I would like to introduce to you a new column that we will be sharing each week. It is called The Bipolar Diary and will be place where we can share our stories of Bipolar Disorder, ways to handle this disorder and different posts that will educate you on what Bipolar Disorder is.
Picture this; you’ve just won a trip of a lifetime – you can go anywhere you want, all expenses paid, and it’s for 10 days. You’d feel like you’re on top of the world, right? You’ve got nothing to worrry about, everything’s been taken care of for you. How incredible – a sense of feeling carefree that’s for sure.
Now it’s the night before the trip. You can barely sleep because you’re SO excited to go on your dream vacation. You toss and turn all night, begin counting sheep, drink a glass of warm milk, and try just about any other remedy you can think of to help you get even a few hours of shut eye. But no, your alarm finally goes off – time to get ready to head to the airport.
You start to go over everthing little thing; Do I have everything I need? Did I pack my sunscreen? Extra clothes? How about my favourite outfit for if I go out for a fancy dinner? Sunglasses? Passport? Plane tickets? Wallet? Health card? Do I have to stop and get money out? Do I have to exchange my money? Do I have enough money? How about my credit card? Did I call my parents and tell them I’ll see them when I get back and tell them I love them? AH.
I don’t get manic episodes very often. In fact, I don’t think I can tell you when my last one was. However, I can tell you when my last depressive episode was (it was yesterday). I know for me personally, mania is a lot tricker and harder to manage than my depression. I think this is because when I’m manic, I have no idea what to do with myself. There are times where I would lie awake all night thinking of all the stuff I needed to get done within the next month, and want to finish it all in that night – which would have been impossible.
There were also times where I would have such unrealistic goals that I wanted to accomplish. I remember one specifically, and that was to write my own book. Mind you, that’s stsill a goal of mine, but I wanted to begin writing the book right then and have at least 2 chapters done that night (and I had no sense of direction or concept as to what the book would be about or how I would actually find the time to write it).
As I said before, dealing with mania is tricky. It feels like you’ve been given an IV bolus of coffee. I know for me, I always tell my Mom. I tell her how I’ve been feeling, how long I’ve been going through my manic episode, and I ask her to monitor my signs (this is just a personal preference and comforting for me). I also take mediciation to help me with my racing thoughts. And if I find that there has been no improvement in my mental health, I call my psychiatrist and make an appointment ASAP to figure out what’s going on.
What I want you to take away from this post is simple: even if you haven’t figured out how to manage your mania/manic episodes, don’t worry. I haven’t either. You’ll find the right regimen that works best for you. Don’t give up, I’m still working on it to. And if you want to work on it together, then I’m all in.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.