Keep fighting

I have been fighting IBSD for several days now. I am on the medication that helped last time. There is two weeks worth to take. I hope it works again. The last 7-8 months have been the best I have had in years. It is wonderful when something actually works.

If it doesn’t then back to the doctor again to see if there is anything else.

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It is so frustrating to have to plan trips and clothing around your physical status but I will keep on doing it as the alternative is to not do anything.

Mental_Disorder_Silhouette2Chronic problems can bite us in the $@#$&**. Aggravating and depressing. I have been free from this (for me) for such a long time that I had hoped it would be a new pattern. Now I have to backtrack and remember how I dealt with it. Life always brings new challenges and asks us to manage them. Here arise the coping skills that I had managed to put in the back of my mind. A stupid thing to do. There are some that I have faithfully continued so at least I am not starting totally over. However, I will increase the concentration on them.

Don’t we all wish that we could wave a magic wand and make ti go away? That is the lazy way out and won’t work. Controlling our thoughts and emotions requires work and energy. The trouble is that when we are down we don’t have a lot of either. We have to drag ourselves up and make do.

lifeisinteresting-min

I have done that today and will push myself. I will eat better….I have been really bad lately…exercise….get out doors…meet friends….meditate and anything else that helps. I am determined that I will not be beat by this challenge.

As the Bipolar Writer says:  Keep Fighting!

Finding the center

This week I have been on a bread baking binge. I’m not sure why but there is something therapeutic about it. I don’t use a mixer with a dough hook so I spend time folding the dough. It feels so good in your hands and gets rid of any frustration. I continually learn how to make different and better breads.

I made sourdough with garlic and rosemary, a normal white bread and a breakfast bread with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. I won’t eat all of these but will share them with friends and neighbors.

breakfast bread

It is a process learning what things give you satisfaction and peace. I do love baking but don’t need to be eating all of it. I am also not interested in making things to sell. I just enjoy the process.

I have been working at doing the things I need to do to maintain my peace of mind. Things happen always but we can get through if we have developed habits that help us. The past week have been trying on several levels but I am moving one.

new way

Persistence is, for me, the most important thing. I can be such a procrastinator…putting things off and not doing what I should. It is so much easier to find something distracting…like watching the Great British Baking Show….than meditating. But if I don’t I suffer for it.

Keeping on track is so important. Keep working at it!

Cleaning….inside out

CleanLadyI suspect that everyone knows the phrase “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” I’m working on it. I have continued to clean out drawers, closets, and now file cabinets. I am sure that when I get it all cleaned out I can start again where I began. It has made me wonder am I cleaning out the right places?

 

Maybe it is me I should be cleaning out. I know that I don’t spend enough time in quiet and contemplation. I waste time doing trivial things to keep from looking to deep inside. There are things inside I don’t want to think about.

After my latest episode with IBSD I have pondered on how quickly I move from a physical problem to anxiety…the mental problem. Obviously I have not spent enough time cleaning out the mental closets. Am I cleaning the house to avoid cleaning myself? It is certainly something to think about.

spring

 

Cleaning out is good. It makes me feel I have accomplished something. Now I just need to do the same thing about those inner closets.

up and down day

Today has been an up and down day. It was an ordinary morning with plans to meet my friend for lunch. After lunch I had errands to run which were preempted by a bad bout of IBSD. I suffered with it for the rest of the day and wondered if I would even be able to write. At the moment I am better. We will see what tomorrow brings. I am hoping that this is just the result of having to take antibiotics for a sinus infection. That would not be surprising.

poor planning

I hate the fact that when this happens anxiety raises its ugly head.  It makes me feel so weak. It reminds me that when well I tend to slack off of my coping mechanisms and this is the result. How stupid can I be. I remember this poem about how people quickly forget the things we shouldn’t. I’m not sure where I learned it but having a husband in the military I never forgot it. It speaks to the problem we all have with not following through with the things we should.

God and the soldier all adore

in times of danger not before

When danger’s gone and all is righted

God and the soldier then are slighted.

tomorrow

Tomorrow I will get back to my routine!

Decisions, decisions!

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart

decisions-research

One of my husbands favorite things to say is “no decision is a decision.” He believes that we should gather all the information we can at the time and then move forward. To just do nothing is actually a decision. This thinking makes complete sense when it comes from one who spent two years in combat. No decision could kill you.

Sometimes our decision is right sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter. As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Most of the time we must just gather as much knowledge as is available and move on. We often blame ourselves later when the choices become clear but remember there were things you didn’t know at the beginning.

The thing we don’t always do is to gather information. Yesterday I wrote about irrational decisions. We are so easily swayed by a bias from our life history. Not considering all the options is heading toward a mistake. To see clearly we must know our own sets of bias and be able to push them into the background. It is so easy to jump to a conclusion and not take the time to see the whole picture.

I often have to stop myself from an “assumption” and you know where that gets us. The word “assume” tells it all.

assume

Decisions are not just about major things but can also be snap judgements.  It is so easy to make up our minds about other people without all the information. We can lose out on some great connections this way.

Decisions may not always be easy and we will make mistakes just don’t beat  yourself up about it. We have to accept our messes and move one. To feel guilty and dwell on them does no good.

Why that decision?

irrational

I have been listening to a most interesting book called  “Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.”

 

 

While talking about the many reasons why people make these kind of decisions he talks about the diagnosing of children with Bipolar Disorder. There was a tremendous rise in the diagnosis from 1993 to 2003. In 1993 there were 20,000 diagnosed with the problem and in 2003 there were 800,000. What happened?

To diagnose it before 1980 most doctors were expected to see someone admitted to the hospital with a manic episode .  The DMS III guide updated in 1980 added less severe symptoms for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  The new criteria includes feeling sad, tearful, fatigued, having insomnia, indecision, more talkative, distratibility, and inflated self esteem. Symptoms that are not uncommon in teens.

DSM

At the same time pharmaceutical companies were developing medications they wanted to sell that could be used for this diagnosis.

(He talks about the other reasons we might have seen a rise such as more people seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist and several other reasons that he is able to discard.)

His conclusion for the rise comes under the idea of diagnosis bias. First off the symptoms could be found in most teens and secondly the pharma companies were pushing for drug use.

Whether Ori and Rom Brafman (the authors) are right or not it is an interesting idea. It does make you wonder how many individuals were and are receiving diagnoses because of diagnosis bias. I am not as familiar with the idea in mental health care but I have certainly seen it work with physical symptoms.

There is no easy way to know if a mental illness diagnosis is correct. We certainly understand that once the person is labeled it would be difficult to erase it. As I have said before my physician was hesitant to use the diagnosis of anxiety for me due to the stigma attached. We want no stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis. Doctors also need to be careful about coming up with the right diagnosis.

We all need to rid ourselves of our own bias regarding labeling of any kind and work to reduce labeling due to mental health issues.

Here are some reasons why irrational decisions are made. Not just regarding bipolar disorder but any decision.

irrational-behaviour-list

I am enjoying this book which goes into many different ways that  irrational decisions are made in a wide spectrum of places. A good read.

Make life better

Today I was at the Mediation Center and ran across this list. It is the most comprehensive I have ever seen. Anyone should be able to find something on here that they can do to make their day better. I am appending it to my bulletin board.

We often think there is nothing we can do. Usually because we really don’t want to do anything except feel bad. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do something to improve things. It may take strength to get going. There is always something that will help. See if you can find some things on this list.

things that make happy0001