totally different reaction to that situation.

I am a deep thinker, that’s why I love reading and writing. Being a Bipolar, I suspect my every thought, action and reaction. I ask questions to myself, why I respond to it in this way or I could have respond to it in a better way. I advice to you (if you’re a Bipolar) Always keep a journal with you. Now, in this digital age, its easy to make notes in your phone. Write down your thought patterns and situations that trigger your any bipolar episode (something made you respond impulsively) You will surprise to know that your behavior will be following an interesting patterns over the period of time. It will help you to control your thoughts and mood swings in a long run.

Well, all suggestions apart, I love my disease. Being bipolar I am sensitive enough to care for my loved ones. I feel pride in reading minds of my friends. Its my disease that made me study human behavior and psychology. And above all, I’m blessed with immense creativity and artistic sense. I can paint bright and gloomy pictures with my words. When I’m happy, I can make anybody laugh out loud and when I’m sad, I can make anyone cry.

In my opinion, taking a few colorful medicines for this magical mystery is not at all a bad deal. What do you say? 🙂