Mental Health Coping Strategies

*This is a repost of an old article and I have updated it to reflect a COVID-19 world we now find ourselves in today.

My Tips on Coping with Mental Illness

At some point we find strategies to cope with the many issues that come along having a mental illness. I know being Bipolar for the last thirteen years I have found things that help with my depression. I am still working on better coping strategies with my social anxiety but I am always a work in progress. Now more than ever this is important to the world that we are living in with the coronavirus.

I want to talk today about some of those coping strategies that I have found effective. I will also talk about some strategies that the experts recommend.

1. Use self-talk – This is one isn’t my recommendation but it makes sense as a coping srategy. I am my own worse enemy and sometimes it can be effective to use self-talk when your depression takes over. You can also use it to convince yourself to get out of bed that day. Talking to yourself can mean the difference between letting depression take you over. It is also very effective against anxiety. Talking to yourself to get up, take a shower, brush your teeth, and eat breakfast is more important as we self isolate. Talking yourself into still finding a routine is paramount in these times.

One of the worst parts of my social anxiety is the catastrophic thinking that goes through my mind. Self-talk can be effective in changing the negative thoughts. I always spend so much time worrying about the possible outcomes of any social interactions. It starts to control me and that it drives me to stress. Which always leads to panic attacks. Talking myself into positive thoughts is one strategy that can work. I have recently talked about the dangers of anxiety in a COVID-19 world, in one of my recent blogs that you can find here.

2. Think Positive thoughts. – I can attest to how thinking postively as a mental health coping strategy. Thinking positive thoughts is so simple and it is an effective way to cope with mental health. Positive thoughts can change your day. It can change a single minute, and it can mean the world.

3. Get More Sleep – Sleep is the most important part of mental health. I can trace all my issues with my Bipolar Disorder to my lack of getting real sleep. My sleep has gotten so bad, that I can’t sleep without the aid of Seroquel. I would love to get eight hours of real sleep a night but my reality is more like four hours.

Sleep hygiene is so important. I wrote a blog post a few months back that will be very helpful with this area. Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Sleep Tips

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4. Listening to Postive Music. – I love this one because it is so effective. It is why I dedicated a whole series on my blog to music that changes my mood. . Find some music that can help you get through the worst of things. I have a playlist dedicated to this coping strategy.

5. Postive Social Contact – This is something I am bad at in my mental health. It makes sense. The more we interact with other humans in a positive setting it can mean real change. One of the worst things I do with my social anxiety is isolating myself in my own little world. I will spend weeks not leaving my house. Meeting people has changed, but you can still be social online. Sites like Zoom have made it safer and secure to set up meetings between friends and loved ones. 

It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes with when I finally leave my house for a few hours. It means the world to get out and interact with the world. This is one coping strategy that I will have to work on in my own mental health.

6. Writing and Sharing your story. – I can’t imagine a world without me writing in it. It took me so long to get to a place where my writing is a part of me and now I will fight for it forever. It is what makes me get through each day. Its my greatest coping strategy.

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Finding ways to cope within the confines of your mental health is one important strategy. It won’t always be easy. I went through so much trial and error. But I have laid out a few good ways to cope.

I offer this challenge to my mental health bloggers. Write a post about your own mental health coping strategies.

Always Keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Sleep, Is it the Cause of it All?

Last week I saw my sleep doctor where we talked about my sleep apnea. It was not good. The results I will keep to myself, but basically, it means that my sleep apnea, which I knew was terrible got worse over the last few years. I never got to the rim sleep that night, and it is most likely the cause of my increased depression, panic disorder, and social anxiety.

Sleep has always been an issue in my life since I was a young kid. I can’t remember a time when I truly got a good nights sleep. Sure I get so tired that occasionally I will sleep okay for a few hours a night, but I wake up regularly, and it sucks because there is a chance that the root of all my mental health issues is sleep. Sleep apnea is no joke as I have found out over the last week.

So tonight I go for my second sleep study this time they will connect me to a sleep apnea machine. For those who have never gone through a sleep study, the nurse hooks you up with a ton of wires all over your head, neck, and legs. It’s a very long process, and it makes it harder to sleep.

