Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Habit of Healthy Choices

Many of us have heard the phrase, I have bipolar but bipolar doesn’t have me! (Or, sometimes, I have depression but depression doesn’t have me!)

This can be especially true for those of us with loved ones who are doing everything they possibly can to assure their own ongoing stability and the enjoyment that comes with managed recovery. As companions, family members and caregivers, we can all feel blessed when someone we care very much about is consistently highly functional and maintains a daily habit of making healthy choices. Choices like:

  • Getting adequate sleep each night.
  • Eating regular, nutritious and balanced meals while maintaining weight control.
  • Following all aspects of their treatment plan and not deviating from the plan without first discussing any possible changes with their doctor.
  • Staying sober--no alcohol or un-prescribed drugs…ever.
  • Seeing their therapist…regularly.
  • Attending a support group…regularly.
  • Successfully avoiding all “triggers” (stressful situations, people, choices that can bring about anxiety and other emotional upsets).

Someone with a brain illness who is experiencing ongoing stability can see how recovering from a disabling mood disorder is always more successful when done with others in supportive roles. They also usually realize recovery is rarely successful when going it alone.

When our loved one has a mood disorder but their disorder doesn’t have them, we know it. And we know, too, it will never have us, either.

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