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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Helping you when depressed...

Really GOOD post about how to help yourself cope with depression:  21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.

And how to cope with people's attempts to help you.

I highly recommend it.  I found it a great post.

People sometimes ask me about being bipolar.

They often fear it's too personal to ask about.  Not for me -- in fact, I'm always glad to help others understand it.  I know my depressions are not necessarily like other people's, just as my time in hospital was probably not either.

For example, I was involved with the local chapter of MDDA [now the DBSA]; and the mental health system typically acted if I were much more ill than I actually was.  They call me "highly functioning" nowadays, which from what I can tell means the average person can't tell I'm bipolar.

I'm not saying this to be crass.  I simply have a lot of experience.

Just recently, at Penguicon, I had a really good conversation with a friend who wanted to understand people who were mentally ill.

Something I noticed was this:  A great many people who were mentally ill did not separate themselves from the disease.

It took me some time to realize that I am a person who is bipolar.  I can say "I'm bipolar" and that is what I mean.  Folks who do not separate themselves are saying instead is "I am this illness" -- or, as my friend said, they aren't accepting it as part of their lives.  They are relinquishing themselves to the illness rather than take responsibility.

I know who I am and what I have.  I have not been in the hospital again since the first year I was in hospital.  A person who cannot say "I am me, and I have this illness, which I must care for or it will wreck my life" will let the illness rule.

It takes time to get there.

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