What Would You Say to Someone Newly Diagnosed?

Healthline.com has asked me to become part of their campaign called, “You’ve Got This.”

They want me to make a 1-3 minute encouraging video about my journey for those who have just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Sounds like fun.  However, as I create the list, I find the list growing rather long- rather fast! Wondering if you would help with the list?

Here are a few things I have so far:

  • The sooner you come to terms with your diagnosis and work your treatment plan, the sooner you are on the road to getting back your life
  • Get enough sleep and watch your stress level
  • Be honest with your doctor- the more he/she knows, the more helpful  they can be.  If you don’t trust your doctor or believe they are the best at what they do, find another doctor
  • Find a positive and encouraging peer support group to attend.
  • Take your medicine.  Push past the side effects.  And if the side effects are too much, talk to your doctor. Don’t make decisions regarding your medicine without your doctor’s input and approval.
  • Don’t do street drugs. They interfere with the prescribed medicine. Yes,  even marijuana does. You certainly won’t get better because of them and they will most likely only impede your recovery.
  • Know the difference between a feeling and a mood.
  • Know the difference between emotional issues verses the symptoms of  bipolar.
  • You can live a rich life in spite of this disorder or you can become the victim of it.  You get to decide.
  • Know that you are not alone.

These are some things that I have found true for myself in the recovery process since I was diagnosed some 18 years ago now.  What have you found? What would you tell someone who has been newly diagnosed?

 

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