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I have been busy. A little less than a week since my last update and I haven’t posted my ‘Thankful’s daily. I will, however, be adding them as one massive, weekly post to make it easier to keep track of everything. For me, at least.

I have been trying to remember my meds. I have missed a couple days, but not as many. I think I am going to have to get one of those daily pill boxes to remember.

I have had depressive days this week. I have officially decided to tell my brother (who inspired me to start this blog) about them; he has been supportive. I think a major reason why he understands is not just because of his own experiences, but because his ex-girlfriend has depression. It caused a lot of issues in their relationship, and they broke up, but are still friends.

So while he doesn’t have to deal with (clinical) depression or bipolar or anxiety, it’s nice to have someone that understands.

I have also given up refined sugars, which are supposed to be really bad for you. Not just for your general health (chances of getting diabetes and such), but also for your emotional health, according to Anti-DepressionFoods.com

I am hoping that this helps. I’ll admit, it’s hard, since I’m a bit of a sugar addict, and my body is so far hating me for it, but I have seen an increase in my moods. I am not going to give them up entirely forever, but until my brother’s wedding (Feb. 20th) I am not going to have any. It’s also partially to lose weight for his wedding (which is in Hawaii).

So far, my list of changes are:

  • Taking St. John’s Wort and Fish Oil daily for their anti-depressive effects.
  • Eliminating processed sugars from my diet.
  • Daily/Weekly ‘I Am Thankful for…’/’I am…’/’Tomorrow I will…’ statements.

I am also going to start exercising daily from here on. At least 20 minutes every morning. That is my next goal for this. 🙂

Edit: Oh! I forgot! I also gave myself a haircut! I now have bangs! Amazing what trimming some hair can do for your self-esteem. 🙂

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While I said I am only going to do five a night, I have some catching up to do and I’m feeling down. So here goes!

Goals will be five for tomorrow, five for the week.

I am thankful for: the oppurtunity to meet new people, making new friends, actually getting to hang out with a female friend, Applebee’s Bahama Mamas (YUM!), having a working car, having enough money to pay for the things I need, having a steady job, my success so far in running my own business, that my writing books came in, that I have a warm house for the winter, that I am going to be playing D&D tomorrow, a brother that will text me when I don’t show up, amusing webcomics that update on time, a mother who makes dinner, preparing food to eat in advance, friends who will help with my goals, my brother getting married in three months, his amazing fiance, winter clothing.

I am: beautiful, interesting, funny, intelligent, witty, charming, friendly, successful, capable, well-read, informed, active, talented, stylish, well dressed, likable, creative, inspired, curious, musical, casual.

Goals: Tomorrow I will: Finish my article for freelancing. Write a post for my main blog. Write a post for my fiction blog. Write 10,000 words for NaNoWriMo. Have fun hanging out with my friends.

This week (by 11/27) I will: Get up to 45,000 for NaNoWriMo. Set up my game plan for next week for marketing. Prep all necessary marketing. Finish Reading ‘Productive Writer’. Exercise every day.

While I was reading up on the blogs I follow, I stumbled upon Carol Tice’s article titled How to Eliminate All Your Freelance Writing Obstacles.

Despite that the article is intended for writer and may not apply to everyone, it has a very important idea in it. If you’re feeling miserable, most of the time you need some perspective.

It’s a simple concept, but she goes on to talk about one way to gain perspective is to make a gratitude list. Just in time for Thanksgiving, too.

Basically, gain perspective in life by saying what you are grateful for. Simple. In fact, it’s something that I’ve been made to do before. When I was in treatment, every night we would write 5 ‘I am thankful for…’, statements, as well as 5 ‘I am…’ statements and 5 ‘Tomorrow I will…’

It’s a silly idea, but a good one, and I’m going to start doing it now. I’m going to start doing it every night. Right now, however, I’ll just make a gratitude list. Feel free to join me in this, the only snags: for ‘I am…” and ‘I am thankful for…’ you cannot repeat yourself within the same month. Mind, you can use synonyms and such, but you can’t write the exact same statements on either. It helps self-esteem and perspective and keeps you from becoming robotic with it.

I have a wonderful family and friends, that are supportive of my career path and goals.

I have an amazing best friend who loves me for who I am and is willing to listen to me about everything.

I have an awesome brother who will let me ramble and cheer me up through jokes.

I am fortunate to make enough money to support myself and put myself through college.

I have wonderful, cuddly cats that like to sleep with me.

I am achieving things that I didn’t even know I could do- through my own choices and determination.

 

That’s it for now. 🙂

Alright, so this experiment is going to be similar to the Happiness Project in a lot of ways. If you don’t know what the Happiness Project is, it is an experiment on how to be happy by Gretchen Rubin.

There is one major difference, however. Gretchen didn’t start her project as a way to cure depression or any mood disorders. She just wanted to be a happier person.

