Both depression and mania can be master manipulators—playing
tricks on our mind, convincing us to believe things that just aren’t true. Whether
it’s challenging the negative thought loops or recognizing the patterns of
fabrications in how we perceive the world around us, simply being aware of the
fact that we can’t always believe everything we think can help keep us
Lie #1: “I’m not deserving of love”
When we are in an unstable period and grappling with extreme
mood shifts, our thoughts have a habit of turning on us. The nature of bipolar
can contribute to bouts of unworthiness and low self-esteem, with a constant
refrain of thinking we aren’t deserving of love. When we accept the diagnosis
and make caring for ourselves a priority, we can learn to love ourselves and
not buy into this common misbelief.
Lie #2: “I’ll never have a healthy, fulfilling relationship”
Some of us may have experienced a painful break-up, or more
than one, which was then followed by us believing—thanks to bipolar’s
manipulation—that we’ll never have a loving commitment again. This is not true.
The first and most important step is to come to terms with the diagnosis, then
realize that with a proper management and treatment plan, a regular and stable
life (and relationship!) is possible.
Lie #3: “I am flawed”
First of all, bipolar is not a defect or a sign of emotional
instability. It is a brain-based mood disorder that can be managed with proper
treatment. Scan through the myriad articles and first-person accounts on bphope
and you’ll readily find others who have identified their own benefits of
bipolar. Yes, benefits. Being creative, empathetic, and sensitive,
embracing a natural go-getter mind-set, and having a zest for life are all
Lie #4: “I’m better, so I don’t need my medication”
believe this when we don’t entirely accept or understand our diagnosis. It may feel
easier to deny the bipolar than to come to terms with living with a mood
disorder, especially if self-stigma is an issue. The truth is that any life
trigger can risk our stability, so adhering to a prescribed medication or
treatment plan is a crucial part of managing bipolar and maintaining that
Lie #5: “I’ll never feel happy again”
It’s common to believe that the pain we feel while in a depressive episode is permanent. At that time, it can be difficult to imagine that the dark veil will ever lift. But, as we know, the illusion of permanence is just that: an illusion. While finding the lightness that comes with stability after a depressive episode may take longer than we had hoped, realizing that bipolar depression is a temporary state can make it more bearable to endure.
Lie #6: “I don’t need sleep”
This is misbelief is especially common when we’re in a
hypomanic or manic state. We fall for the falsehood that when we’re feeling
productive, getting sleep is a waste of valuable time. In fact, during these
times, it’s critical to remember that a regular sleep schedule can regulate our
wellness. One of the best rules is to go to bed at the same time each night and
get up at the same time each morning—seven days a week.
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