I’ve been super stressed lately. I have so many deadlines and I’ve been working on so many projects and I have so many requests to process it’s unbelievable. And, in clear Natasha fashion, many of these things were left to the last minute due to time constraints (and admitted procrastination). Oh, and it was my birthday on Monday which I nary had a moment for.
On top of all that, I had a speaking engagement yesterday. This speaking engagement was for the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia. I do many presentations for them but recently the presentation was changed at their request. No problem, but trying out this new material and fitting it into the existing timeline (which can already run long) was making me nervous. And, while usually I give this presentation to teens, this time I was giving it to teachers. This, too, was making me nervous. Teachers can be a bit critical – trust me.
Really, there was no reason to be nervous, but, secretly, I’m nervous before pretty much every speaking engagement. Luckily, no one ever knows this (except, of course, for you) but the nerves are there.
My “Normal” Bipolar Anxiety Plus Massive Stressors
So, you put my “normal” bipolar anxiety with the massive stress I was under, plus the nerves I was feeling and my anxiety was off the flipping charts.
And when things are like that, I know that one of two things will happen. The stress and anxiety will either make me hypomanic or depressed. In other words, massive stress will destabilize my mood. Period. Yes, I know it’s coming, and yes, I do it anyway. Just call me an overachiever (or masochistic).
Depression is many things to many people. The common perception of depression is that you’re “just” really sad all the time, and while this is true for many who suffer depression, this is not a universal norm. Some people don’t feel sad, per se, they feel nothing; they feel dead inside.
Hi all. I try not to overly promote my events on this bipolar blog so the Bipolar Burble blog can focus on content, but this time I thought a couple of things deserved a word: a speaking engagement you can all attend for free and an award that I’m a little proud of.
I recently posted an article at HealthyPlace where I recommended some New Year’s resolutions for people with bipolar disorder. These resolutions included:
- Resolving to deal with anger
- Resolving to initiate a bipolar routine
- Resolving to track your moods
- Resolving to reduce your stress
- Resolving to learn anxiety- and stress-reduction techniques
I believe that all of these are solid, serious, doable resolutions that can improve 2014 for someone with bipolar disorder.
But when I look back at my 2013 and ahead to be 2014, I can only think of one thing: I just want my bipolar to be better.
It is not lost on me that next week is the holidays. Whether you’re religious, or, like me, just like a finely-dressed tree, there tends to be a lot going on.
So here is a bipolar holiday guide on maintaining bipolar stability over the holidays, which, as we all know, can be tough.
There are many reasons I don’t typically talk about my own, personal, current mood and treatments. I’ve written about why I don’t write about my bipolar treatments here. Similarly, I don’t talk about my current bipolar mood state because my writings are less about me, in particular, and more about the experience of bipolar, in general. I believe that’s one of the reasons my writing is so popular. I take my personal experience of bipolar disorder and use it as a springboard to speak to what it’s like to experience bipolar for so many.
But one of the other reasons I don’t talk about my personal, current mood state is because I’m a private person. I know this seems weird considering how much I share online. But I’m careful with what I share, and what I don’t.
And finally, I know that I’m a role model for some people and I don’t talk about my own current mood episode because I don’t want other people to lose hope. In spite of recent accusations, I do actually bring hope to thousands of people with bipolar and people who love those with bipolar disorder and I don’t want to do anything to injure that hope.
As I said last week, bipolar disorder can be a lethal disease. My point was that suicide can be a symptom of bipolar disorder and this is the cause of death for many people.
However, there are other ways to die from bipolar disorder as well. In fact, suicide is not even the most common cause.
As people who read this bipolar blog know, I’m on medication, lots of it, actually. Nevertheless, many people (philosophically, even me) wish to be medication-free. I’m the first one to say this usually isn’t possible; however, today I’m talking with CEO and Medical Director Dr. Kim Dennis from Timberline Knolls (a sponsor) about bipolar disorder without medication.
In short: yes, you can die from bipolar disorder.
Now, I know, many people would disagree with me on this, after all, bipolar disorder doesn’t produce a tumour in your body that will eventually kill you, it doesn’t create plaque in your arteries to eventually kill you and it doesn’t spread a virus through your cells to eventually kill you. I know, bipolar is not like that.
But, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), suicide takes over 35,000 lives a year in the United States and many of these are our brothers and sisters with bipolar disorder. You think that suicide isn’t the same thing as death by bipolar disorder? Think again.
The Bipolar Burble blog welcomes guest author somePlaywrights, a collaboration of two writers based in Annapolis and Brooklyn, who face, seemingly weekly, a struggle to succeed as a creative, bipolar collaboration.
On its own, the practice of creating art is bizarre: fusing this abstract feeling with that concrete image, trying to convince others of something only you can see, and all the while endeavoring to balance concept with content. With the addition of bipolar disorder, a condition that is just as, if not more, slippery, firm, and fleeting, the artistic process often teeters between genius and delusion, between coherence and disunion. It is in this realm, where mania meets medium and depression intersects with artistic production, that we, as bipolar artists, must carve and claim our collective space…
People contact me and ask me to advise on many subjects and one of them is whether they should go public about their bipolar disorder online. People often want to know this because they want to start a blog or in some other way express the challenges of bipolar disorder. Usually, it is with the best of intentions that people ask. Usually, people want to go public with their bipolar disorder online in an effort to help others.
However, I tend to be the bearer of bad news: I do not generally think people should go public about their bipolar disorder online.