Thursday, July 16, 2015

TIPS for Newly Diagnosed Depression and Bipolar

Let's say you had your depression or bipolar episode. You got some crisis care and your provider gave you medications and you take them as prescribed. Now what?

For me, I moved slowly. The medications made me drowsy. The time I was treated was before Prosac.

The ideas about bipolar were "insane asylum shock therapy" and I leave as a vegetable.  What I needed to do was to leave school and sort myself out. But that would not fly with my folks who did not understand what was happening to me. When I somehow made it through graduating college, I returned home in shock - as if I had PTSD and nightmares/night terrors about having to go back to college because I thought I did not graduate.

When told I could not use the mental health care system my mother paid for me by a therapist I did not relate to, then to my loved ones did not understand and cast me aside, I found a way to pay for my medications. I had to use "Welfare Social Services" - they gave me my medications for free, and I had sliding scales.

It was not until I was given a chance for my Master's Degree and worked for my own insurance (no longer relevant today), did I finally grabbed some hold on mental health.

What worked best for me is not for everyone.

But here is what I had to do.

Get the right diagnosis. Get as much data as you can about your behavior to the professionals and ask them what are they going to do about it? Videos work well for this. This is your calendaring.

TAKE YOUR PRESCRIBE MEDS! If you hate your meds and the side effects, TELL YOUR DOCTORS YOU WILL NOT TAKE THEM ANYMORE! There are a variety of medications to deal with your moods behaviors, this may be one of them

LEARN about bipolar depression from WebMD to Mayo Clinic to your health care provider. It is YOUR job to educate yourself. That's the way it is. It sucks, but most Bipolars are VERY smart and can do it.

SEE your therapists or your group to get issues through there. This is where the work comes in. Bipolar is both a brain disease - or neurological disease, as well as behavioral issue. But part of treatment components include a cognitive behavioral therapy and helps you think a different way about your life. You need these skills and group/courses can help you work on these skills.

DON'T WAIT when you have crisis to speak to a licensed professional. Talk to someone with a license and is a professional. As much as you LOVE your family, they know your triggers. A license 3rd party can keep the talk without judgement.

If you are not in crisis, but it's not a good day for you. Make sure you have an appointment with your provider, and see if you can hold off till you see him or her, or give yourself permission for a 24 hours pause to address your issue.

Anything can change in 24 hours.

The best patience practice I've gotten is a MINDFULNESS course. YOGA is great, but MINDFULNESS physically changes your mind about stuff. Use it. Colleges and Universities have courses. They can be costly, but it's well worth it.

Develop a routine. Your plan is day by day first, then extend it. HAVE A PLAN and make sure it's something YOU CAN do. It's actionable with a SMART goal metrics. Most of these can be learning in wellness courses. ASK your providers if there is something, and if they don't know, ask them to help you find out who.

When you see all your providers from now on, you should have a list of questions and carry your health files for any licensed provider to sort your issues.

Don't be afraid of "airing dirty laundry" because at this point, your laundry never will clean. And fuck people who don't like you because if it, because they are people that have issues, not you. At least your are trying to work on yours and that's more important, anyway.

Remember, this is about YOU. Not in a self-aggrandizing way, but one that you can't blame your mother for not doing whatever. IT'S YOU! You have to work on your issues. They are YOUR issues. Work on a reasonable plan to keep you going. Ask your providers to help you. Those that love you, will help you. Those that don't, you don't need them. But it's not THEIR's YOURS!