The nature of Bipolar Disorder is the instability of mood. In severe cases, a person may be depressed one day and the following day they are manic. There’s a certain amount of anticipatory anxiety that accompanies the disorder. There’s the fear that your good mood will be gone by the time you wake up the following morning. This is felt by family members as well. They don’t know who they are going to interact with each day: is it the depressed person, the manic persona or a balanced, calm individual?
As part of research I am doing for a term paper, I am pouring through books and articles on Bipolar Disorder. To be honest, I find this to be nerdtastically enlightening. I am thrilled with the knowledge that I am gaining through this process. Now, I feel I am better able to communicate with my family about the disorder. Which enables me to make suggestions about how best to support me.
Through my research I have come across numerous ways a family can support their loved one who has Bipolar Disorder. The advice is to enjoy the good days while you have them and know that you will have to work harder and band together on the bad days. However, this advice applies to all people, no matter the status of your mental health.
It’s simple enough, but not such an easy task to do. We all deal with stressors in our lives and we are prone to lash out at the ones that we love the most. There is bickering and picking fights, arguing until someone backs down and recites those critical words of “you are right!”
However, how much time are we wasting engaging in these behaviors? If we changed our perspective and focused on the good things that are happening on a given day or moment, life would be so much grander. We don’t know how many good days we have, so why run the chance of ruining a good day with negativity?
By embracing the good days, we can live our lives to a fuller level. We enable ourselves to focus on the positives and fully invest into everything that day may bring. We treat the people around us with love and respect, while remembering that they are imperfect humans. Laying down the accusatorial statements, relaxing the defensive body language and speaking with love, creates more of an atmosphere of happiness and joy.
On the bad days, I always tell myself that tomorrow is just one sleep away. I take comfort in knowing that much can change in just one day. I share with my family and friends if I am struggling and I ask for support. On these days, I need for those around me to be more patient and I vocalize my love for them. To have a support system that has committed to be understanding when the bad days come, makes it that much easier to get over the hump. If faced with ridicule and shame, a person will stay in a dark place for a longer period.
I challenge you to make the decision to enjoy your good days. Soak up every second and bask in the positiveness that is drenching that day. And on the bad days, power through the day, knowing that you will have to work a little bit harder than you normally would. All the while focusing on the fact that this difficult day is temporary.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” — Winston Churchill
#bipolar #depression #anxiety #positive #family