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By Georgie
26 Years Old

Hello. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder when I was 18, I'm almost 26 now. It's been a rough road! I've been admitted in for hospital treatment 3 times and the longest time was for 5 weeks. I've also done out patient programs, it's all helped. I wasn't using my medications correctly. I also was having hallucinations and was afraid to tell my doctors.  But when I did they were able to change my meds and now I rarely have hallucinations, boy that's great! The statistics are that about 50% of us bi-polars experience phychosis.

Now I'm on a mix of about 8 different medications: 3 antidepressants, 2 antiphyscotics, 1 mood stabalizer, 1 tranquilizer and a sleeping pill. It's a lot I know, they call it polypharmacy and it works! In the last couple of years I was always depressed, to the point where I couldn't leave my room or get out of bed. And boy I've battled with paranoia and anxiety and then there's always the mania. Anyways I was put on to the 3 anti-depressants several months ago and I've been slowly becoming happier, healthier and stronger each new day. I still have the ups and downs but they are no where close to what I was experiencing without my meds or on the wrong meds. Remember you may have to try a few different meds before finding one that works for you. I'm also doing cognitive behavioral therapy with my psychologist. That's where you break your goals down into baby steps and think your way through things- it's very helpfull!

I know how dark depression can get. My tips for coping are: 1. Take your medication. 2.Get up and shower and groom yourself no matter what! 3. Think some positive thoughts about yourself, treat yourself as you would a good friend. And remember nothing lasts forever, it will all work out in the end. Also remember if you're not happy without it, you're not going to be happy with it(that's especially true for people with eating disorders).  4. Make yourself eat 3 times a day-no fast food, lots of vegetables, a little meat and lots of water. 5. exercise, just get yourself moving, even if it's just walking, walking is great! 6. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. They have medication for this if you need it. Sleep is so important! Your body needs that time to rejouvenate itself. 7. Write in a journal. If you feel sad that's ok. if you feel angry that's ok. Just write all those feelings down, express yourself. And remember this journal is for you, no one else is going to read it. 8. Get outside for just a few minutes each day this is good for the soul. Even if you're paranoid or feeling anxious leaving your house or apartment is helpful in the long run. 9. Don't drink alcohol, don't use drugs(that includes over the counter meds), don't be promiscuous, you'll regret it!

There are a ton of ways to cope with depression...do a craft, get moving, be kind to your body-no self mutilating!

I can tell that I'm manic when I get lots of energy and sleep less at night. I am more creative. I love to go on shopping sprees. I get irritated VERY easily.
Things to do if you are manic, now that gets hard too...Listen to your friends and family, take the advice of others. If you're having road rage or driving really fast just say outloud to yourself STOP! If you're on a shopping spree just remember there is always tomorrow-even if it's on sale..Take time to think about what you're doing. If you're angry at someone or something just walk away, let yourself cool down. Dealing with mania is hard because at least for me I think what I'm doing is perfectly ok in that moment, but it's not. I know it's hard but it's very neccessary to postpone things (like buying). With the mania also comes energy and creativity so use that creativity and do something with it. I write poems.

I believe in God, he is my higher power and without Him I would not be here today.

Also get the support of family and friends this will be a big help to you in finding balance and safety. Allow somone close to you to watch out for you.

And last but not least forgive yourself for things that you have done, but don't forget. Love yourself and others. Remember no one can take your place and believe it or not you are here for a reason. There are things you are meant to do on this earth that only you can do.  Love ya, Georgie:)

Posted by Georgie : April 16, 2005

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