Tag Archives: Mania

Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

So today I’m finding it more of a challenge to feel positive.

Today I’m feeling the effects of the hot weather here in the UK. I’m extremely tired (probably through poor quality, broken sleep) and cranky and my energy feels low.

It is on days like this that I find my spiritual and positive intentions more difficult to achieve.

And I think that is very normal- even though I’ve spent portions of today letting my mind run with thoughts of: “why can’t I just get on with things?”, “why am I so lazy?”, “why am I so unmotivated”, “I feel so useless”.

Okay, so I really am just being very normal. I may have been brought up to believe I should always be grateful, and joyful and have a smile on my face, but this is totally unrealistic, and not a match to who I truly am.

It’s ok for me to feel fed up and frustrated with myself. It’s normal!

But I can feel better if I want to.

And that’s where my post from two days ago fits in (see Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder). I strongly recommend reading this first before continuing here.

At the end of the post I asked a few questions that I intended to answer in further posts. Well, here I am considering the question:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

To answer this a familiarity with The Emotional Guidance Scale as offered in Esther and Jerry Hicks book Ask and It Is Given.

emotionalguidancescale

As you can see, the scale lists different emotions and they are ordered as such that the emotions at the top of the scale are those that will feel good to us, and those at the bottom will feel bad.

There is a continuum implied whereby number 9: Pessimism will feel better to us emotionally than number 10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience. Number 1. Joy, will feel better to us than number 5. Optimism, which in turn will feel better than number 7. Contentment.

Of course, this is a much simplified perspective of our complex range of human emotion, and what feels good or bad to each person is going to vary.

You might argue that some people feel good when raging at other people, or harming them in some way- they get some kind of energy or kick out of it?! But this may only feel good to them in comparison with how they were feeling before- extremely guilty perhaps?

So too, I would add the emotion of shame to the bottom of the list, and peace to the top of the list. We can all tweak it in a way that speaks most accurately to ourselves.

Moving Around the Scale

So yesterday I shared the experience of mania as described by Abraham:

“If you didn’t eat for about a week and someone turned up with a pizza, we’d see mania.”

I love this!! Suddenly we have the most enthusiasm for pizza we’ve ever had in our lives.

Abraham is talking about pizza as us being in alignment to who we truly are, about being in alignment with Source energy. To us this may be being in the creative flow of writing a book or making art, or feeling a sense of peace, joy and being at one with the world, after a period of us somehow blocking this flow- perhaps due to feelings of unworthiness, lack of self-belief etc. So when we get back into this flow- wow!! It feels so good!

I know this feeling! Suddenly I feel I have purpose in my life again when I allow that stream of energy to flow. When I don’t block it with my beliefs of my own limitation. I feel free and alive and everything feels so right and the sense of euphoria can be so intoxicating!

But if we do block it again, maybe with a belief that this wonderful feeling can’t possibly last, and become scared of losing it- we then plummet into the lower energies and completely disconnect from Source energy, from who we truly are.

So, back to the question I posed earlier:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

Well, to me the answer seems to be to eat pizza more regularly, so we don’t get hungry.

I’m serious!

If pizza represents the actions that align us with who we truly are, with Source energy, then we won’t ever be completely disconnected.

Quite often for those of us labelled with bipolar disorder, our powerful flow of energy goes against the grain of society. We may love to do unconventional things with our creativity for example, but have been criticised for this- which encourages us to stop. Stopping equals being out of alignment with who we truly are, with Source energy. It may be very challenging for us to be who we really are!!

The energy of someone with bipolar disorder I see as a wild, powerful stallion running free. To be able to ride the horse or use it purposefully, the stallion needs some kind of taming and training. The energy is directed. (This is just an analogy and I’m all for horses being wild and free, it just makes sense to me this way!)

We can manage our own energy by learning to take ourselves up the emotional guidance scale. We need to “be ourselves”, allow our creativity etc. often, regularly! We need to feed our hunger for being in alignment with source energy, so that we don’t become ravenous with hunger for it!! If we do this then we will be able to stop and rest, rather than stay up for nights on end writing or creating in any other way. We won’t become so “high”, but our positivity will remain more stable and manageable. Our energy won’t increase so intensely that we want to clean our houses all night or be so manically optimistic that we make unwise decisions with our money. Just examples of course. No doubt you’ll have your own particular manic ways!!

