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Tag: depression

Bi-Polar? Life Hacks For The Holidays

As a child every Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday I would become sick. Don’t misunderstand. Mine was a “Leave It To Beaver” childhood. It was an idyllic 1950’s childhood where I was loved and cared for. I would get so excited I couldn’t contain myself. There were long trips to visit grandparents we didn’t see often.Sears and Warads offered extra catalogs with large children’s sections of fascinating toys. Wish books we called them. I studied them and marked the pages, so mom and dad wouldn’t miss my favorite requests. And I was an ardent believer in Santa Claus…even after I learned it was Santa Qualls that brought the gifts. The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. Today, as an adult with bipolar, I can still get sick during the holidays. By the time I became an adult the ugly face of depression cycled into my life.  The winter and holidays can now trigger a bipolar-depressive relapse. As the days get shorter and grayer my spirits began to fall. Fortunately, recent years have been better because of bipolar life hacks I have discovered. Here are a few. Winter days and holidays are better when I keep my routine. I stay…

What Do People Say When You Are Depressed?

People say all kinds of things when they discover you are suffering from depression. Here are some unhelpful things you might here. “There is always someone who is in worse shape than you are.” Depression is not a competition. Comparing illnesses only induces guilt. Yes, others are hurting. But that is not the point. Don’t discount your illness and its effect on you and others. “You are just sad.” No. Depression is more than sadness. We all are sad at times but depression is a disease. Depression effects physical health such as, sleeping habits, brain chemistry, appetite, and the slowing down of speech and actions. Oppressive negative thoughts accompany depression. Depression effects your spirit. You may lose meaning in life. You may question your faith and prayer life. Depression is a disease that effects your whole life. It is far more than sadness. “Cheer up! Have happy thoughts.” Negative thoughts overtake the sense of joy or cheerfulness that you once had. Why does this happen? No one knows. It may be brain chemistry, a genetic dysfunction, electrical impulse that have created patterns of thinking that are negative, or even tragic events may have induced a depressive state. No one wants…

How Do You Manage Anxiety When You Are Depressed?

Before I was treated for bipolar depression I also developed an anxiety disorder. For example, I found it difficult to eat in public. When we had church functions my stomach would knot up and my hands would shake from apprehension. As pastor, I was able to walk around doing informal greetings with members. Walking and having short visits allowed me contain my anxiety. By the time the event was over I hadn’t eaten anything and was exhausted. It is not unusual to have an anxiety disorder along with depression. Some of the feelings overlap but they are different diseases with their own emotional and behavioral symptoms. Anxiety and Depression Together Although I take medication for both depression and anxiety there are still days when anxiety spills over into daily life. How do you manage anxiety this anxiety? Here are some tips from other patients with anxiety disorder. Remember to take your medicine. Forgetting or neglecting your medicine may cause a relapse. Discuss with your doctor your symptoms, when you become anxious, behaviors, and your inner feelings. Together you will develop a regimen. But if you don’t take your meds they can’t help. Practicing disciplines such as Tai Chi, yoga, or…

How To Manage Thoughts Of Shame

The other day I answered the phone and was greeted with, “This is a phone call like you have never heard before. My name is Jim and I can tell you how to make the cash roll in!” I hung up. Get rich schemes abound. Manipulative people take advantage of you for their gain. Are you being conned by the master manipulator, depression? Depression twists your thinking,convincing you of lies that cause shame. Shame takes your life and feeds your depression. Shame is a set of beliefs that you are defective, worthless, that you deserve misery. Some of these thoughts may ruminate in both our conscious and unconscious mind.  These thoughts may include:  I’m stupid. I’m unattractive. I’m a failure. I’m a bad person.I’m selfish. I just don’t have what it takes. I hate myself.I don’t matter. I’m defective. I shouldn’t have been born. I’m unlovable. These automatic thoughts steal from you and feed depression, worsening its hold on our lives. Depressive illness may bring on these thoughts. We can then be manipulated making depression worse. How can we manage these thoughts of shame? The acrostic SHAME can be a pattern for breaking this downward shame cycle. S—Support groups. You…