This is not the first time that I have done these tests and got a sleep apnea machine. I had issues with the mask, and eventually, my insurance decided that they would not pay for something that I was not using. Since the masks have improved and I am hopeful that tonight’s sleep study that things will work out better and I will finally be able to conquer this insomnia thing.

Part of this process will lead to my therapist helping work on my panic disorder, and I think overall, it will really help me get better. Depression, panic disorder and social anxiety along with insomnia have been kicking my butt lately, and I want the next five months to be the catalyst to finally finding myself and be in a better place with my mental health.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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My Insomniac Life

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting,

dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

We loved with a love that was more than love.

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream  

only by night.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall

say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember

wrought its ghost upon the floor.

 All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and

poetry.

 And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted—

nevermore!

– Edgar Allan Poe

My Insomniac Life

* This is a long chapter but an important one as it is a major part of my own mental health– sleep is always an issue in my life.

This is a long chapter, and I apologize for it being so. This might become a series as I start to work on my insomnia again.

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Insomnia has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I like to joke to people that “it’s in my blood to not sleep.” But, it is a severe issue in my life. You ask any professional they will tell you that good sleep is key to your mental health.

Unlike most of the things wrong with my life, like living with Bipolar disorder or my social anxiety, I have never felt in control of being an insomniac. I have been through several sleep studies in my life, but they never amount to actually helping me. I have worked on my sleep hygiene but, to no avail, it doesn’t really help me get to sleep. My biggest problem is the actual getting to sleep.

I can remember growing up eight or nine and not being able to sleep. Over the years it has become impossible to get to sleep without medication. I can’t remember the last time I could lay down and go to sleep without medication. I sometimes joke about this because I feel insecure about my rest. If I really think about it, I spend more time at night trying to shut my brain off enough to get sleep, than actually getting to sleep. I have tried every sleeping medication on the market, both prescription and not, and at best they’re a temporary fix.

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What has gotten me through the last few years is that I take the antipsychotic Seroquel to help with my Bipolar disorder and it is one medicine that can sleep. It’s the one medication that has been consistent in my life because it does a great job at shutting my brain down (although the side effects of having trouble getting out of bed as well as being in a constant haze have always been the worst.) Over the years my dosage of Seroquel has changed.

At one point in my life, I took that max dosage of Seroquel allowed for a patient at 600mg every night. This was early in my diagnoses in 2007, and it went like that for years. Most days that dosage got me to sleep, but the problem was that oversleeping became an issue. When I would oversleep, it would make it harder to sleep the next day. I grew wildly inconsistent with my sleep, and sometimes I would go days without sleep even with the high dose of Seroquel. My days were spent mostly in a haze, at least a few hours after waking. The drug is potent, and I felt that sleep would be impossible without it.

Around 2012 when I was starting to get back to normal, and going back to school was on the horizon, my doctor and I came up with a plan to find a workable dosage where I could still function. Eventually, we settled on a 300mg dose. It worked for three or four years and while I even got less than five hours of sleep, but at least it was something.

I should have realized last year that my sleep was starting to become a major issue again. There would be spurts of time over the previous year where sleep was impossible at 300mg. My doctor at the time made a choice to give me options. I would get 100mg tablets and continue to take the 300mg dose with the opportunity to go up to 600mg if needed.

It was slow, but the dosage over the last year has steadily increased. It started with 400mg to get me to sleep, and I would raise it to 500mg if needed. Sometimes it took that much more, but 400mg was enough.

Then this weekend happened. If I had known on Friday that my sleep would take a wrong turn, I might have worked harder to get back down to my 300mg dosage in the weeks prior. By I digress.

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It started on Saturday. I knew I had to wake up around 5am over the next couple days, so I figured why not go to sleep at a decent time? It usually takes me two hours from the time I take my Seroquel, to the time my mind shuts down so I can sleep. I took my usual 400mg and went to bed— early. I honestly tried to sleep. I was in total darkness, and I just laid there not feeling even a little tired.

I figured it was a night for another single dose, so I did that, and still sleep escaped me. Hours had started to pass, and I began to panic that I wouldn’t get enough sleep, it turns out that was the least of my worries. Around 2 am, I decided I had to get some sleep before waking up and did the unthinkable. For the first time in five years, I took a max dosage.