Therefore we are much less likely to dip so low into depression. We will come to realise that we are never truly without Source energy expressing itself through us- we are always living as our true self. There is never any loss of connection with it- which is where depression comes from.

This all makes sense to me, but if it doesn’t make sense to you please feel free to comment and I will try and explain as best I can.

I do realise that these concepts are pretty “out there” in terms of modern-day psychiatry and societal understanding. If it resonates with you- great! If it doesn’t, that’s ok- just move onto whatever does! (Just please don’t tell me. )

The Emotional Guidance Scale

So, instead of us bouncing from a 1 to a 22 on the Emotional Guidance Scale, we can use it a bit more gently and learn what feels a bit better (not a million times better).

We can learn what brings us up from a 1 to a 2, or from a 7 to a 9.

These may be simple action steps such as taking a shower, or chatting to a friend. They may be more profound and involve creating or learning in some way.

I’m definitely still learning this, but over the last 18 years of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (and yes I am on medication and would never recommend coming off any you are taking without consulting your doctor), things have got easier.

I know I feel better when I go for a walk in the morning with my dog.

I know I feel better if I eat toast for breakfast rather than chocolate.

I know I feel better when my hair is freshly washed.

I know I feel better when I’m playing the flute.

I still have days where I’m lower down the scale, but I think I’m better at getting myself back up the scale again at a more gentle pace. So that means no spending loads of money on my credit card on beautiful things I don’t need- that puts me up to a 1, but only lasts for a short time!! Then I feel worse at the accumulation of debt, and have probably forgotten all about said beautiful things which are now crumpled up at the bottom of my wardrobe. Back down to 22 we go!

I think it’s all about us learning how to use our powerful energy in a way which feels good to us all the time. Not amazingly, overwhelmingly, euphorically good, but a more gentle, fulfilled, positive kind of good, which is way more manageable.

We need to keep asking ourselves “what feels better than this?”, even if it’s just a little bit better.

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation.

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction).

Resources

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Abraham Hicks on You Tube

Abraham Hicks- Just to Live Your Life With Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder- Abraham Hicks

Bipolar Depression and Suicidal Feelings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Newly Diagnosed Bipolar: You’ve Got This!

Healthline have just launched a video campaign for bipolar disorder called “You’ve Got This” where bipolar patients can record a short video to give hope and inspiration to those recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this

Healthline will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to To Write Love On Her Arms, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we’ll receive and the more Healthline can donate to research, support, and treatment programs for mental health disorders.

Below is a beautiful video posted by Julie about her experiences with Bipolar Disorder:

Related Posts

To Write Love On Her Arms

Resources

Healthline

To Write Love On Her Arms

 

Christmas- Cooling Off!

Xmas RachI LOVE Christmas- the lights, the carols, the Christmas story, the Christmas films, the food, the general merry-ment.

This year I find myself questioning more and more the concept of gift-giving. Am I really giving a gift when what I am really doing is fulfilling somebody else’s expectation that they receive a gift from me- and vice versa I guess?

I love buying presents! I love the aha moment of- “oh this person would love this gift!” Then I feel I’m truly giving from the heart.

Maybe it isn’t the gift-giving itself, but rather the way I shop that makes it feel a bit mechanical- sounds a bit weird! Maybe it would feel more fun going to small businesses and craft stalls to buy presents. Maybe I’m just giving this too much thought LOL!

Anyway I think I’m getting a bit mind-spinny from all the shopping and could do with some general calming-down. So today I’m going to be meditating, playing the piano and drawing, amidst a bit of present-wrapping. Need some mind-cooling, right-brained, creative activity. If you haven’t read this fab article about the over-heated mind, I think it fits in very nicely with hypomania & obsessive, racey-thoughts in general:

“Your Brain Is Like A Nuclear Reactor. Avoid Meltdowns, Keep It Cool.”  By Word From The Well.

I’m thinking peaceful thoughts from now on and remembering to keep grounded.

Bach Flower Remedies which really help to keep the hypomanic-type mind balanced and calm:

Vervain; White Chestnut; Chestnut Bud; Cherry Plum; Impatiens.

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Related Posts

Crazy-Hypomanic Birthday Shopping

A Christmas Present To Ourselves

Hypomania & Grounding

Bach Flower Remedies

Suppressed Anger & Fears of Abandonment

Does anyone else have difficulty owning their anger? By this I mean do you find that you get angry with yourself when you feel anger towards another person, if that makes any sense?!

