Steph believes talking saves lives. Having lost her uncle to suicide and supported close friends through suicidal ideation, her aim is to raise awareness of suicide prevention and help people to feel confident and comfortable in conversations about suicide.
If you have Bipolar, please know that you are not alone. Having Bipolar can be hard (I’m having mixed episode as I’m writing this 😐), but it is manageable. Remember to be kind to yourself. And remember, no matter how difficult an episode is, it WILL last. Stay calm, take care of yourself, and wait until the storm ⛈pass. And the storm ☔️ WILL pass, my dear friends ❤️.
🌻 Sophie 💗
PS. World Bipolar Day is an international collaboration to bring awareness to those living with bipolar disorders and to fight the social stigma surrounding it. World Bipolar Day is celebrated each year on March 30, the birthday of artist Vincent Van Gogh who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after his death. Source: Embark Behavioral Health. Check out the link, it has a clear, easy to understand explanation about Bipolar 1 and Bipolar 2.
“I wouldn’t tell anyone you have it. They’ll judge you and treat you differently.” “I wouldn’t tell your boss. It could affect your job.”
Sadly, this is often true. I’ve experienced it first hand and usually the ones who give this response are others that have dealt with the repercussions of disclosing their mental illness. I’ve done this many, many times. I’m quite good at it. I push through it. I smile when I am miserable. I slink off somewhere to manage an anxiety attack. I don’t talk to anyone when I am depressed.
When I reveal it, it is often not met kindly. However, that’s the reason I have decided to talk about it even more. The stigma is there because most keep quiet. This is what emboldens me to share my experiences. You never know who is suffering mentally. You can say you have a physical disease and most often, you are treated with concern or empathy. If you mention a mental disorder, the subject gets changed or the conversation get quiet. It’s an isolating experience.
At times when we’re going through a depression bout; I think it’s very easy for us to get distracted, to look at troubles and challenges around us, instead of fixing our eyes on what we should be focusing on. It’s really easy to see the negatives, and it takes effort to stay positive and hopeful.
As a person with clinical depression, I know that situation too well. In most mornings when I wake up, it’s hard for me to remember good things in life, or how far I have come at this point in my life and work journey. This is where faith plays it’s part; even though I have to admit that even to do this, to hold on to faith, is not something that I can automatically do.
This is the time when talking and writing becomes my refuge. Sometimes we need to be reminded of how far we have come, and how much we have done.
When you’re going through a depression bout, it’s easy to fall into its lies, “You’re a failure, you’re no good, your life means nothing, you’re worthless, you’d better of dead”; and it will take a herculean effort to believe that those thoughts 💭 are lies; that they are not true.
Sometimes during times like that, the best thing you can do is to let go, to stop fighting the waves 🌊 that are pulling you under. Use the energy you have to just stay afloat; not fighting the thoughts 💭, but letting them pass through you, and believing (no matter how hard) that this storm ⛈ will pass too; and when the water is calm, then you can swim 🏊♀️ back to shore.
Depression is temporary. It may take some time, but you will feel good again. Trust me.
For a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder, it is necessary to meet the following criteria for a current or past hypomanie episode and the following criteria for a current or past major depressive episode:
A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood and abnormally and persistently increased activity or energy, lasting at least 4 consecutive days and present most of the day, nearly every day.
B. During the period of mood disturbance and increased energy and activity, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable), represent a noticeable change from usual behavior, and have been present to a significant degree: