10 Things You Don’t Want to Know About Bipolar Disorder… Unless You Want To Successfully Manage It
5. You’re not the only person in the world with problems, pain, and stress.
Here is the principle: Find someone with a worse problem than yours, and your problem doesn’t seem so bad after all. It’s all a matter of perspective. You can minimize your misery and maximize your mirth by realizing that you do not carry the weight of the world alone.
I live down the street from one of the preeminent catastrophic care hospitals in the country, Shepherd Center. If I start to feel sorry for myself or think I am alone in my suffering, a visit to Shepherd, where patients have suffered massive head and spinal injuries, changes my perspective. Realizing that others have their burdens to bear makes yours seem lighter and more manageable.
6. Don’t beat yourself up for not meeting the performance standards that you were once capable of achieving prior to the onset of your illness.
You have bipolar disorder: it may not define you, but it is a part of your life. Live one day at a time and set smaller goals at first. Establish realistic expectations based on the set of circumstances with which you are now dealing. In time, as you build more confidence and self-esteem, you will be able to aim even higher.
Also, do not fall prey to pressure from others who push for you to get back to your old self. Having an effective strategy for dealing with bipolar disorder includes acknowledging what, at a given time, you can and cannot do. Do not sabotage your treatment progress by meeting inflated expectations, whether you or others set them.