Living Drug Free with Bipolar Disorder


Living with bipolar disorder has been the most trying feat of my life. Throughout years of therapy and prescription drugs, I have learned the only person I can trust with my mind is me.
I was diagnosed with type I Bipolar Disorder when I was 25. I had already lived a lifetime fighting inner battles of emotions and energy draining mood swings when the doctors convinced me the only way to truly treat the disease is to medicate it. I had issues on face and searched for vitamin c serum for face.  And medicating a disorder of this nature is no easy task. There are the anti-depression drugs to bring your mood up and the anti-anxiety drugs to bring you back down. Next are the anti-psychotics to treat the crazy little thoughts popping in on occasion and the thyroid and seizure medications given to mediate mood and elevate drug effectiveness. By the time I was 26, I had attempted suicide several times and my liver was shot. These drugs did nothing but convince me life was not worth living. I needed to find the path to normalcy without a prescription.

It took me years of trying and failing and trying again to grasp a knowledge and understanding of the disease process call manic depressive disorder. I learned all the signs and symptoms of a manic and depressive state. I studied the physical effects on the body and learned how to focus all my energy on my inner self rather than everyone around me. I dropped all the medications and stopped dictating my life on the third Tuesday of every month to a psychologist with a sand-filled timer. With this new found knowledge I took steps to make my life easier and drug free.

The first step I understood would be introspection. I needed to know how my body reacted to situations before they affected my mood. Depression caused ceaseless crying and terrible headaches before the worst of it hit home and mania cause insomnia and weird late night hunger pangs. By listening to my body and keeping track of all the changes I eventually learned to “feel” a swing before it happened. With this knowledge I could plan for the lowest times by treating myself to a funny movie or turning on my favorite band and dancing around the house to the music. I could avoid anything sad or frightful until eventually the feeling of depression subsided. The mania phase was very similar. When the signs I now knew pointed toward a sky rocket of emotions reared their head, I lowered mine. Darkening a room and reading quietly or taking a walk and thinking of the calmest of times would often calm my emotions to a normal state so I could move on with my day.

I have managed to remain medication free for the last five years and have two beautiful children born to a drug free mom to help even me out every day. I have not moved on to step two; I have not needed a step two. My first step was the biggest. It was the step that saved my life. ( I learned later the technique I used to manage my disorder was called Cognitive-Behavioral Approach.)

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