Coping with manic depression, otherwise known as bi-polar disorder, can be a real challenge for the individual suffering with the disease. It is difficult for the person suffering with it, and on those around them. Knowing that your condition has serious effects upon those you love can even serve to aggravate the conditions. Knowing what to expect from your illness and planning out methods of coping with the symptoms goes a long way in alleviating the stress and anxiety of this serious illness.
Step One: Know that it is a disease. Manic depression is not a personal deficiency. It is not something you choose to have. You are not feeling sorry for yourself. You are not over-acting. You have a real illness. Do not let what others may think influence how you feel about yourself, and treat yourself. Most of what those who have not dealt with mental disorders know about the facts are full of misinformation. While you may not be able to educate everyone, focus on dealing with those closest to you as they learn about what bi-polar illness is, and how to effectively help you deal with the illness.
Step Two: Learn to keep stress to a minimum. Stress is a huge factor in triggering manic depressive attacks. You may feel like your body has betrayed you after being diagnosed with manic depression. Do not allow the feelings of betrayal to overwhelm you. It is okay to feel upset about the fact that your world has been turned upside down. That's natural for anyone. Recognize the need for anger and grief and let them have their place, but don't focus on them. Instead, focus on all of the positive things that you can do to make your life fuller and happier. Knowing what the problem is can be half the battle.
Step Three: Keep accurate track of your medications. Your prescribed medicines will help you control the hold that manic depression has on your life. In order to be able to live your life to the fullest you need to have those emotional highs and lows under complete control. Your medicines are your lifeline. Make a chart with what medicines to take when on it, and follow it religiously.
Step Four: Keep a plan of action. Just like your medicine chart, a plan of action for daily needs is a great way to be sure you do not lose track of the things you need to do. Make extensive to do lists and follow them. Set each item on the list as a small goal. If there are larger items that need to be accomplished break them up into smaller individual goals to get there. That will keep you from feeling too overwhelmed by large tasks. Completing each item will give you a sense of accomplishment, and finalizing your day will make you feel wonderful and independent.
Step Five: Keep a diary. Talking about your problems to friends and family is a great way to alleviate the feelings of lonliness and stress of a mental disorder. Another important way to deal with your illness is to keep a diary. Write in it every day. The good and the bad. That way when you are feeling really upset, or emotional, you can look back and see what made you feel that way before and how you coped with it, or what made you happy on good days and how you can get out of the bad areas this time.
Keeping a diary can also help to show you if you are making improvements and the bad days are less than the good ones. It can also alert you to trouble if the bad days are beginning to catch up to the good ones in number. Most of all, keeping a diary just helps in allowing you to talk it out with yourself.
You can live a wonderful, happy, and productive live while dealing with bi-polar disorder. Your friends and your family will be with you on your journey and you can be independent and enjoy the world again with just a little planning.