• 12 Sep
    Jennifer Scott

    Beneficial Habits for Those with Bipolar Disorder

     

    Living with bipolar is often like living a lifelong roller coaster ride. And though bipolar disorder cannot be cured, it can be very efficiently managed with medications and positive practices.

     

    While seeking treatment from a doctor is critical, you can begin to stabilize yourself with a few good habits that can help limit the symptoms of bipolar. I recently helped a friend diagnosed with bipolar disorder — I, myself, have struggled with depression for many years — experiment with a few of these positive habits, and we made some exciting progress. Here are a few changes we tried and that you may want to consider if you’re struggling with bipolar symptoms.

     

    Set a Consistent Daily Routine

     

    Even people without mental illness benefit from routine. The human brain naturally seeks consistency in our daily schedule and is far happier when it can find it. For people who are living with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, it becomes even more important to create and stick to a set routine. When bipolar people experience a shift or disturbance of their routine, they become more at risk for an episode.

     

    Some key aspects of a good daily routine include a sleep schedule, a work schedule, set mealtimes, scheduled exercise time, and regularly scheduled social time. We found that although the first few days or weeks of such a schedule can be quite the adjustment, once your body and mind have become accustomed, you will see stabilization in your moods. Though my friend still sees the occasional episode, she said that the consistency of knowing exactly what to expect each day — and when to expect it — has kept her on top of her schedule and eliminated a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

     

    Engage in Stress-Reducing Activities

     

    Excess stress can trigger episodes, meaning reducing your stress is key to coping with your illness. While avoidance of stress altogether is best, it isn’t exactly feasible. Instead, schedule some time for stress-reducing activities like coloring, meditation, and exercise. Yoga is a great way to fit both meditation and exercise into one session. We combined steps one and two here, adding a weekly yoga class into our set schedules so we never have to worry about “having time” for it. Swimming is also a great form of exercise and has a meditative quality.

     

    And if you have a four-legged friend, spend a little extra time with them. Doing so can help boost your mood and reduce anxiety and stress. Or if you want to make a little money while you’re eliminating some stress from your life, you might try your hand at dog walking or pet sitting. Both options will allow you to take advantage of the mental health benefits that being around dogs can provide and will also boost your income in the process.

     

    Track your Mood Swings

     

    With the help of a loved one, it can be extremely helpful to your doctor if you take the time to track your moods every day. Identifying a pattern or potential triggers can aid your doctor’s attempts to stabilize your disorder and make daily life easier.

     

    Of course, it can be very difficult to track your own moods as you may not recognize when you are having an episode. Have a trusted loved one help take notes on your moods and behaviors throughout the day. Enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member can improve your ability to recognize symptoms as well as manic or depressive episodes in time as you learn triggers and other signs that point to an exacerbation of your symptoms. There are even mood tracking apps if you prefer a technological approach as we do. We like having access on our phones so we never have to worry about forgetting a notebook at home, plus it adds a little discretion, especially at work — coworkers might notice you have a special notebook you always write in after a bad meeting, but they probably won’t think much of it if they see you on your phone.

     

    Living with bipolar disorder is no easy task for you or those around you. The best way to guarantee a normal, well-rounded life is to seek advice and treatment from a doctor. A counselor can also be very beneficial in mitigating the effects of the disease.

     

    In the meantime, you can be doing a number of things to ease your way into normalcy such as exercising, limiting stress, and keeping close track of your moods and episodes. If you engage in these positive behaviors, you also reduce your risk of addiction while simultaneously smoothing any hardships in your personal relationships. Experiment with a few different methods to discover what works best for you.

     

    Jennifer Scott experiences anxiety and depression on a regular basis. She started SpiritFinder.org in order to tell her story and empower others to share theirs. In her free time, she loves to write, study fashion, and spend time with animals.

     

    Image source

  • 10 Aug
    Pooja Sarkar

    Mom, I am worthless, good for nothing.

     mother and daughter

    Every day my family and I used to have our dinner together. One day my 19yrs old daughter came late to the dinner table and there was discussion regarding politics and sports. My daughter was quite reluctant to participate on that day. Still, after pushing her many times, he shouted at me and said to me that – “I am worthless, I am good for nothing. Please leave me alone.” I became speechless to hear it.