Basically I feel very uncomfortable with my own anger towards others and I’m trying to work through this issue.

Any anger I feel towards a friend or loved one I struggle to deal with. I think it might be due to a fear of abandonment: if I’m angry with those I love- I might push them away, which is always the last thing I want!

Black & White Thinking

My thinking around all this is probably very black & white, which is a well known cognitive distortion in those with psychological issues. If I feel angry I judge this as a “bad” feeling. I often transfer this to thinking that I am a “bad” person for feeling “bad” emotions.

Black & White Thinking & Bipolar Disorder

To me, black & white thinking & beliefs seem to merge very well with the idea of Bipolar Disorder. The word Bipolar means two polar opposites- such as hot and cold, or indeed, black & white.

As we develop through childhood, do we learn to see ourselves as all good or all bad?

Do we reject the bad side of ourselves & embrace only the good?- Hypomania/Mania.

Do we accept only the bad and none of the good?- Depression.

Depression is sometimes thought to be caused by suppressed anger– anger that we consciously push out of our awareness or ignore. In an attempt to process these emotions- which never really leave our whole being- we automatically turn them around to ourselves. We may have been brought up to believe that it is safer to be angry with ourselves than with others. Being angry with others may have caused very difficult circumstances in key relationships. A deep fear of abandonment by caregivers is obviously something a child is very likely to feel as their parents are absolutely essential to their existence as they see it.

Traumatic Experiences With Anger & RageID-1007128

If we deal with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, we may have had particularly traumatic rages with others, which we felt were so powerful they overtook us completely. This can be a very scary experience and one that we would do anything to stop from recurring.

High Sensitivity

If we are also Highly Sensitive (take the test here) we will likely process seemingly smaller behavioural clues as rejection or abandonment: thereby increasing the likelihood of Bipolar Disorder, Depression & Anxiety occurring in later life.

One of the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is described as “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.”

Any anger we experience towards someone we love may then be construed as a threat to our safety and therefore a potential danger in provoking this abandonment.

ID-100156695Bullying as Abandonment

Abandonment can also be seen to be a rejection by our peers. We are isolated as different and therefore a target for teasing and abuse. This creates an intense feeling of isolation and loneliness- effectively abandonment by peers.

Abandonment by God

I often think there is a real link between religion and psychological disorders. If we were brought up to believe that we were “bad” for feeling angry towards our “elders”, or that it was in some way unacceptable, we may have grasped hold of the idea that we could possibly go to “hell” for these feelings. We would therefore be rejected by God and cast out.

It all sounds very extreme and is initiated by such prehistoric religious ideas  (in my opinion) that are still circulating today.

(My idea of God is now very different- a belief in a loving, forgiving God who would never abandon any one of us. It is only us who can abandon Him.)

Suppressing Anger As A Coping Mechanism

We suppress our anger as we view it to be so dangerous to our wellbeing. It is the way we have learned to cope with our deep-seated fear of rejection.

To move forward we need to address and question this belief. Is it still relevant in our adult lives? Are we capable of taking care of ourselves? Do we love ourselves enough to take on challenges ourselves? Why do we feel we NEED other people so desperately for our basic survival?

We could identify situations we have handled on our own and feel a sense of accomplishment in that. Or challenge ourselves to participating in something just a little scary, but fun, to increase our confidence in ourselves.

Inner Child Visualization.

It is also helpful to travel back through our memories of childhood and identify times where we felt desperately abandoned. What happened? How did it feel?

Imagine your little-self and how you would comfort yourself if you could travel back and be with her/him now to support them. As your little self, imagine that love and support coming to you. If spiritual, you may like to imagine a beautiful guardian angel enfolding you in her/his protective wings.

Stepping Into Our PowerID-10021637

We are powerful beings, though it may not always feel this way. We have choices in life- choices in how we deal with emotions, situations, challenges, how we perceive things, etc.

By increasing the feelings of confidence in ourselves, we can rely on ourselves more and feel less fear of abandonment. Potentially we will then have no need to suppress our own feelings of anger as we step into our own powerful selves. We will learn to embrace our own anger as an emotion which can teach us about ourselves, and one that we can eventually become comfortable with. It will not cause our loved ones to abandon us. It is safe to feel angry. It may not feel this way yet, but imagine your own confidence growing as you experience and deal effectively with it. We are powerful enough to take charge of such a powerful emotion and use it to initiate healthy change in our relationships.