This story doesn’t get better. I didn’t sleep that night/morning and still had to get up to be normal. I had to do the things that were planned. I was exhausted. I felt heavy. The worst part is, it was about to get worse. By the time the evening rolled around, I could barely keep myself upright, and I figured why not try and sleep? My anxiety was at a very high level, and it was already in my head things were only going to get worse.

I tried to go long into the night before taking my medication, but I finally had enough around 6pm. I received my regular dose, and I was barely aware of my surroundings. I laid down with the hope of falling asleep, and for some reason that woke me up. I lay there in my bed once again my thoughts racing faster than the day before. It had been close to 36 hours since I last slept. After an hour, I upped my dosage to 500mg. After two more hours of lying there, I took one more dose. After 40 hours, sleep finally consumed me.

This is where I find myself today. I am depressed about this because of it such a significant deal and its finals this week. I am worried that tonight will be another step in the wrong direction with my sleep. I have no choice but to really work on my CBT today so that there is a hope to get my mind right. I have to get my mind right.

Insomnia like depression never comes when life is good, and nothing can bring you down. It happens when your mental health has taken a beating you are failing to recognize the symptoms and even the triggers. When I am overworked, I tend to forgo the things that help me get by. CBT, meditation, or using my heat lamp in the mornings. When my routine starts to change like waking up later and later each day.

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Your body always gives you signs. It does that to protect itself from total collapse. Considering what I have put my body through over the last ten years, my body is well versed in what is wrong. I implore you in this mental illness life to take a moment each day and assess where you at with your health. How many hours did you sleep? There is often a correlation between sleeping less and less each night and when my social anxiety starts to spiral.

Sometimes in this life, all three hit me at once. My social anxiety, depression, and anxiety. This is what I call my worst-case scenario because it takes its toll. For me, it starts with sleep. The less I get, the more issues I have in my day. I still don’t have it exactly right. I am weary that Insomnia will always be a part of my life.

Many of the conversations that I have with my therapist when my social anxiety is spiraling is how your sleep is? Insomnia can be a dangerous thing. I remember before all my sleeping medications and Seroquel that I would go days without real sleep. I once almost made it to six days before exhaustion caught up.

In those times my thoughts would race for days. I couldn’t tell you how I functioned and in a way, I didn’t function at all. I would do what I could to occupy my time. Playing video games often helped me. Watching DVD’s for hours on end (this was before the whole Netflix thing.) I would lay there in the darkness for hours until the morning light reached through my window to tell me it was another day. The worse my sleep got, the worse my other things like depression got.

In my chapters about my suicides, you find that insomnia is tied into each one. My sleep was so bad at one point that I took a sleeping aid on top of the Seroquel. The thing is, medication only works for so long. In about seven years I went through every sleep aid my psychiatrist could give me. Eventually, they stopped helping.

My battle with insomnia has been a really long one, and it seems one that I will bring with me for the rest of my life. One day I will find a better way of managing those two-three hours it takes me each night to get to sleep. My point is rest is the most essential part of the mental health recovery process. If you struggle with it and haven’t sought help, there are many resources available to you.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:
Quin Stevenson

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Annie Spratt

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JD Mason

Depression Survival Tools and Tricks, Part I

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Everyone experiences depression differently. When it was at its worst for me, I felt constant, intense mental pain and a feeling of being completely enveloped by darkness. I was always in a state of emotional distress. I couldn’t handle completing simple daily tasks without my pain being intensified, but I had 4 children including a new baby to care for, so I needed to figure out how to keep going as best I could.

Little by little I learned some things that helped me get through my pain. I hope these ideas will help someone else:

1. Strip life’s tasks down to the bare minimum, focus on your “core” needs, and drop everything else from your life.  In other words, shift into survival mode.  

As a mom, this was hard for me to wrap my head around simply because it required me to make a paradigm shift. To go from doing as much as I could in a day to as little as possible just felt wrong. But I had no choice. It was essential for my survival.

To do this I came up with a short list of things I needed to do for myself each day that were essential for my well-being, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I made the same type of list for my family as a whole.  I also determined what the bare minimum was where daily essential tasks was concerned. Then, I did my best thing only do those things and nothing else. Doing those essential tasks, and meeting my core needs was plenty. Anything extra, I simply just didn’t do at all during that time.  This meant I had to stop doing some things. I also had to say no to some people when they approached me for help or to take part in extra “things.”

