When I was working full-time at a fancy software company, I would have never taken a mental health day from work because of bipolar. I would only take sick days when something catastrophic happened and I absolutely couldn’t work. But that didn’t mean that I couldn’t have used a mental health day, here and there. In fact, when you have bipolar disorder, I would suggest that mental health days from work are very important.
There are so many reasons why I hate having bipolar that I could have a whole blog just on that alone and I’m sure other people could join me in their hatred of bipolar disorder, too. I do realize that hating an illness is normal and that enumerating the reasons why one hates a disease is a bit of a rant, but, what can I tell you, this is my space and I’m going to tell you why I have having bipolar disorder (Bipolar Is Unfair).
People with bipolar disorder often have extreme behaviors that personify the “all-or-nothing” school of thought. This thinking is pretty self-explanatory: either you do everything or you do nothing but never anything in between. For example, you become the most health-conscious person and eat only lettuce and chicken breast while running every day or you sit on your couch, Netflix-binging and eating ice cream. Either you have a relationship with the most beautiful person with every-second fireworks and storybook romance or you refuse relationships entirely. I am guilty of bipolar all-or-nothing, extreme behaviors/thinking, often according to mood, but I do try to manage them.
I was thinking about adrenaline rushes and bipolar disorder the other day after I got to hang off the side of the CN Tower, the tallest, freestanding structure in the Western Hemisphere. Taking the Edge Walk, as they call it, around the outside of the building, 1168 feet in the air, led to a huge adrenaline rush (Bipolar Treatment and Risk Tolerance). So what is the effect of an adrenaline rush on bipolar disorder?
Last time I talked about why it’s so hard to plan ahead and stick to plans with bipolar disorder. Today’s article is devoted to tips that may help with planning and bipolar disorder.
People with bipolar have a hard time planning ahead. I know it seems like it would be easy: “Want to go to lunch Tuesday?” “Sounds like fun. Sure!” but it isn’t (How To Be Bipolar And High Functioning). And the reason is because bipolar disorder is highly unpredictable. Yes, I might feel fine right now but I literally have no idea what tomorrow will bring (Using Bipolar As An Excuse). This is why planning ahead with bipolar is really tough.
I’ve talked about bipolar and travel before but mostly I’ve talked about how to not let bipolar ruin your vacation – but what if it does anyway? What if, in spite of your best efforts to avoid bipolar triggers, bipolar ruins your vacation?
I’ve written a lot about bipolar triggers over the years and usually I write about bipolar triggers you can control (Pushing Aside Daily Mental Health Triggers is Tough). But, as we all know, there are some bipolar triggers you can’t control. I’m dealing with one right now: the death of my father. His death was very inconvenient to me in that I certainly had no time for it. I have no time for a memorial, I have no time to write a eulogy and I certainly have no time (or brain space) to grieve (Coping With Loss: Bereavement and Grief). But, of course, no one asks for permission to die and no one does it on a schedule. His death happened and I have to deal with it and it’s definitely a bipolar trigger I can’t control.
It’s critical to know how not to take your bipolar hypomania irritability out on others, if that is one of your symptoms of hypomania (What's The Difference Between Bipolar Mania and Hypomania?). I wish I was one of those people for whom hypomania is a party, but I’m not. For me, I’m highly irritable, annoyed, anxious and agitated. But I know that this is part of my bipolar disorder so I try not to take my bipolar hypomania irritability out on others.
I have found that I have to ask for help because of bipolar. It’s not really an option not to. It’s really a requirement. And right now, it’s even more so. My father died about a week-and-a-half ago and that makes me less high-functioning than usual. And I have to ask for help, no matter how much I really don’t want to. I have to ask for help because of bipolar.