Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Coping Strategies

Bipolar Disorder or Manic-Depressive Illness is a chronic and life-long illness. It is imperative for me to learn as much about this illness as possible and how best to manage it so that I can continue to serve God.

Thank God for His mercies upon me daily. I know that He has a purpose for allowing this illness in my life. It will continue to work for His glory and my good, and that of His people too. I thank God for His presence with me as that is my greatest comfort and strength in my battle with this illness. I also thank God for the prayers and encouragements of many friends and family members. I thank God that I live in a community of people who love God and love me with an extraordinary unconditional Christ-like love. To God and to them I owe a debt that I can't pay. I can only seek to walk with God and glorify Him and serve Him and His people to the best of my abilities and as the Lord Himself enable me.

I thank God for making available various means and resources to enable me to understand my illness and to manage it better so that I can be more functional and useful for the Lord.

One important thing I realize in my learning to manage this illness, is the importance of accepting it. I have heard of others sharing about how their loved ones would not accept the fact that they are unwell and need help. Some reject medications because of the long term side-effects while others refuse to believe that they are ill.

For me to know that I am suffering from an illness and that it has a name for it, is a great relief to me. To finally understand that my past roller coaster life was due to this illness, my ups were shaped by the hypomania while my down by the depression, helps to unveil the mysterious and confusing pasts. It helps me to understand myself better and how this illness shaped my life.

I hope to share with you how the Lord is teaching me and equiping me to manage this illness better. I am still in the process of learning to make use of all the means and resources, and still in the midst of discovering new ones. I will do so slowly. So stay tune to my next posting for the Lord's leadings and provisions :-)


My Coping Strategies:

1. Looking to God

2. Accepting the diagnosis

3. Medical Helps

4. Balance lifestyle

4a. Exercise

4b. Omega-3 fish oil supplements

5. Research and readings

6. Mood tracking and Journalling

7. Learning to cope with stress and challenges

8. Leisure, hobbies and recreations

9. Support Network (family, church, friends, etc)

10. Counselling / Talk Therapy

11. Correcting faulty thoughts patterns

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