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June 18, 2005

Managing Bipolar Disorder: A Personal Story

Lori, a woman suffering from Bipolar Disorder gives us insight into how she was able to control her illness, instead of letting it control her life. This story is a great source of inspiration and knowledge for those who are currently struggling with Bipolar Disorder, because not only can we learn from other people's mistakes, we can learn from their triumphs. Lori says that she has been able to control her symptoms for the last five months and gives readers the steps that she takes to control her disorder.

The number one most important step that Lori has made is to take all of her medication at the same time on a daily basis. Sticking to this principle can be difficult at times, but it often keeps one from having a relapse. Her other main steps are to "go to weekly appointments with my tdoc (therapist). I go to monthly appointments with my pdo(psychiatrist), who is actually a pnurse (psychiatric nurse) and we talk for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes about everything in my life, sort of another therapy session with med management. I try to eat healthy. I try my best to get the same amount of sleep every night, no matter what. I have to stay away from alcohol and other drugs, including over the counter herbal things. I try to find balance in all areas of life. i.e. not all day on the computer, not all day doing any one thing, making time for everything. I keep busy and active. I try to get outside and walk at least once a day. For now I meet with a nurse three times a week to get my meds and have additional med monitoring. I take help when it is offered (something that has always been difficult for me). I recognize my limitations but also don't limit myself too much. That comes with learning about what affects my moods and when to worry and when not to worry. I keep in contact with friends and support people all the time and I am open to their opinions about how I am doing. I have learned that sometimes others see things in me before I do and to take their opinions into account without letting it influence me too much. I still have to think for myself. I attend twice weekly dual diagnosis support groups and have even been trusted with leading some of the groups. I come here for support and also enjoy my friends on another support forum" (Lori, About Site).

Lori has learned to be honest with herself about her disorder and to listen to herself; asking for help when she needs it. By following her steps Lori has learned to control her symptoms and to be happier with herself. Lori has also learned to become a better mother and a better friend to those around her.

I hope that Lori's steps give everyone some insight into their own fight with Bipolar Disorder, as well as inspiration from her success story.

Lori's full story on how she manages her Bipolar Disorder can be found at: http://bipolar.about.com/od/copingresources/a/managing_my_bp.htm

For more personal stories from people who have Bipolar Disorder or who have witnessed it in someone they care for, go to: http://www.moodswing.org/stories/index.htm

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