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Two Writing Teachers.
Today is World Bipolar Day. Did you know it’s celebrated today on the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh? He was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder. The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate social stigma.
Husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder nine years ago. It was a matter of getting him in front of the right doctor at the right time. Dr. A. only listened to husband with his clipped, non-tangental speech for five minutes and made the diagnosis. All the pieces of husband’s life fell in place. And it explained so much.
I love him dearly. He can be a handful. So thankful that he doesn’t fight the meds but they can be challenging. In 2011, we went on a cruise for his 60th birthday. Well, a month out the doctor changed his meds to lithium. Do Not Change prescriptions just before a trip. Lithium being a natural salt is tricky. You have to monitor it closely and drink enough fluids and hot weather can affect it. He ended up with restless legs, a side effect and the warm weather of the Caribbean made it difficult to regulate the medicine. He was miserable.
Today he’s takes medication that works for him. Mood monitoring is important. REgualr visits to his psychiatrist are required. Sometimes husband’s reality and my reality don’t match and the doctor needs to know that. Downsizing last summer has been a big help. When we had the house and the quarter acre of yard, it was overwhelming for husband.
Self care is important for me as his caregiver. There are days that I am frustrated with the disease, sometimes his thinking isn’t clear. I must remember this is part of the disease.
Writing is key to my care. Retreats like this weekend is part of my self care. I just found this great site for care givers: Bipolar Caregivers. I am thankful mental illness is slowly coming out of the shadows. The stigma needs to be removed.
Do you know someone with Bipolar Disorder or a caregiver of someone with the disorder? Embrace them with kindness and compassion.