So, if I was advising any other friend/person dealing with Bipolar Disorder (and any mental health issues) who was suffering and feeling alone, I would advise them to seek out their support system.
What is My Support System: (most I’ve read are similar & I’ve worked this out with a few medical professionals)
- Use coping techniques that I know have worked uniquely for me in the past. (arts and crafts, music, reading, exercise, writing, gardening)
- Have fun with a friend. Just get out for a quick lunch and fun chat for 1/2 – 1 hour.
- Talk with friends I’ve met who, like me, manage mental health illnesses and issues. (They have a specific set of experiences that can help me when I can’t see clearly.)
- Talk with my therapist. (Therapist knows my strengths and weaknesses and how to kick me in the butt, lovingly of course.)
- Get an appointment to see my psychiatrist sooner than I already have scheduled, and discuss possible medication issues. (This is key. As many medical professionals that can be involved to help me walk through these times, the better. Medication might be doing me harm, or a med that is working might offer even more benefit if the dosage is increased.)
- When all else fails, in this day and time of technology and social media — I just start yelling out wherever and whenever I can that I need help!
With all of that being said, I’ve been dipping really low lately. Dangerously low at some points due to physical illness and pain, and there have been family issues arise that I will address at the appropriate time. Steps 1-6, that I listed up there, for and about me, seem quite reasonable and sound.
So, why did I struggle to reach out to my therapist a couple of weeks back?
Because it still makes me angry that I get so low I have to seek out the help.
~ Me Today ~
I feel weak.
And if I feel weak, even after having dealt with this (including education) for decades, then someone new to this madness could most definitely be terrified to seek help, and have no idea where to begin as far as how to cope.
So, my bottom line. No matter where you are in this process, seek help. Yell it out! Type it out! Go to a doctor, clinic or psychiatrist. See a therapist or try a support group. Or hey, all of the above!