Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The best way to getting a handle on those triggers is to learn to identify them, then turning to a positive way to cope with them. I know that must sound too simplistic but it helps.
Even with all the therapy and other life changes I've made, my triggers can still send me into breath-stealing, heart-pounding panic attacks. I am fully aware of what my triggers are: certain family members, being disorganized and anything forcing me to step out of my comfort zone, to name a few. I can become so obsessed with worry, stress and anxiety I can barely function. It used to be debilitating some days. I've decreased my reactions considerably by avoiding stimulating foods/drinks during these times (that can intensify our symptoms), practicing my yoga and meditation, trying to ignore the negative tapes I tend to play during these times and surrounding myself with people who keep me grounded. That's what works for me.
What about YOU? Do you know what your triggers are? Do you have calm ways of keeping your reactions to those triggers in check? If you need some help with this, I found a great article through esperanza's Hope to Cope website. In THIS ARTICLE, Dr. Deborah Serani answers two questions for readers: "I'm told it's important to identify my "triggers." How?" and "I know my triggers, but still get sandbagged. What should I do?"
Dr. Serani has some wonderful insight and advice. Follow her tips to create your own 'safe place' and awareness. And feel free to share your own tips here. We're all in this together!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Of course, this subject is debated about a great deal. Some people believe that mommies can experience tremendous anxiety and stress and babies aren't affected at all while others believe it can do much harm.
No matter what your side of this argument is, I thought this article might help enlighten and inform a little. Thanks to the Dana Foundation for another wonderful article.
Feel free to share your thoughts!
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Melody Moezzi, one of bpHope's regular bloggers, wrote a powerful piece about her fight with having both bipolar disorder as well as a pancreatic tumor. Both had caused her pain most of her life, both had her seeking regular medical and professional assistance and both interfered with her ability to function effectively from time-to-time.
But similar to most of us living with mental health issues, she received much more empathy and understanding from her dysfunctional pancreas than she had for her bipolar. As she pointed out so elequently, her tumor and the visible scar on her body from her surgery were more 'real' to the world than those invisible scars she lives with from her bipolar. To me, that is unacceptable but, sadly, that's the reality we live with.
I encourage you to read Melody's words, absorb them, then pass them along to someone you want to understand. Because until the day comes where society takes the time to learn, understand and accept those scars and the disorder will remain invisible.
I wonder if we'd made my mother's bipolar more visible, and made others understand more, if she'd have been more inspired to stay well. I guess I'll never know for sure. As Melody said, "...it is often the invisible scars that prove to be the most real and insidious for all of us, and no matter how much or how loudly I voice my activism, I am no exception."
[Read the full post HERE.]