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder- Repressed Anger

Bach Flower Remedy Consultation: Anger and Low Motivation

Take Back Your Power

Changing The Mind- Programming

Little Me and the Angel

Resources & Links

What is Suppressed Anger?

Cognitive Distortion: How Does Black & White Thinking Hurt Us?

Subservient Anger in Bipolarity

What is the Relationship Between Anger & Depression?

Highly Sensitive Person Self-Test.

Borderline Personality: Diagnostic Criteria

Photo Credits: Storm by dan; Sun by graur codrin; Lonely Girl by Sira Anamwong; all via freedigitalphotos.net.

Manic Over-Commitment & Quitting

I’m reblogging a post from last year. I had a really interesting comment on it yesterday, from Ashley, which is worth looking at- maybe you can help??

I’m happily in a much better headspace now- but the whole topic of manic over-commitment and quitting is still valid and appropriate I believe!!

Emotional Wellness

 Today I learnt of a recurring theme in my life: quitting. When I was 10 I quit ballet lessons, 11 I quit flute lessons, 12 tap lessons, 15 horse riding……on to age 22 I quit my degree at University of Leeds- the list goes on. Needless to say those hobbies I quit as a child, I’ve returned to and quit again at numerous times of my life.

I realised that I’ve never really learnt to follow through with anything. As soon as the going gets tough, the weak give up. Maybe there have been good reasons for me to quit many of the things I’ve started, but I’ve also started many things I never should have- like full time jobs in the middle of hypomania. When hypomanic, it is sooo easy to want to do everything, here’s my usual list:

Full time job (where I will naturally have a…

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Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

I’ve just added a new page detailing the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. It’s very wordy, so I’ll definitely be looking into improving the format. Right now I just wanted to get the info up. Hope it is useful.

Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

Holiday Survival Tactics

Holiday Survival Tactics: reblogged from A Mind Divided.

I can really relate to this post by Sandy Sue of A Mind Divided. She talks about how the change of routine caused by public holidays can really throw her out of sync, and how she has coped with Hypomania during the holidays. Watch out for the Bipolar Agitation Fairy!

Photo Credit: nuttakit via freedigitalphotos.net.

Hypomania & Grounding

I had this whole post set up in my head for today about Leonardo da Vinci (oooooo look at me getting all academic). That plan has had a temporary spanner put in the works by a sudden hypomanic spurt brought on yesterday evening by a social event.

I’ve been in a fairly anxious state for a week or two now with a bit of unsteadiness on my feet, which could be prodromal hypomania symptoms for me.

During the social event yesterday I found myself becoming more and more excitable, confident, grandiose and quick to spout out jokes. Afterwards I actually slept fine. But this morning my thoughts have been racing a-mile-a-minute round and round, making me giddy! I’ve been having all these ideas for posts that I can’t keep up with. I’ve felt an intense pressure to do things as quickly as possible in the most effective way- it almost becomes like a game where I challenge myself to do a certain task in a certain amount of time. I also felt a strong pressure coming from my solar plexus- almost to the point of a stomach ache.

I tried a few different methods to try to calm myself down as I couldn’t concentrate sufficiently to write my intended post. But nothing seemed to be working. So I rang my spiritual development teacher Dawn (she’s the one who prescribes me Bach Flower Remedies and is a total life saver!). She immediately recognised I wasn’t grounded. Grounding is a term used to describe the practice of directing the energy coursing in and around our bodies down to our feet and through the ground, often in the manner of roots growing out of our feet into the earth. Once grounded your body feels weighted to the ground and brings a feeling of security and steadiness.

I told her I’d repeatedly tried these grounding visualizations, but today they didn’t seem to be having an effect. She suggested trying out different methods to ground myself- and that sometimes we have to use a bit of trial and error to work out what is most effective for us.

So far I have been hoovering, listening to music, using grounding aromatherapy oils like patchouli, sitting crossed-legged on the floor and drawing. I’ve also taken Bach Flower Remedies Vervain and White Chestnut, as well as Rescue Remedy. It only took about 15-20 minutes for me to feel calmer and more rooted to the ground. My thoughts are still a little fast, but nowhere near as speedy as before- I can concentrate now. Only trouble is I’ve tried so much all at once that I don’t know which ones have worked the best!! :).

By taking the time to ground ourselves a few times everyday, we are putting ourselves in a strong position where it is much less likely that we will become hypomanic or plagued with anxiety and panic. So it really is worth trying out different activities to see what works for you!

