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Sweating the small stuff; staying organised with bipolar

HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
919
Location
London, UK
Dear all,

Haven't posted for a while due to some personal circumstances that some of you may be aware of, but I'm back now.

On the whole, I've been in a good place lately. My meds have been sorted, I've been stable for months, back to working and studying, keeping up with friends etc. Pretty on top of things.

However, one thing that has been bugging me is that I keep finding minor technical problems in my life that I need to sort out and have been putting off for a while due to feeling unwell. Chasing down prescriptions, notes from my doctors, applications for stuff etc etc. It always seems that whenever I sort out one problem, 10 more pop up. Its like playing whack-a-mole! I used to be pretty on top of my life and handle this well, but ever since I got sick, I've really started to sweat the small stuff. I'm typically very intolerant of red-tape and beurocracy and yet this seems to be the thing that most occupies my time now. I hate it because I have a lot of other priorities that I have to be focusing on right now and yet I have these little things that I always have to play catch up with.

This might seem like a trivial matter to most, but in the grand scheme of things its important to take care of the pennies such that the pounds will take care of themselves. Anyways, I mostly just wrote this to vent, but if anyone can relate and/or offer any productivity tips to stay organised while being bipolar would really appreciate.

Thank you.

-H
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
8,340
Location
England
You are working, socialising and studying, and finding keeping organised difficult. I cannot do all four of those things. I think you are doing well to manage the first 3 and so something has to suffer, maybe it is organisation? Can you cut back on the others to give yourself more time. Can you work 4 days in stead of 5? something like that?

How do you manage it? I find since my first episode i cannot do half the things i used to.
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
919
Location
London, UK
You are working, socialising and studying, and finding keeping organised difficult. I cannot do all four of those things. I think you are doing well to manage the first 3 and so something has to suffer, maybe it is organisation? Can you cut back on the others to give yourself more time. Can you work 4 days in stead of 5? something like that?

How do you manage it? I find since my first episode i cannot do half the things i used to.
Ahahha, I know it sounds impressive on paper but in practice my life is pretty stagnant compared to the way it used to be. I only am just now beggining to dig my way out of this hole that is bipolar disorder. I'm going back to uni in sept so I have to be doing a lot better if I am to keep up with what is needed of me. Its a very high pressure environment, but I love education, its what I want to do and I realised that I could not live life any other way. It might not seem fair to put yourself under more pressure on top of batteling a mental illness but the simple truth is that life isn't fair. If you want to achieve something you will have to make sacrifices. Maybe its a risk, but in my book its worth taking, to live life rather that to just exist.

To answer your question, it has not been a very straightforward path for me and I am far from being out of the woods. I had essentially had to drop out of university and put my entire life on pause for 2 years. During that time I went through depression, mania, psychosis, substance abuse, unemployment and heavy denial of my problems. However, eventually at the urging of my parents I went to see a fantastic psychiatrist who helped me out when I was at my breaking point. He put me back on the right track. For the next few months I would obssesively read all there is to know about bipolar disorder and its possible treatments. Working alongside 3 different psychiatrists, I selected the medications that seemed right for me. After a process of trial and error lasting around 9 months I finally found the right meds that work for me such as to minimise side effects and cross-interactions. I am currently on the following regiment:
-Lamotrigine 200mg (mood stabiliser; for depression)
- Aripiprazole 5mg (antipsychotic; for mania and psychosis)
-Lisdexafetamine (Stimulant; for ADHD and has the added benefit of combating the mental fatigue caused by bipolar)

I do not like the idea of taking 3 medications just to function throughout the day, but it is certainly better than the alternative. I have done extensive reasearch on these meds and they appear to be best possible combination for me with the least side effects and greatest benefit. About as good as crazy pills get.

I am definately feeling a lot better now and am able to go about my day pretty much as usual, but there is still a lot to be done. So far I have had a pretty cushy lifestyle of living at home with zero responsibilities. In september that is going to change and I have to be ready for that. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist booked in august where we will do a final review of everything; I am considering changing the aripiprazole to quetiapine to reduce interaction with lisdexafetamine; but I'm not sure just yet, have to wait and see. I will be starting a course of psychotherapy next month to try and address some of my anxiety/additional mental problems that I have which will be a good supplement to the meds. I am exercising 4 times a week with my friends and I might even renew my memebership at the gym. So far so good. As I said, on paper this looks impressive but when normal life restarts, thats when this will all be put to the test. I can't help but shake the feeling that I'm not doing enough.
 
C

CabbageMama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
668
Location
UK
My GP surgery has a weird system in which you have to request your prescription each time before it is due. You can’t do it too far in advance, but they require 48 business hours to process it. All my prescriptions fell on different dates, so it ended up being a bit of a juggling act remembering when to request, whether I had, then collect on different days. I felt quite overwhelmed by it, but just got on with it. Then as I started to feel better, I realised how ridiculous it all was, emailed the Surgery to explain what was happening and asked them to organise my prescriptions to all be issued at the same time. A tiny thing, but one that has made a big difference. There might be some ‘short cuts’ you could make? Setting reminders for stuff, rather than having to keep checking when they are, things like that. I spent almost all of Thursday believing it was Wednesday, so perhaps not the best person to advise... I’m trying to get back to work at the moment and, I swear, the process of doing so is more stressful than actually working. I think you are champing at the bit for September to be here, so that you can move on to your next proper phase, that is probably going to make you feel niggled about things that take up your brain space, but feel unnecessary.
 
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