So, if you think this might help you, try making a list of your core needs and bare minimum essential tasks. Only do those core and essential items. As you start to feel better, add other tasks, but do so with care so as not to overload yourself. Whenever possible, simplify essential tasks so that they are easier to complete–for example, instead of grocery shopping the traditional way, consider, grocery pickup or delivery.  If keeping things clean is a challenge, like it was for me, consider having a friend help you get rid of excess possessions to simplify your life.

2. Medication, and regular visits to my psychiatrist. Even with my intense symptoms I was really nervous to go back on medication. I was all mixed up and couldn’t think straight. I knew I needed to do something though so I took a leap of faith and just decided to go in to a psychiatrist and try out what they prescribed. I am so glad I did. I started feeling improvement very quickly. This helped me to know I was on the right path. If you are considering medication, I recommend trying it. But definitely use a psychiatrist whenever possible as they are experts in the field of mental health and will have prescription options available that PCPs generally are not comfortable utilizing.

3. Make sleep a priority.  And not only that, but learn how you can help yourself sleep better.  Personally, my pain was at it’s worst at night, so I often found it very difficult to fall asleep.  The following things helped me:

  • Having a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Turning out the lights an hour or so before you get ready to turn in.  Darkness signals the brain to produce melatonin, which relaxes the body for sleep.  Avoiding light, even from a screen, will aid in melatonin production.  If you must see, try using a red head lamp.  Red light will not inhibit melatonin production and may even increase it!   You can read about that here.
  • Go to bed while you are feeling relaxed and sleepy.  This usually happened for me at some point every evening.  If I pushed myself to stay awake past this point, I would miss my window of opportunity.  My pain would then come with a vengeance when I finally tried to go to bed.  So, really tune in to your body.  When you are feeling ready to go to bed, do it.
  • Make your bedroom a sanctuary by keeping it clean and reserving your bed for sleep and sex only.  This helps your brain associate being in bed with relaxing and will aid you in your quest for better sleep.
  • If, despite your best efforts you are unable to get sufficient sleep, consider speaking with your doctor about a prescription sleep aid, or even trying over the counter options.  Sleeping well helped alleviate my symptoms.  Sleeping poorly exasperated them.

4.  Learn to calm your mind.  This one will look different for everyone.  My mind was in a constant state of upheaval, so I learned to add activities to my day that would help my mind to relax.  Some of these, for me, were reading fiction, prayer, quiet time alone, journalling, aromatherapy with essential oils, and utilizing calming mantras.  Basically, anything that helps relax your mind should be done as much as possible.  Activities that cause your pain to be worse should be avoided, or done as infrequently as possible.  If they must be done, plan on following up with some mind calming activities to help relax you.

5.  Music.  Listening to calming music helped my mind to relax and inspirational music helped me have courage to overcome.  What kind of music helps you?

Look for more tips in a coming post.

What is depression like for you?  Do you have to deal with emotional pain like me, or is yours different?  What kinds of things do you do to alleviate your distress?

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoJD Mason

Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Sleep Tips

Top Ten Sleep Hygiene Tips

My therapist gave me this great sheet of sleeping tips that will help with my sleep hygiene. Insomnia is always an issue in my life, so I thought today I’d share each one of these tips and if any have helped me. These tips hep added one to two hours a day of sleep. My sleep issues will never be perfect but sleep is the first step in self-care.

If you have time please look my latest post.

CBT – Mood Induction with Music

#10 – Keep your bedroom dark.

#9 – Get lots of natural light in the morning

This one is a good one. I went out and bought myself a lightbox to help in the cloudy coastal weather we often get where I am from, but going for a walk helps as well. I use my light box even in good weather for 30-45 minutes a day. It varies for each doctor recommendation. I never realized how important natural light is to mental health and sleep.

#8 – Don’t work on your computer late at night, or if you do get an application like “flux” to minimize the amount of bright light you’re exposed to.