Unfortunately, there is a difference. I will examine many of the same techniques she did, but they were designed to make the average person happier. Most of these will not necessarily make someone with depression or bipolar disorder happier because these are psychological disorders. Many times, there are even chemical reasons.

They can’t be fixed by little notes on your mirror. Those can help, but they don’t fix it.I’m looking to treat it as effectively as medication would, if not more so.

So the methods I’ll be using include vitamins, exercise, diet and meditation, as well as various philosophies not only from self-help books, but even from fiction. Yup, I’m gonna see if the idea that going on an epic adventure to get a magical item will help me be less depressed. Maybe I’ll even save a town in the process. Hey, It could happen.

I am starting by altering my diet, adding both St. John’s Wort and Fish Oil vitamins. I am avoiding processed sugars where possible (natural raw sugar instead) and generally eating healthier.

Since starting, so far, I have been better, but I am still sensitive. I am still not entirely willing to talk about why certain things are upsetting me with anyone, really.

Without Fear by Jennifer Ellison

No, not “Why the Depression Adventurer is for you!”, but more “Why did you pick that name?”

To be honest, it’s part nerdy and part philosophy, and that’s a lot of what you’ll get from this blog. I’m a huge nerd and I’m also big on philosophy, so… Let me explain.

Philosophy:

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely player
William Shakespeare, As you Like it

and

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep out faces towards change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Helen Keller, Let Us Have Faith

These two quotes kind of cover it all. Life is an adventure. Even the little things are important. When you think about how boring your life may be, keep in mind that you could always equate it to an adventure.

That term paper that needs to be turned it? An adventure. A personal challenge that you have to face to grow. Even giving your cat a bath is a big adventure. Especially if they aren’t de-clawed.

Nerdy-ism

It totally makes life more awesome to imagine that your favorite shirt isn’t just a nice shirt, but a  +5 shirt of awesome-ness. I play Dungeons and Dragons, RPG video games and I read more than my fair share of fantasy and sci-fi. The term for the protagonist is not always ‘hero’, but it is almost always ‘adventurer’.

This is because while some people may not like you, while some people may even hate you because of the ‘side’ your on, it’s still life. The heroes in these books aren’t always loved wherever they go, they sometimes cause destruction or mayhem, but they’re still always called an adventurer.

So this experiment is also an adventure.

Adventures in Depression by the Depression Adventurer. It amuses me. 🙂

Let me start this way:

My name is Samie. I am 22 years old, and I have Bipolar type II, characterized by severe depressive moods and hypomania moods. Any manic moods are usually self induced and short lived. I also have moderate anxiety, and I’m sure other things, but I stopped asking.

This blog is about more than depression, bipolar disorder, or even mood disorders. It is an experiment I am conducting. On myself.

What is the experiment?
To determine, on my own, what are the best and worst things to do in order to control my bipolar without medication.

Why no medication?
I was on anti-depressants once for about a year between 17 and 18. I hated it. My depressive moods were not as severe as they were before, but I was also never really happy. I was constantly numb to the world, and in fact I was probably more suicidal when I was on meds than when I was off of them. Because if I have to live life in a fog, what was the point? I tried three different medications on various doses. It was always the same. So I got off my meds and decided to take the good with the bad, come what may.

Then what?

Mad at the world, I spent the next three years living my life how “I wanted to”. I did whatever made me happy at the time, but in reality, it never really did. That’s usually how it works, of course. I’ve half-tried to deal with it for the subsequent year and it caught up with me a few days ago.

The Incident

I had a severe depressive episode. The worst I’ve had in awhile, and it had NO SPECIFIC TRIGGER. I’m not going to go into the details, but I went from super excited about life and everything I was doing to wondering what the best way to kill myself would be. I realized that I have been avoiding my problems for quite some time. Between relationships and dealing with unsatisfying circumstances, I had assumed that my mood swings were more circumstantial rather than psychological. With the sudden and severe mood swing, I realized that was not the case. After yelling at my brother for not caring (despite that he is my primary confidant), I realized that in order to let other people help me, I have to help myself.

Intentions

I am going to update this blog anywhere from once a week to daily. I am going to record my mood for the day, my plans for the day, as well as what I am doing in that day to deal with my bipolar. I want to find out as many ways of dealing with mood disorders as possible without medication. This isn’t  just for me, either. I am sharing this on the internet instead of keeping it to myself because while I am embarrassed to tell people about my disorder, I hope that other people out there who are struggling with depression will be able to benefit from this as well.

Qualifications?

I am not only currently suffering from bipolar disorder, but I have also casually studied psychology for a good portion of my adult life. I have dealt with not only my own bipolar, but I have helped others with their depression and other mood disorders. I am in college, with the intention of getting a PhD in Psychology. I will be focusing on mood disorders. Beyond that, I’m just a person.

Now that I’ve introduced myself, feel free to read through my blog.