When to Stop Exactly What is Triggering Your Bipolar Disorder Mood Swings
Understanding the triggers of your bipolar disorder symptoms is paramount — and you shouldn’t feel guilty for avoiding things and activities that make you sick.
Bipolar disorder can be easily triggered. It is a bitchy illness – it can be triggered even by things we enjoy doing. You can get sick from planning a large birthday party or during leisure travel. It is not fair, but we have to live with this hard reality.
It is my first-hand experience that it is triggered in some situations, even if I found them fun and interesting, as my illness is not able to tolerate them. For example, I am unable to take the long flight to London for the weekends as the 8-hour time gap is intolerable and does not work with my illness.
Once a friend of mine who had bipolar disorder sat through a stressful biology class. It made her behave weird, she was alternating between mania, depression, and paranoia. It disturbed her sleep immensely and she had to resort to medication to get some rest. When I and my few friends suggested to her to quit the class, she retorted back – “I’m not a quitter, Julie! I have stopped so many things because of bipolar. I just want to finish something!”.
I had to explain to her that “There is a big difference between ‘quitting’ from laziness or lack of attention to the topic and the quitting that comes from taking care of yourself.”
Once she quit, she felt immediately better.
The daily stress she was subjected to in the biology lab was excessive for her bipolar brain – though she felt it wasn’t excessive at all. She is an excellent and dedicated student. Was there a loss? Yes. It triggered grief. Grief is a genuine feeling that a great deal of us experience when bipolar causes us to quit something, but that is OK. We can get help to cope with grief.
When something you are doing is activating bipolar disorder symptoms, the bipolar will lessen quickly the moment you quit what is making you sick. The only method to understand the triggers is to alter what you think is the culprit.
I know when to stop– despite the fact that it upsets me a lot. Quitting due to the fact that something is making me sick is a sound decision and not something to be ashamed of. I keep reminding myself of this on a regular basis. As I get older, I am learning to say no to triggers and this stops the process before I get sick.