I was thinking about my mental health today and although during the last 6 months whilst I have been sick with my eyes I have managed to keep quite cheerful I realise that I could easily slip into depression.
In fact I have felt a little down these last few days and it is good that I can recognise my mood changes now. Going back a couple of years I would never have realised that my mood was changing and as a consequence it would have caused havoc in my relationships with my partner and daughter. I just wasn’t capable of managing my moods and emotions and couldn’t or wouldn’t acknowledge that I was behaving oddly and out of character.
I have come a long way in the last couple of years and I have my fantastic support team to thank for that. My psychiatrist, psychologist and GP all work closely together and with me to ensure that I am safe and well. I remember how I was before I started working with these three ladies and I was very unhappy, unstable and quite frankly was probably responsible for most of the turmoil that was happening in my personal relationships.
So what do I do now that I am feeling a little bit down?
- Acknowledge it, don’t let it sit and fester. Hiding it away doesn’t help.
- Tell my loved ones, they need to know so that they can keep an eye out for worsening moods. My partner is extremely supportive.
- Get plenty of good sleep – I don’t do well when I am tired. The fatigue from fibromyalgia is a mood killer so I need to make sure I am properly rested.
- Do things that I find enjoyable. The thing I enjoy most is reading, this has been really difficult recently with my eye problems but I read on my tablet so I can change the text size according to how my eyes are doing.
- See my psychologist – she has a real talent for making me feel better.
- Eat properly – I need fresh fruit every day, I can’t handle it if I can’t be bothered and just eat junk.
As a person with Bipolar I have to be very mindful of my moods and how I am behaving to catch myself before I tumble into a full blow depressive episode or go madly buying stuff in a hyper manic frenzy. My partner will say to me “have you taken your meds” if I am behaving a little oddly, I need that interaction to keep me grounded and in the present moment. I can’t be worrying about what has happened in the past or what is likely to happen in the future, I think it is really important for anyone with mental health issues to live in the “now”.
To finish up, the most important thing of all is to take your meds. Never ever stop taking the meds even if you feel great. The meds are why you feel great!