Bird Flight – Soaring again (Overcoming mental health challenges)

seagull gliding
Bird Flight

Yesterday I woke up refreshed from a trip to the sunny south, kind of like a much needed winter migration vacation. The light and warmth seemed to recharge my energy and soul. For the first time in ages I got into the car and drove. I stopped here and there, and it seemed like everywhere on a special new found mission. Even though I eventually returned home, I didn’t feel like I drove “back” to any place. Instead, it was like a one-way ride heading forward for a change.  My front door was like the entrance to a new house and inside I didn’t head to any old safe nook. I explored new rooms, walked around different corners. Saw things I never before recalled seeing.  Continue reading

Stress habits or self-medication

Picasa

Anxiety, frustration or anger, excess energy, depression (or low mood), and several other things just plain drive many of us to it. What? Stress habits and self-medication.

Peter picks the tips of his fingers until they bleed. Joan drinks a bit too much alcohol to unwind. I clench and grind my teeth. Jack binge eats on occasion. Continue reading

Seemingly small trigger, but big panic

panic scream

I have had issues with anxiety and panic attacks at various times of my life. It either comes with my bipolar disorder at times, or is a separate mental health issue. My panic attacks can be brought on by what may seem like nothing, or at least seemingly small triggers. And panic attacks can easily breed more frequent attacks. Scientists believe this may be part of the “kindling effect”. The kindling effect (originally applied to epilepsy, but now also applied to bipolar disorder, addictions, and even other mental health issues) is where with each episode of the illness, later episodes become more likely and more severe.  It can sometimes be difficult to finally break the cycle of kindling. Continue reading

Not everything is a symptom (speaking to myself and others)

via Daily Prompt: Symptom

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This is about misjudging symptoms of many sorts.

I think it is common with some illnesses to often think everything you feel is a symptom of the illness. I can see that with people who have heart disease, perhaps thinking that innocent heart burn is a symptom of their heart disease. In the case of bipolar disorder, many people with bipolar disorder having a burst of energy or even an especially good day wonder “Am I getting manic?” Perhaps sometimes it is an early warning sign, but other times it’s just within the normal range of experience. Continue reading