Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeling Blue?

Depression is probably the worst thing we have to experience: little self-worth, no motivation, isolation, too much sleep, feelings that life's not worth living, not contacting friends, doing absolutely nothing, sadness, lack of JOY, guilt and remorse.
Just remember if you are in a depression that you have always, always come to the end of it, and that life returns to being worthwhile, enjoyable, meaningful, fun, and joyful.
One method I have used, whether "up" or "down" is to recite a positive "mantra". A Mantra is a sound, phrase, or words that are repeated over and over and over. Positive thoughts can conquer any mood you are in, provided you work to think the positive thoughts.
Here's a mantra that I'm currently using, you can make up your own to fit who you are or want to become:
 I'm the possibility of joy, joy, joy, joy
I'm the possibility of fun, fun, fun
I'm the possibility of Creativity
I'm the possibility of Transformation
 I've turned it into a little song, and sing it whenever I'm walking, or doing something like mopping the floor. Anything that doesn't take much mental concentration gives me a chance to think or sing these positive thoughts.
What are YOU the possibility of?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BP magazine - for Bipolar people

If you've never seen or read this magazine, it is well worth the price of the subscription, in my opinion. BP does NOT stand for British Petroleum, but rather for Bipolar disorder. For those who don't know, Bipolar disorder is a condition where chemical imbalances in the brain can create mood swings of either euphoria or depression. During the "up" phase, also know as "manic" people tend to start more projects, have more energy, spend excessively, eat less, talk too much, don't listen well, take unusual risks, don't sleep as much, and more.
During the "down" phase, bipolar people are exactly like depressed people:  They isolate, don't do much, sleep too much, have low self-esteem, don't call friends, don't answer messages, don't do email, think of killing themselves, and don't find life worth living.
I could not find ONE magazine by searching Google that is strictly for Depression.  That's probably because when you are depressed, you wouldn't subscribe to a magazine, and wouldn't read it when it was delivered.
There was one magazine I found that focused on both Anxiety and Depression, called "Esperanza" which means "hope" in Spanish.  There are articles you can read on the web from this magazine.
If you click on the title of this post, it will take you directly to the online version of BP Magazine.  You don't have to spend money or subscribe to enjoy and benefit from BP Magazine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunset: the end of a manic period

Sunset, originally uploaded by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton.
I've been somewhere between euthymic and hypomanic for about four weeks now. My psychiatrist has worked very hard with me to manage this episode. I think I have changed my life significantly during this period. I haven't played a computer game in five or six weeks. Instead, I've been actually accomplishing things, including:
- applying as a volunteer photographer at the Missouri Botanical garden, and I'm told I will soon be one of 10 or 11 official volunteer photographers.
- I've started managing my time better and better, using Google tasks.
- I'm spending more time in devotionals and meditation
- I've been walking between four miles and six miles per day, eating more fruits and vegetables,
- I've lost 8 or 9 pounds in five weeks.

As usual, my biggest source of conflict is with my best ally and my most beloved person: my wife.
Because of talking with a Buddhist chaplain, I've made it a point in the last two days to simply go along with my wife, Grace, instead of fighting her will. The Chaplain suggested that when she thinks I'm well, I will be well, and to trust her in that. I'm trying.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What it feels like to be depressed and out of control - real, not fiction.

Tres luces negros
Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton "Creativity+"
To give you a taste of the pain of mental disorder, here's the recent writing of a young depressed teen (published with her permissison and without editing):

I’m not getting better. I just realized that. All I’ve been doing these past few weeks is bottling it up again. All I do is cry at night.I don’t want to go back to the psych ward. I’m afraid to tell the therapist about how I really feel. I can’t triple my prozac intake as I’m already taking too much. What’s wrong with me?? Why am I like this? I TRY EVERYTHING. I TRY TO BE HAPPY BUT IT KILLS ME INSIDE I’M LITERALLY FALLING AGAIN AND THIS TIME I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN GET UP AGAIN. I’m so scared of letting the people I know reall well know what’s going on with me. They’ll think I’m acting up or they’ll get sick of me. I’M SICK OF MYSELF. I’M SICK OF CRYING SO MUCH. I’M SICK OF THROWING UP. I’M SICK OF HURTING MYSELF. I FEEL SO GUILTY AFTER I DO IT. AND NOW I’VE STOPPED AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I’M SO UGLY, I’M SO STUPID, I’M SO UNAPPRECIATIVE, I’M NOTHING. I COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER BUT BECAUSE I’M AN IDIOT I’M NOT.I know I sound like some angsty teen, but this is honestly how I feel. I feel so much hate. I feel like I just want to rip out my skin and RUN. I want my Dad, and yet I don’t because if had really loved us he wouldn’t have done what he had done. What the hell is love? There’s no such thing, just an illusion. I used to be worthy of the illusion and now all I am is a burden, a reminder of pain, a trash can. I think I seriously might be going insane and I’m not overexagerrating If you know me personally, please don’t make a big deal of this. I don’t know what I will do if it does get out about me. I just need to take this out or I’d just…I’ll just go to sleep now. I can’t handle myself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm so happy I could dance!!

Last night at our young adult DBSA (depression & bipolar support alliance) meeting, I asked everyone what they would think of having a weekly meeting, instead of just twice a month. I got an enthusiastic as well as nearly unanimous "yes, that would be great!".
Then I said that in order to do that, we would need at least two more facilitators to be trained. Almost without missing a beat, two people volunteered, and a third said she could "pinch hit" on occasion.
So, I asked them to stay after class ;-) at the end of the meeting and the four of us sat down and settled on a time and place for a group training session. I want our second facilitator, Christina, to be there also, so share of her experience. I also have another member of the group I want to ask to join us , if he can.
That would mean a grand total of SIX facilitators! Which means great coverage, and the no one will get "burned out". It also means that we can have a weekly meeting, so no more wondering "is this the 2nd or 4th Tuesday?".
I'm delighted, and I could just dance the day away.