Will I Always Feel this Bad, Julie?

Oh, I do know how you’re feeling. The bipolar can be so rough sometimes. Here is one way to lessen the pain felt by bipolar mood swings.

Treat bipolar disorder as an illness.

It’s no different than having diabetes. If one had diabetes and had trouble with energy or felt faint when standing up, the natural response would be, oh, this is my diabetes! Why is it so different when one has bipolar?

When we’re depressed, or overwhelmed or we feel that life is hopeless and that we’re helpless, we go straight to blaming ourselves….

Why do I feel so bad!

What is wrong with me!

I’m a failure!

My life is worthless! 

..instead of reminding ourselves that feeling bad is a symptom of the illness called bipolar!

Let’s change this behavior.

It’s normal to feel bad when you have bipolar. It’s a symptom.

The goal is to reduce the intensity and length of symptoms that make you feel so bad and work towards having more when you feel stable. Reminding yourself that bipolar is an illness and that feeling bad is simply a symptom that can be managed is a good place to start feeling better.

So, to answer your question, will I always feel this bad? No. If you learn to manage bipolar disorder using the ideas in Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder (or any system that works for you!) the times you feel bad can be reduced.  For myself, I noticed that the intensity of how terrible I felt started to decrease once I used the system I now teach.

Eventually, not only did the intensity decrease, the amount of time I felt bad decreased.

Today, 20 years into my bipolar management ‘career,’ I can say that my days of feeling bad still feel freaking bad, but they’re truly, truly much less intense and of way shorter duration than in the past.

Management is HARD. Lifestyle changes are HARD. But I sure as heck choose difficult changes over felling bad all of the time.


PS: If you truly feel bad all of the time as compared to feeling bad during episodes and eventually getting better once they end, please ask for more help. Bipolar is episodic. Feeling bad over long periods of time is an indication that something else is present along with the bipolar.

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