What is the most difficult thing about everyday life with bipolar disorder?

What is the most difficult thing about everyday life with bipolar disorder?

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Hmm… Good question!!! There are so many difficult things that happen pretty much daily having bipolar… Sometimes, just getting through the day in one piece can be the most difficult… But if I had to go with something that is difficult most days for me, I would have to say interacting with people… When I’m depressed, I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone… I want to be completely alone and ruminate in my own mind… I don’t want anyone to know the ‘crazy’ thoughts going through my mind… And, I feel like such a downer, like I make everyone else feel depressed when they are around me… If I have to be around someone, I will try to fake it and pretend that I am ok… I don’t want anyone knowing that I am depressed… I don’t want to bring them down… And pretending just gets old, so I isolate…

On the other hand, when I’m manic, I like to talk to people… True, there are still times I don’t like to actually be around others in person, because I get extremely paranoid, but I still talk on the phone and on the computer… Some people still get annoyed with me when I’m manic, though… I tend to talk really fast and jump from one subject to another and don’t make much sense… And when I’m talking to someone on the computer, I type really fast and jumble my letters so it’s like deciphering a code trying to read what I just (tried) to type…

This is just me, though… I mean, I’m sure there are others who feel the same way, but there are a lot more people who find other things more difficult… For example, coping with the ups and downs that happen throughout the day can be difficult for people with (very) rapid cycling… When I’m dealing with this, I tend to hide in my room because it sometimes scares me, and I don’t always know what to do… I’m scared I will hurt someone (not physically…) or that I will do something really stupid… So I shy away from these days…

Another thing that is difficult is knowing positive ways to deal with whatever feeling may creep up at any given moment-be it positive or negative… I know I for one have very poor coping skills… Well, not always… There are times when I can properly handle my feelings, but it can be hard… But practicing the positive coping skills every day is a good start to being able to handle those emotions when they do come about… It’s important to practice your positive coping skills as often as you can, whether you feel you need them at that moment or not… This way, you can become more adept to using them and it will be like second nature to you when you do need them…

This is just a sampling of daily difficulties with bipolar… Like I said, though, associating and dealing with people on a daily basis is the hardest thing for me to do…

I don’t want you to think having bipolar is a completely negative experience, though… It is a difficult illness to handle, but aren’t all illnesses??? Try to focus on the positive things that happen every day, and the negatives and the difficulties won’t seem so bad…

God bless!!!

One thought on “What is the most difficult thing about everyday life with bipolar disorder?

  1. One difficulty I have every day being bipolar is my medicaton. The side effects (some go away after you first start the medication, but some are lasting) such as the constantly shaky hands from my lithium. It also leaves me always feeling dehydrated so I am constantly drinking and my lips are always chapped. I also have to make sure that I have enough sodium in my diet because if not, the lithium doesn’t work correctly and I start gaining weight (not so fun when you have a history of eating disorders) My anti-depressant, prevents me from taking any decongestants. I have horrible sinuses and allergies and get very frequent sinus headaches. Saline rinses, steam showers, and humidifiers only provide minimal relief. Living in Chicago gives me year round sinus issues. Also, Effexor, or any anti-depressant raising seratonin, prevents me from taking any medication for migraines. Migraine medication also raises seratonin, so I could potentially get “Seratonin Syndrome” (too much seratonin, which could results in side effects so extreme I would need medical attention). At one point, I was getting migraines at least once a week. My doctors and I have been unable to determine the cause of the migraines, so until we can and I can try to prevent the migraines, I have to just wait them out, which, if you have never had one before, is painful and leaves me only able to lay in bed, in the dark, no sounds (noises and bright light make the pain worse) and just wait until it goes away.

    In my 20’s, my friends were very social and liked to go to the bars and clubs. Being bipolar, I try to limit my drinking because it naturally is a depressant, but with the medication I am on, it can cause not only mental issues, but physical issues with my liver and kidneys. This used to be hard on me because a lot of times, my friends couldn’t understand why I either didn’t want to go or why I wasn’t drinking with them. As time went on, that got easier and they did finally understand, but for a long time, it was a big issue because the night life was a huge part of our social lives.

    Overall, I wouldn’t change being on the medication though. All medicines have their side effects, but the benefits that the medication provide for me: how they have helped me become more stable and able to handle my daily activities at home and work with more ease and efficiency, how my relationships have improved, and how my life as a whole has become more manageable, is well worth the other tribulations they cause. I have many more days of feeling good than days I wish I wasn’t on the medication. Just another day being Bipolar.

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