    She is our single child, we stay in an extended family. My daughter was pre-mature baby, that’s why she had some severe respiratory problem after birth. She has been introvert since her childhood, but she was throughout good in study. She used to have a few friends throughout her entire life. On her very first day in school, she cried the most among all kids. She was facing many difficulties in sharing her own belongings. She didn’t even have any close friend in her school.

    Our family was quite rigid and conservative. When she went to college, in a broader society, she started to face some troubles to mix up with others as in home she used to be the center of attention all the time, she got attention without asking anything also. But in the broad area there are acceptance and rejection as well. She always wanted to be isolated from everyone. She never felt comfortable in crowds. My husband also is reserved to some extent. Some odd event has happened that day in her school, my daughter couldn’t handle it. She always had a craving for doing the best in class. On her 6th grade, she couldn’t do well as she was not well physically, she burst out in anger that time. She couldn’t even take any criticism about her. She wants to live with herself. No one can be accepted by everyone. For her withdrawn nature, she became aloof from everyone, then she has concluded that she is worthless, she can’t do anything.

    What all mothers should do when their child is facing with the similar kind of problem:

    • Let your children feel their hurt: When one goes to this stage many Neuro chemical changes happen in the body and due to that many negative thoughts come to the mind. Finding and healing hurt is one of ways you can do.
    • Teach them it can be ok as a human: When we are upset, we lose our ability to be human. Every human feels the pain, its not exception with her. She has to be understood. Make your child understand that learning is done by mistakes. Life isn’t a popularity contest, don’t judge yourself by other’s views.
    • Does self-evaluation: Self-evaluation will be helpful for me to understand yourself in a better way, when one can evaluate her/his own self,he/she will be very helpful with their own.
    • Live in present: Everyone should live in the present instead of living in the past or in future. Tell yourself that, you can do better than today.
    • List down your strength points: Always list down your strength parts every day, so that no one can make you down mistakenly.
    • Go through Autobiographies of enthusiastic figure: Any enthusiastic story makes you understand how one goes to the highest form, at the beginning, every successful person faces struggle and after that they can reach to that level. Each small dots can make a big line.
    • Go and communicate with others: Communication helps you to get connected with different people and you can understand one’s perspective about you and so on.

    Image source

     

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 16, 2017 10:03 PM

      This is such a relatable story. Not every child but someone or the other must have gone through this 'I am good for nothing' phase. As mentioned above, parents have a major role to play so as to ensure a healthy living for the child. They should try to understand what their child is going through. At this age, a child needs his parents not just for gaining advice but also as a 'friend' to understand what they go through.

      Parents, especially in India I have seen that they are quite possessive of their children but it does happen that they try to keep them away from every trivial obstacle in their lives. From getting good marks in Boards, getting a good college to getting a secure job. They do not let their child to bounce back therefore the kids feel threatened by failure. Plus the expectations of the parents to be perfect can also play a part. 

      The child should be encouraged of support no matter what the child does.

       

  • 09 Aug
    Pooja Sarkar

    My experience: a blend of emotions

    adhd child and counsellor 

    Let me share with you my experience of my son with ADHD.

    My son is 14yrs old now, and my daughter is 11yrs old. They both go to an international school.

    I noticed my son had some difficulties in understanding. Since he was 6months I said to my husband, but he denied.

    I said to my family members they also denied and told me it’s not the age to understand. My son during his 6months used to cry for more than 1hr at a time without any reason.

    Once he has grown up and when he started to go to school, I noticed everyday he made some meaningless sounds anytime and couldn’t write properly.

    After that I said to my husband again, he shouted at me and denied. Two years passed, when my boy was in grade 4, complains started to come from a school day by day. It was difficult for me to handle it anymore.

    I went to a psychiatrist, after hearing everything from me, he suggested me for doing psychometric tests, I did everything, the report came and my son was diagnosed with ADHD.

    What is it? I asked the doctor.

    It  was an entirely new term for me, I kept questioning to the doctor, whatever, then I got that some attention-concentration problem was there with my son, medicines provided to him to control the secretion of a hormone, named Dopamine.

