Thursday, June 20, 2019

Self Care

As I've stated before in this blog, I am type 2 bipolar.

A type 1 bipolar is what most people think of when they think of bipolar. A type 1 cycles like a sine wave. These cycles could last months or hours, depending on the person.

But I'm type 2 so my bipolar is different.* It means I am depressed most of the time with occasional manic times.

But, the good news is, thanks to meds my former psychiatrist figured out (after lithium didn't work), I'm rarely depressed and almost never manic.

Depression is a weird thing. I know I'm depressed, I know why I feel lousy, but I can't do anything about it. I call it "the cloud." It is like a dark cloud hanging over me and I can't do anything to dispell it. Even the meds don't help. It really sucks.

So I practice "self care." One thing is, I make sure I have taken my meds. Some people with mental illness say, "Hey, I feel better, I don't need the meds" and stop taking them. But it was the meds that made them feel better. And there are downsides to the meds. Not just side-effects (one med I take makes me hungry), but I feel as if I've lost a spark I used to have. But I still take the meds.

The other bit of self care is let yourself be what you feel. If you're depressed, let it happen. Don't fight it. Do what helps you feel better. But don't self-medicate with food or alcohol or other drugs. For example, if I feel depressed, I'll watch television and try to find something entertaining or funny. Or slip in a DVD/Blu-ray of a favorite fun movie.

So take care of yourself. It's important.

How do you practice self care. Let me know in the comments below.

*The other types of bipolar are type 3 when a person is manic most of the time and occasionally depressed (pretty much the opposite of me) and type 4 when you're both manic and depressed.

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