A Bipolar Victory: Knowing the Signs of Mania

Soon after the pandemic began, I could feel my mind starting to speed up. I was reading too many news stories about what was going on. I was doing what some people now refer to as “doomsurfing,” which is reading all the negative and almost-apocalyptic predictions about what’s going to happen in the world because of the virus.

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The Importance of Mood Tracking

I’m getting better. That is, I’m getting better at accepting my bipolar diagnosis, managing it, and doing self-care. I’ve come to learn that a big part of this is accomplished by tracking my mood.

Over the past few years, I’ve tracked my mood via a couple of apps on my smartphone. When I first started doing it, I always marked that I was feeling good. This was kind of like replying, “I’m fine” when someone asks how you’re doing and you’re obviously not fine.

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Mental Health during the Coronavirus pandemic

As I’m writing this, the 24-hour news cycle is practically in hyperdrive because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Many people are worried right now, but I wanted to talk specifically about those with a mental illness.

Most of the times that I’ve had bad manic episodes, I was somewhat triggered by reading the news too much and “connecting the dots,” so to speak. Reading the news can be scary for anyone, but it can be especially scary for someone who has ever had delusional thinking episodes.

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Bipolar and Acceptance

What does it mean to have bipolar disorder?

I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in college. After a clear manic episode while going to Temple University, a psychiatrist working on the campus prescribed me a mood stabilizer, along with the depression and anti-anxiety medications I was already taking.

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Holding on to Hope

“Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Bipolar disorder is a category that includes three different conditions — bipolar I, bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder.” -American Psychiatric Association

Madness seems like such an old-fashioned term, much like “insane asylum.” However, I’ve known madness in my life and, when going through the mental twists and turns, it can be difficult to recognize just how mad I am.

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