    Actually then I realized to be strong for my son only, I started to look after him more and more. He had to take medicine twice a day, but medicines literally made him drowsy, he always became sleepy after taking it.

    For a mother it was so painful that cannot be expressed in words. One day I changed my mind and went to another expert, she was a psychologist, I asked help from her to change my son’s life.

    She helped me to understand what was going into my son’s mind and why he behaved like that. She used to take two sessions per week with my son and me.

    It was the best time for me to go to her chamber and talked to her. My son amazingly built up a rapport with her after a few sessions and he worked almost according to her words.

    He started to develop his unrecognized quality. We were really impressed and happy, that psychologist told us to talk to the school for special classes.

    My son started to go to special classes, and the most important thing was he studied as per his capacity. He did well then.

    Whatever area, he was lacking, we were focused on those areas to improve rather than academic performance.

    My son also started realizing the importance of concentration and efforts needed for it, he is now in grade 8, and he is daily improving himself.

    My family members and I would like to thank the psychologist who helped us understand meaning of life and gave us positive lights to live life happily.

    Image source

    Responses 1

    • Heena Sheth
      Heena Sheth   Aug 22, 2017 09:17 PM

      One can only imagine your will power and the courage that you have displayed and continue to do so. All children are different, have different set of skills and it is important for the adults and elders to understand this. It makes me really happy that your son is doing much better now. It is important that early intervention takes place wherever needed, for it gives one enough time to prepare the caretaker and the helper to mentally prepare themselves and find the apt solution to it.

      Moreover, it is inspiring to see a parent remain postive in this situation. I commend your spirit. Here's hoping that more parents visit a psychologist who can describe to them what the condition is about and guide them how to deal with it. I hope other parents don't give up hope and don't stop believing. The importance of being positive leads to long term victories, one of them being your child learning to keep the right mindset and attitude in tiems of crisis, becasue he has seen you do it.

      I hope your son excels in whichever field he chooses to pursue his career in and move ahead with life. ADHD isn't a setback.

      Best Wishes.

  • 23 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    The Best Bald Dad in the World proved his love on the Father’s Day.

    best bald dad

    Yet again it was proved, that children are the most precious things in a parent’s life.

    There is nothing more that concerns him, no fear, no pain, no social prestige or image is worthier than his 8-year-old son Gabriel.

    Yes, we are talking about the 28-year old ‘twin’ to Gabriel, Josh Marshall, who makes himself a replica of his son, to boost self-confidence in the young kid.

    Marshall’s son was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma in 2015. It’s a form of brain tumour, rare and malign in nature and the child was fighting since then; but not for a moment was he alone; his father was there always to make him feel strong. He never let his son realize that he was suffering from cancer which was a deadly disease. They live in Kansas, a happy and peaceful life.

    Marshall’s idea was to teach his son the importance of life, so every moment they enjoyed; they played and jumped and gamed together; he never let his worries or anxiety reflect on his face, for he knew that his son would panic if so happened.

    best bald dad

    If you let your child think that something is serious, he will be afraid of it. A child learns from parents.

    Being in the best of mental health is very very important for a person already frail in physique, and Marshall’s knew he could not let his son lose; he could not let him weaken in mind, so he himself remained strong and joyful to keep his up in spirits.

    Recently, his son has had the operation, the 9-months treatment has given him a new life; some parts of the tumour still remains, but “he is stable now”, as reported by the Doctor.

    However, the child felt like a ‘monster’, because of his bald head and treatment scar.

    Even now, Marshall’s stood by him as a responsible father. He wanted his son to glorify his victory over cancer, he wanted him to have immense self-confidence, so he himself shaved his head and had a tattoo resembling his son’s scar on the head.

    Gabriel should not feel alone; he should feel confident and happy that he is getting treated and fighting over cancer.

    Marshall won St. Baldrick’s 2016 #BestBaldDad with 5,000 votes on Father's Day, this year. Alison Sutton, St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s social media manager, told it was “the first time we’ve seen an entry where a dad went above and beyond shaving his head in solidarity with his child and got a tattoo to build his son’s self-confidence.”

