What Julie Fast is talking about in this video (I couldn’t upload it her, so if anyone wants to watch it, they will have to go to the link below) is exactly what I am living through right now. A series of triggers and here I am in mixed phase/ hypomania land. All the triggers but one have basically resolved themselves or don’t mean much to me anymore, but this last one is big and its resolution is not up to me. So this is the difficulty I am living with, anxiety, huge amounts of it, and then getting sicker as a result. I was supposed to go to Hawaii tomorrow, but I canceled the trip today. Unfortunately, I’m in no shape to travel thousands of miles away.
I just wanted to say thank you to my blogger friends and so many of my FB friends who wrote loving and encouraging messages to me. It truly means a lot to me to know that I have such wonderful friends in my corner. I’m here for ALL of you as well.
Hoping to get better soon. Hoping things outside of my control also get better. This is so difficult, to see a loved one struggle yet be unable to fix all their problems.
And so… we go on, and hope for the best and work towards the best.
With honest reflection of what sets off your bipolar disorder, you too can curb your triggers and cut your symptoms in half.
This is Julie Fast for bp Magazine.
As you can see, I’m doing my video from my car today. Normally, I like to set up a location, make it beautiful, plan everything perfectly, beautiful sunshine, etcetera. It didn’t work out that way this week. You’ll also notice that I’m going to trip over my words a little bit in this video. You might also notice that my eyes are a little bit puffy. What could be happening? Well, I’ve had a lot of triggers in the last month that have led to a lot of bipolar disorder mood swings.
So my topic today – Triggers and Bipolar Disorder – is very applicable into my own life. Of course I managed to do this video just as trucks are going behind me and it seems to be rush hour on my street. But you know what…with bipolar disorder, sometimes you just have to do your best and it’s not going to be as great as you’d like it to be. I need to get this video out, so I’m going to do it.
Triggers are anything that cause bipolar disorder mood swings – not much more simple than that. A trigger can be positive. A trigger can be negative. For example, my trigger was that I was living in France where I was doing quite well and enjoying myself and I decided to come back to the United States in order to work on two books. My bipolar disorder did not like this!
I didn’t have enough time to prepare for the travel back and forth and I’ve had a month of mood swings. I had three weeks of down, suicidal depression and then I had…(you can see how disjointed I am compared to my other videos…I’m just going to let you see this).
I then had a week of dysphoric interchanging with euphoric mania. That’s what ‘big travel’ can do to us. I tend to be relatively stable unless a trigger hits me. So it makes sense that trigger management is my number one tool to manage bipolar disorder.
Two main triggers that you always have to look out for are substance abuse and sleep changes.Substance abuse is something I deal with. I have to learn to live with it. We all have to watch what we put in our bodies in order to feel better because often that substance can make your bipolar worse.
But sleep changes are something that we really can work on and it’s free. I have learned that I have to go to sleep at a similar time every night and wake up at a similar time every morning. That’s not easy to do! That’s what circadian rhythm management is about and it makes all the difference in the world with your bipolar disorder.
So, look into your life and think: what am I doing right now that increases my bipolar disorder symptoms? Write it down. The next thing you can do is you can say, “What do people in my life tell me I’m doing that increases my bipolar disorder symptoms? Write it down. You have to be rigidly honest with yourself to manage this illness.
You’ve now got a trigger list. My book, Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder has a big chapter on triggers and you can learn to manage them. Also, of course, the bpHope website has wonderful articles, blogs and video blogs on managing bipolar disorder.
So look over your life. What are you doing? Or, what is being done around you that triggers your bipolar disorder? Make a list and then change those triggers. Is it easy? No! But do you want to cut your symptoms in half? Trigger management is the way.
Thank you so much for your patience with my lovely location, with my stumbling over my words and with my bipolar disorder mood swings. I have to be patient with myself as well.
Thanks to everyone who follows me, everyone who comes to bpHope.com, and I’ll talk with you soon.