Reflections on my Mental Health – 2018

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I can’t believe that we are already here at the end of another year. I grew a lot this year in my mental health, and I have seen the fruits of writing The Bipolar Writer blog.

This mental illness life is never easy, but I am glad where I am at with my illness. I still have a long way to go, but I can take what I learned into the new year. Perhaps the most significant win in my mental health in 2018 is with my depression. I had my share of depression. Going into 2018, I started with a small depression cycle that I got out of by early January. The worst of my depression started in March and ended in May, it was tough going, but this blog kept me whole.

The best thing was my decision in July to stop antidepressants all together (I have a long  history with antidepressants.) It was tough at first. I relied upon antidepressants for years, and the transition was a struggle. By October, I could see some real change. Being honest it was a fantastic experience because I have learned to deal with my depression without antidepressants. My depression has been at its lowest levels since I was a teen. I still have bad days. In this Bipolar life, depression will always be my most familiar companion.

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My greatest struggle 2018 has been my social anxiety. I knew this going into the year, and while I have been working on getting back to the time when anxiety was not an issue, there is a lot of work to be done.

The worst part comes from the isolation that tends to happen when my anxiety is spiraling. I get comfortable with being alone that it becomes an everyday thing. I tend to revert to my natural state which is being an introvert. I am comfortable staying in and working. Everything from being a writer, a student, and a freelance writer allows me to stay within my comfort zone. I end up losing weeks at a time to isolation, and to be honest, it is just easier. I know that has to change in the new year (I will write my goals for 2019 in another post.)

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Sleep.

It has been so elusive in my life. It is always a struggle to get sleep– getting to sleep–and having an uninterrupted sleep while sleeping. Wow, that was a more than a mouthful. I know this struggle is the hardest to understand what is going on because of the medication, I can’t sleep without my Seroquel.  Sleep was so hard for me going up and into my adult life. I would go days without sleep (this is possibly due to mania which is why I have always taken Seroquel) and it would be worse without having Seroquel in my system.

One thing that has been on my mind is my Seroquel. I am not sure if it right for me, but I am lost without it. I have a new psychiatrist (no idea how permanent this one is), and one of the areas I need to work on is sleep. I plan on going back to my sleep doctor who will help if I stick to what the doctor way says.

2018 has been a decent year, maybe my best. What I learned and everything that I have written over the past year has helped me grow. I have a better understanding of my mental health than I did in 2017. What I have learned most is that we can always keep fighting, and always keep getting better.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Crazy nana

meagan paddock

Claudia Mañas

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