The main purpose of this platform is to let people know they're not alone. Whether you want to YAC AT US about it or use solutions and resources from here or other platforms we support you 100%. We do want to get you started though and share some of the tools we use as well as other resources available.
People can have a very skewed perception as to what Bipolar Disorder really is. Often, people don't even know the symptoms, that there are multiple types, and that it can be treated. This is why it is so important to educate yourself. Even if you are not the one personally affected by Bipolar Disorder, the likelihood of you knowing someone who is affected is pretty high. With 1 in 100 people living with Bipolar Disorder - and truly it's closer to every 2 or more in 100, it's important to be able to understand what people are going through so you can be patient and not pass judgment.
By arming yourself with knowledge and facts about the disorder, you can better understand why you're feeling the way you are and start to develop a way to cope through the symptoms. The greatest asset you can have is a journal because as well as you may know your symptoms if you're not keeping track of your day to day you don't know what is causing them or when the warning signs start to creep up. Even in the "high" moments, it's important to still recognize your daily feelings and actions, even your diet etc. The more proactive you can be in your treatment and recovery, the better.
In saying that, when you're living with an illness it can be extremely tough to manage alone, reach out to someone you can rely on and discuss your symptoms and feelings with them so they can be an ally in your fight. Face-to-face contact is more ideal for this disorder, but anyway you can connect with other people is beneficial. Include them in your treatment plan so they can join you for appointments or help you keep track of your episodes, or even just to ensure you're enjoying living your life instead of getting sucked in by the illness.
It can be tough to talk about, and we're not saying you need to start a blog and tell the world about what you're going through (unless you want to, then please do #endthestigma!!). But if there are a few key people, especially the people close to you or anyone living with you, you feel comfortable sharing with be completely honest and open about your treatment and journey. This is especially important with both your medical health professional and any counselor/psychiatry you're seeing. Ask questions, be honest if things aren't working, be willing to try different treatments or medications if ones aren't doing what they should be. The people you entrust with your health should be people you are completely comfortable with and who are not passing judgment. This is about YOUR wellness. It is absolutely OK to advocate for yourself!
Having some sort of routine or normalcy to your day to day can help get you on track and keep you on track. It doesn't mean you can't waiver from the plan, it's just a way to essentially give yourself a baseline for your feelings and symptoms.
Never be afraid to reach out to us using our YAC AT US platform, we're always here to lend an ear and work together to find resources that best suit you!
We've read through a few articles we think are helpful in finding ways to cope with all different types of Bipolar Disorder:
AnxietyBC Visit www.anxietybc.com or call 604- 525-7566 for self-help information and community resources.
BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information Visit www.heretohelp.bc.ca for info sheets and personal stories.
Your Local Crisis Line Crisis lines aren’t only for people in crisis. You can call for information on local services or if you just need someone to talk to. If you are in distress, call 310-6789 (do not add 604, 778 or 250 before the number) 24 hours a day to connect to a BC crisis line, without a wait or busy signal. The crisis lines linked in through 310-6789 have received advanced training in mental health issues and services by members of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions Information.
HealthLink BC Call 811 or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca to access free, non-emergency health information for anyone in your family, including mental health information. Through 811, you can also speak to a registered nurse about symptoms you’re worried about or a pharmacist about medication questions.
1. Finding Help. (2016). Mood Disorders Society of Canada. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://mdsc.ca/finding-help/
2. Living with Bipolar Disorder. (2018). HelpGuide.org. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/living-with-bipolar-disorder.htm/
3. Helping Someone with Bipolar Disorder. (2018). HelpGuide.org. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/bipolar-disorder/helping-someone-with-bipolar-disorder.htm/
4. 14 12 Ways to Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder. (2019). WebMD. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-life-17/slideshow-help-someone-with-bipolar
5. Coping With Bipolar Mood Swings. (2019). EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-mood-swings.aspx