Bipolar and Triggers

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, and I’ll talk with you soon.

3 thoughts on “Bipolar and Triggers

  1. I’m so, SO, sorry, sweetie. I’m proud of you for making the (heartbreaking) decision to cancel the Hawaii trip. In 2013, I went to Hawaii when I was extremely anxious and depressed andI can’t tell you how big a mistake that was. (We had already canceled the trip 3x due to my hospitalizations, and I forced myself to go. Ugh. :((( )

    Cuddle up with that gorgeous, soft Fluffin (I love you Fluffin! Don’t tell jealous Lucy!) and you’ll be in my heavy-duty prayers. This too shall pass, beautiful Samina.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello. I can completely relate to everything that you are writing about triggers. I have Bipolar 1 with mixed episodes and rapid cycling as well as PTSD and more label but I think I have listed enough…. eee gads! My P-doc over ten yeas ago said that I have PTSD and that my main triggers are my parents especially my father as I was emotionally and physically abused by both o them but mainly my father. My mother was a part of it with shaming etc etc. etc.

    My P-doc is such a genius and has always been right about everything. Many years ago he has told me not to visit my parents because every time after I would visit them I would end up in the hospital shortly after the visit with severe suicidal depression and disassociation and SIB etc. It took me so long to figue out how right he was. FOr a while I wouldnot believe that I had PTSD becasue I didnt think my abuse was bad enough. Well…. duh it was of course!!! I guess I didnt want to admit it.

    My P-doc always told me that I was just searching for love from them and I was never going to get it from them because they really do not know how to love and actually the abuse even continued and manifested itself in different ways as an adult. I tried to forgive them and I did becasue as a christian that is what I am supposed to do. Do what Jesus would do…. and plus it was a big weight lifted off of my shoulders. However I could never forget and my brain would not forget it as much as I tried. The memories are buried deep within and will always be there. I am still afraid of my father but it is getting better.

    I have just learned to limit my visits with them and not let them shame me and not take it or own it as they want me to. I have learned to tell myself that it is the past and the past is dead. I am not dead and I am a live. I am no longer going to let them win an llive there as that little girl anymore. I am the winner. I am strong and I am good. They cannot tellme that I am not anymore. They can no longer hurt me anymore.

    When the disassociation starts I know what it is now. I understand it and can figure out how to live with it before it gets the best of me. I also know why it is there. Sometimes yes is just the lovely Bipolar that does get the best of us even with no triggers. It is just the nature of the illness…. the nature of the beast. It comes back with no warning and no rhyme or reason!!!! I have rapid cycling and and have no middle. I cycle from hypomanic to suicidal depression…. boom… I have learned more about how this all works with me and it has helped me deal with it and live it the best I can. Sometimes.. well most of the time we have to have support. I no longer cut on myself and I stay out of the hospital more often. I have learned how to live again. God has saved my life. My faith has helped me the most. That is what has helped me.. prayer and others praying for me…… and my three amazing children have ave my life. I would not be here without them. I am so blessed with them and because of them.

    BTW I am new to this blogging. Please check out my blog if you have time and maybe be a follower if you can. I do not know how to get followers or people to like my posts etc. I am such a beginner at all of this. I like your blog and can relate to your posts. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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