    We have acknowledged #EmraanHashmi as the superhero for his son Ayaan, while he was fighting with cancer, and now we salute to the spirits and courage of yet another Dad, Josh Marshall, who is always there with his son Gabriel on his journey. Cheers to good health and life!

  • 13 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    Orlando shooter- it is incorrect to blame his Bipolar alone for this tragedy

    Omar Mir Seddique Mateen

    “A total of 49 people were killed and 53 injured after 29-year-old Mateen opened fire in Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub. Initially police announced that 50 people had been killed, apparently mistakenly counting Mateen as a victim. The shooting is considered the deadliest in recent US history,” says Sitora Yu Sufi, ex-wife of Orlando nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen.

    This New York born US citizen, Omar Mateen, professes Islamic State and is known to be brought up by a family of first-generation Afghan immigrants who are on FBI’s radar for quite a few years.

    His marriage lasted for four months, and now his wife is out to the media with real reason behind their divorce in 2011, which she claims is Bipolar Disorder. 

    Mateen used to beat up his wife and was abusive and violent for petty reasons; she had to call up her family so that they could come and save her from the rage of her husband.

    “Mateen showed signs of emotional instability and sickness and was mentally unstable and mentally ill [and] obviously disturbed and traumatized,” says his ex-wife.

    He was also vindictive towards homosexuality, as because Islam doesn’t support it.

     

    eWellness Expert's views

    "Bipolar can cause violent behaviour, but it CANNOT cause hatred towards a race, sexuality, religion etc. It can't make you a sympathazier of ISIS. Blaming mental illness for terrorism or such mass killing can further stigmatize people with mental health issues, which is completely against the vision of eWellness Expert"

    Let's understand Bipolar disorder in detail.

    Bipolar Disorder can be chronic and needs a proper treatment by mental health professional.

    Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). A person can be dejected from life without hope at one moment, sulking in the bed, can also lead to suicidal thoughts; while on the other moment, he can just be charged up and behave in heightened mood of anger, or excitement.

    Throwing things, breaking objects in anger, hitting someone or hitting on the wall in rage suddenly, can be termed as bipolar behaviour.

    Manic symptoms can range from:

    • Long period of over-elated happy mood
    • Restlessness
    • High sexual drive
    • Boundless energy
    • Inflated self-esteem
    • Feeling of Grandiosity
    • Interest in a lot of new projects

     

    to

     

    • Irritability
    • Agitation
    • Impractical plans
    • Psychosis, delusions and hallucinations.

    Depressive symptoms can be:

    • Teary eyes all the time
    • Fatigue
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of energy
    • Uncontrollable crying
    • Indecisiveness
    • Psychosis
    • Sleep disturbances and weight loss.

    Bipolar disorder can be caused due to problem in specific brain circuits or balance of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Sometimes, it can be hereditary, that is flowing in the family. Individuals and their relatives are found to behave similarly. Researchers conclude that the lifetime chance of an identical twin (of a bipolar twin) to also develop bipolar disorder is about 40% to 70%.

    The researchers also found that 40% of the 47 first-degree relatives of the bipolar II patients also had bipolar II disorder; 22% of the 219 first-degree relatives of the bipolar I patients had bipolar II disorder. However, among patients with bipolar II, researchers found only one relative with bipolar I disorder.

    It can be harmful to the individual and in some cases to his loved ones, especially wife or close relatives. A person may not have much control over his emotions and the outbursts so he can inflict violence on others. 

    Recently, in Kolkata a case of suicide has come up in the news where a husband burnt himself alive, and his wife was watching the television; neighbours have reported that the wife was generally too loud and rude in the house and often used abusive languages for people in the neighbourhood; here her husband's emotional responce is also to blame. Suicide is not a solution to any problem.

    Yo Yo Honey Singh, a popular rapper, singer and musician in India suffered from Bipolar disorder for almost two years, and we have spoken on it in a previous story, but he recovered from it with proper psychiatric help.

    Will power is very important. There should be the self-determination to get cured. You should resort to something creative and constructive so that the mood swings can be pacified and the huge energy be channelized in a positive way.

    Feel free to Ask A Therapist

    Read more

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