This is a tough one for me. I always work the best writing late at night on my laptop, tablet, and even my phone (especially in bed). Often a great idea will come to me while I am laying down and I naturally grab my phone and making notes on my thoughts. I thought a great alternative could be making my journal more accessible or maybe a small pad of paper and a pen.

#7 – Don’t nap during the day.

This is an easy one for me to do. I barely can get to sleep at night, so it’s impossible during the day.

#6 – No Caffeine 3 hours or more after wake-up time.

This is the most unfair one in my opinion and the one that I regularly break. To compromise I made a promise to my therapist for no coffee after 12pm. For the most part, I stick to this plan and it has worked well.

#5 – Only use your bed for sleeping or romantic activities

More times than not at night I find myself in bed writing, and out these tips, this has been the hardest to give up in my life. I write so much better at night. I always have my phone at arms reach writing notes for chapters I will be writing the next day or ideas for my next blog post. I once started writing a chapter in a piece I was writing in at the start of my “sleep schedule,” only to find out it was 4am when I stopped.

#4 – Figure out if you’re a night person or a day person.

For this one, they recommend figuring it out and making a sleep schedule. I have learned that I am a night person who can’t sleep during the day. I must do my best at night to get as much sleep as possible.

#3 – Get a relaxation routine before bed.

The list says that this varies from person to person. Meditation? Taking a bath? Listen to easy listening music or a podcast? This is really what works for you, which I still struggle because writing relaxes me and they recommend not to have a bright screen in bed.

#2 – If you can’t sleep after 15 to 30 minutes get out of bed and do something relaxing.

#1 – Don’t drink alcohol in the evening.

The last one is easy for me. I have been working on these tips to better my sleep hygiene but it’s a work in progress. Let me know if any of these tips help, or if you have others to add!

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoHernan Sanchez

Relapse in Mental Illness – Part Two

In a blog post earlier this week I discussed what are some of the signs that you might be relapsing.My focus in that blog post was more about ways to prevent by noticing the signs. Today a question arose in my comments for that blog post. What can you do when you have relapsed into your mental health?

I will discuss my own methods.

What Can You Do When You Have Relapsed in Your Mental Health?

For the most part, I write my blog’s from the position of my experience. Relapse is inevitable in my life. I often find myself right back in a depression or manic episode at some point in a year. A year is 365 days, and there is no way for me to escape the forces that conspire to make me relapse. So what can you do when you have relapsed?

The first thing that I do when I realize that I am relapsing with my mental health is I take a step back and figure out where I at in that moment. Take my last relapse around Christmas last year. It was a combination of things. The holidays. The fact that my depression gets worse during the winter months. Along with a long year of overworking myself became my relapse into my depression.

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The first day, I noticed that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was laying there and I knew that my depression was winning. It was Christmas Eve and it was the last day of a long semester. I was looking at the prospect of a few weeks off and my depression was salvaging at the mouth. I let it win and I stayed in bed all that day.

Sometimes you have to let something like depression win temporarily. It is your body telling you that you need to slow down. I am not saying stay in bed all day, but give yourself a break. I let the depression take over me for a few days. I watched Netflix and I rested a lot. I tried to sleep and when I did it made me feel a bit normal.

Then after two days, I got out of bed for a few hours. I wrote some blog posts and proofread a couple of chapters in my memoir. I ate a decent meal in the morning, afternoon, and in the evening. Then when I hit my limit, I went back to bed. The next day it was a little easier and I got more done. I gave into depression knowing that I need to stay focused on getting better in the following days.

The biggest thing is not letting depression win. It‘s a war. You’re going to lose some battles. Think big picture.

For me, writing brought me back to life. I made sure to gradually work towards my goals. That’s the other thing. Your goals can be a major way to get you through a relapse. It wasn’t all writing that helped me get through all the depression.

I listened to a lot of music. I read a book. I left my house for a few hours to my favorite coffee shop and hung out with my book to read. Other days I wrote non-stop until my depression, my familiar companion, left me again. When things became good I was always in a flow and that came from staying focused.

There is no right way to get through a relapse in your mental illness. Every mental illness is different. I have written so many pieces about others lives in the mental illness community. I have learned that there are ways that we get through the worst parts of our illness that are special to each one of us.

