The Bipolar Disorder Book by Shay VillereBipolar Speaker & Author

Introduction

I have been there. I have been strapped to the bed in the Quiet Room. I have been through hundreds of hours of therapy. I have taken therapeutic drugs for the last fifteen years. I've been in the hospital five times because of my Bipolar Disorder. Can you tell a difference between myself and any other successful professional? Absolutely not, and I'll explain why: I know the secrets to beating the disease. I know how to push through all the pain. I know what patients need most when they are really hurting. And I know that when someone is sitting in the hospital, looking for some answers, they need to speak with someone like me - so I developed The Bipolar Disorder Manual. It contains all the information that a patient needs. The manual explains how to successfully complete a hospital stay, how to get back into the school/work routine, how to use a support system, how to get enough sleep, how to take medication and go to therapy, and most of all, it teaches patients how to stay alive!!!

Initial feelings

Well, here you are! You’ve got a mental disorder. It’s an illness that affects your emotions, your thoughts, your mood, and your life in general. You will now be dealing with medications, therapy, and regular visits to the doctor’s office. Is it a big problem? Yes. Can it be turned into a little problem? Yes. Will it destroy your life? Absolutely not, and here’s why:

You are angry. You don’t know why you have to deal with what you’re going through. You’re probably upset about the whole experience and you feel like you’d rather just rewind to a few months ago before you discovered that you are a little different than the mainstream population. You may have missed a little school or work time because of a hospital visit that probably lasted a week or two. Now you need to know how to deal with the overwhelming emotions going through your mind. Well, here’s the good news - today there are a number of solutions for patients with bipolar disorder. There are a large group of therapies, medications, and job opportunities that are available to folks who need them. So stop being angry! Help is definitely available.

You are probably feeling relatively helpless. Lately the thoughts that have been going through your mind have been some of the worst things you’ve ever imagined. You’ve been suicidal, angry, sad, and exuberant - all in the span of a few minutes! They have been an incredibly tough combination of emotions and you’re wondering how you’re going to deal with all of them for the remainder of your life. Plus, you’re probably losing a lot of sleep and you’re wondering if you’ll ever be able to relax again. Well, I have some good news for you. There are many of us that have done it! I can’t lie to you. We lose some folks. In extreme circumstances where the stress gets too high and the medical and social support isn’t strong enough, some patients die. But I’m one of the survivors, and I can show you how to be one too.

Take all of the feelings that have been flying through that noggin of yours...and share them! Tell everybody about them. Tell your doctors, your friends, and your family. Let everybody know what’s going on. The #1 rule to being bipolar is NOT KEEPING THINGS IN! Let everything out. And don’t spare a single feeling. Let everybody know everything. Even if you’re a secretive person, learn to share. Sharing your feelings is the most important lesson to successfully living with bipolar disorder. You will be using this technique for your entire life, so you might as well practice it now.

Relax! Don’t do stressful activities. Put everything on hold. Let go of the world for the next week or two. Give yourself some time to come down from everything you’ve just been through. Being in the hospital or going through several doctor’s visits is extremely hard for ANYBODY. Don’t bother stressing yourself out with extra duties. Take a break and get back to work after you have recovered.

Have some fun! Don’t take this to mean go out and get liquored up. At this point in your life the one thing you don’t need is drugs and/or alcohol. Not only can they interfere with your medications, but also folks with bipolar disorder can experience a TRUE loss of control when they are high/drunk. When I say, “Have fun!” I mean that you should do things you like to do. Whether it’s fishing, playing ball, traveling, whatever.... just do it! Like Nike says. Go out and have some fun! With the new adjustments in your life, you’re going to have to offset them with an additional amount of recreation. Odds are that some of your medications will create some unpleasant side effects. The more time you spend doing things you enjoy, the less brainpower you’ll waste focusing on your new situation.