I spoke to a woman who was just diagnosed bipolar and doesn’t quite feel like herself yet. I get it. It took me years to end up with the cocktail I have and the last med change was scary because I take care of my daughter during the day and I didn’t feel “right.”
Here’s my advice to people just diagnosed! I also wrote a book on the subject.
1. It’s tough, what you are doing. It can be taxing and problematic so be very kind to yourself.
2. Take a lot of notes! A food/mood journal. Take control of this disease and write down what’s working and what’s not. Become an expert of yourself and your feelings.
3. Always ask for signs to look for. If your doctor prescribes lamictal, for example, she should tell you to look out for a rash.
4. If you’re a woman keep track of your menstrual cycle and see if you find any patterns in your mood related to your period.
5. Stay active.
6. Take a friend to doctor offices if you are unable to take notes.
7. Know that eventually you will get the right cocktail for your mind.
8. Get some child care if possible — even if it’s for a small chunk of time for some “me time.”
9. Join a support group online or irl. I love my support group — I never feel alone.
10. Keep working to improve yourself so you’re not constantly thinking about your meds. Get into podcasts or crafts or podcasts about crafts. You are a person with lots of things that bring you joy, not just a person with bipolar disorder.
This goes to…
11. Make a routine for yourself and make medication time special so it’s not something you dread or forget.