For me, it’s writing every day which helps me get through anything. That may not work for you. Find a hobby. Look for the one thing that makes you smile. I love to sit in coffee shops and read or write. It feels amazing to find what get’s you through a relapse.

It wasn’t always that way for me. It took years of experience of letting my relapses go for weeks, months, and yes years. I finally could understand how to get out of a relapse and I have used my experience to my advantage.

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It’s a bit different for my relapses into mania. I do still have manic episodes but I learned long ago what helps me with my relapses into mania. I find it easier to deal with because my manic episodes don’t last as long as a depression cycle. My experience limits me to say what works exactly. My relapses are usually excessive spending sprees. I get extreme levels of irritability and euphoria. I become reckless. My eventual relapse is going back into depression. Which I can deal with because I can figure out what is making me angry and I always run out of money.

My point is a simple one. Relapses happen in our lives. Learn what works for you and do some trial and error. It won’t be perfect. What works for me has limited my depression cycles to a few days or a week instead of months. Learn from your past, so that you don’t continue to relapse. Eventually, you can recognize the signs and get to a point that you prevent relapses. Still, relapses happen, so give yourself a break. Life with a mental illness is already too short. Don’t let relapse get you down.

As always. Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

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My Weekly Wrap up 10/23 – 10-29

This week was shorter since I made the decision to only write four blog posts this week. Unlike other weeks since this blogs inception, my posts have been getting longer and more into what will go into my memoir “The Bipolar Writer.”

To all my followers that have given me amazing feedback on my blog I thank-you, it has really given me the confidence in who I am as a writer. I think in the coming weeks I will consider asking people to share their own stories with me. I had a great idea for a book, a compilation of others like me with mental illnesses and their stories. I wouldn’t mind feedback on this and if you think it could be a reality. This project would be separate from my memoir, but if anyone is interested I will link my personal email at the end of this post.

What did we discuss this week?

` To me, the biggest post was my thoughts on a very important subject in my own life—suicide. It was perhaps one of the hardest posts to write, I have written one other post about suicide but from the position of how suicide affects families, so I took my time when writing this suicide piece. I shared my own experiences and then shared my thoughts on the subject. The piece that I wrote this week is going into my memoir, and I will further expand on it. I don’t normally free write a blog like I did (I usually outline it first) but it seemed worked out and I have gotten good feedback. If you haven’t read the piece, please do it really is a personal piece.

My Second Honest post was just me expressing my thoughts about things that were bothering me in the past few weeks, and especially about my friend who to this minute has not even contacted me to tell me she is alright. I have to ask her brother. All the feedback that I got is pushing me to just let it go for now, and it is what I decided to do. Hopefully one day I can repair the damage. I also touched somewhat on my depression cycles and breaking down when I last saw my therapist. It’s a good piece because it shows that even though things are going great in my life, my depression—mygreatestt companion—will always be there, but at least I know I can fight it.

One of the more interesting posts this week came in How the Change of Season Affects my Depression because this post was all about timing as we move from fall to winter months. My diagnosis of Bipolar One has always had a seasonal component because my depression is at its worse time of year, but I also talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I can trace some of the worst times to the period of November to at times to April and March. I tried to commit suicide for the first time Thanksgiving weekend 2007 and New Years 2008. One thing that developed this week was that for the first time since identifying that I am once again in a depression cycle that I stayed in bed yesterday way past when I woke up. I had been trying to make it habit to get out of bed right away like today. I will have to monitor this because it gets easier the more I stay in bed, and before long it will be every day.

If you haven’t read my blog post Sleep Hygiene – Top Ten Tips you really should.

What to expect in the coming weeks?

I have a huge list of topics to write about this week so it is possible that some subjects are going to be left for blog posts beyond this week. I am starting a new semester (I am almost done with my BA in creative writing with a specialization in fiction) so I may write 4-5 posts this week. I want to start posting some scenes from my screenplay Memory of Shane to get feedback. I think this week will be a great mixture of scenes and subjects like my experiences with medicine or more CBT information. I know I will be working on my social anxiety with my therapist so I can share my thoughts before and after. I will write as much as possible, as I also plan on writing at least five first draft chapters in my memoir this week.

J.E. Skye

jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com

Photo Credit: ​Thought Catalog