I have been very sick lately and also have anxiety, any suggestions?

I am a 45-year old woman with bi-polar disorder. I have been very sick lately I also have anxiety. I am taking a lot of medication. and I don’t like having to do it. I started taking 300 mg. of Seroquel and have gained 15 lbs. My life is pretty miserable, my symptoms are bad, I also work part-time as a peer support facilitator, which has become stressful for me, any suggestions?

It sounds like you are having a very difficult time. I’m sorry for your distress.  The most important thing to remember is your first priority is taking care of yourself first and everything else second.  If you have been sick for a while you should try to focus on getting better because the healthier you are physically the more balanced you will feel.  If your anxiety is becoming an issue I can give you the only advice I know to give, what works for me.  When my anxiety is getting out of hand, whatever is causing me anxiety I break it down into the smallest pieces possible for my mind to process and then I process it one small piece at a time, taking as much time as I need to, to work through each particle of my dilemma in my mind until it is all processed and the crisis is over.

As far as your medication, I would talk to my doctor, if I were you, if I was unhappy with my treatment.  However, let me just say that I myself am on quite a bit of medication.  It is just something that some of us have to deal with when it comes to mental illness in order to maintain a balanced mind.  There are other alternatives to medication however that is something you would need to discuss with your doctor and both of you decide together what is best suited for your wellbeing.  If you are having a very difficult time perhaps your medications need to be adjusted.  Perhaps you need to change medications, or one of yours needs to be increased or decreased.  Sometimes even a minor adjustment can make all the difference in the world.  Unfortunately, gaining weight tends to be a side effect of most mood stabilizers.  Its an unfortunate thing but most of us deal with it at some point.  The most important thing to remember in this situation is to maintain a balanced healthy diet and try to get as much exercise as possible.  Again, the healthier you try to keep your body physically the easier it will be to maintain a more balanced health overall.

Working as a peer support facilitator must be a highly stressful position.  Your suppose to be giving others support when you’re in need of support yourself.  But it is in our nature to do just that.  I believe it is something ingrained in us as someone with bipolar, we empathize with people so easily naturally and we are always the first to offer our help.  I believe that is why you find a lot of us in fields such as yours.  However, when it becomes too much then maybe it is time to consider taking a mental break if it is feasible.  If your work is getting to be too stressful for you then perhaps, if it is possible, you might consider taking some time off.  If you have vacation time or if you can take a week off and just wind down a little, the most important thing is taking care of yourself.

I hope I’ve been able to give you a little bit of advice that you’ll be able to use to your benefit. If you still need to talk

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