For details on what it feels like to be ungrounded, and tips on how to ground yourself, please see the following fabulously informative article:

What is Grounding/Earthing?

 

Other Interesting Articles on Grounding

Tool When You Feel Ungrounded

Staying Safe  (Grounding in relation to trauma- PTSD/BPD/Abuse)

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Mania or Hypomania?

I’ve always wondered how hypomanic you have to be before the episode is then classed as manic? Where is the line drawn between the two states?

Mania is the more severe state experienced on the up swing, characterised by high energy, high impulsivity, grandiosity, delusions, huge spending sprees, poor judgements in business/relationships/home life etc.

By comparison hypomania has always been thought of as a milder version of mania. However what I have experienced in the past has been anything but “mild” to me.

The wonderful euphoria that wafts through my spirit during early-phase hypomania is just such an amazing experience. Everything feels so “right”, I feel I can do anything in the world I want to do and be mega-successful at it. I feel “special” and at one with the universe. I feel I have a divine purpose. My body feels as if it has blazing energy bursting out of each cell. I talk too much, talk over people, don’t listen, think I’m right, everybody else is wrong, I must win every discussion, I must have the most attention- I’m funny and witty and people love me!! That’s honestly how you think when you’re hypomanic! You cannot possibly see how anything could go wrong in your life.

After a while though, in the background, is a droning pressure to keep moving, keep doing, keep talking, talk louder, don’t stop, DON’T STOP! You have a nagging inkling that if you stop, your whole world could fall apart.

Of course eventually it does fall apart and soon the arguments come, the tears, the extreme irritability which can easily turn to rage. Sleep is in fits and starts. There’s a grating restlessness that is insatiable and feels extremely uncomfortable. The intense urges to self-harm and aggressive impulses to tear at your arm with a knife are torture. Sometimes I don’t think I really realised at the time how ill I was until after I got better. Then I would realize what a total arse I had been to people, how horribly I had treated people I love and how much disruption had been caused in my life at work (I have been fired before when I was hypomanic) and at home.

The fall-out of hypomania is also painful: relationships may have suffered, sometimes fatally, debts may have been racked up. I’ve done some silly and sometimes dangerous things when hypomanic. You have no sense of risk.

So when the hell does all of this turn to mania? Because it seems to me that my moods were pretty intense. Do you, on impulse, need to have racked up thousands of pounds worth of debt, or think you’re Jesus? Do you have to have been hospitalized? (Thankfully I never have been).

At what point does a psychiatrist say this patient is manic?

I guess in my head I’ve always thought this depends more on the patient’s awareness. If he is spouting off gibberish over and over, or thinks he’s Simon Cowell’s best friend and seriously, seriously believes all this stuff, I guess this is true delusion and would be classed as mania. In my head I’ve always thought that if someone needs to be hospitalized with an upswing, the patient must have lost touch with reality and is now unable to look after themselves.

This is all my personal opinion, so please don’t take as fact!

Related post really worth reading by Purple Persuasion: Installing Bipolar v1.5.

Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos

Bipolar, Border Collies & Balance

On my dog-walk this morning we bumped into Sue, another regular dog-walker, who has the most beautiful Border Collie (sheepdog) called Tara. Tara is usually fairly excitable and eager to be fussed, but today she was more subdued. Immediately Sue shared that Tara has been having bad fits regularly over the last few weeks. The vet’s treating her for epilepsy.

Apparently epilepsy is a common condition in Border Collies. Sue mentioned that the vet advised her to keep Tara as relaxed as possible and give her lots of piece and quiet as stress can be one of the triggers to fitting. (From what Sue told me, her house is dominated by her boisterous older kids, so can be a little chaotic!).

Border Collies and Balance

Border Collies are highly sensitive dogs that are very high maintenance. They were bred to be working all day in the fields, rounding up sheep. Even dogs kept as pets need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom. A bored Border Collie can easily become snappy and aggressive, destructive and obsessive- they will stare at shadows for ages and fixate on them, or become obsessed with bringing their ball to you to be thrown. (I’ve experienced this one first hand- these animals have insatiable appetites for play and interaction).

However, they also need a fairly stress-free environment to live in. They are especially sensitive to noise and can easily become chronically stressed if living amidst chaos, which in Tara’s case, could possibly have triggered her epilepsy.

But a happy, healthy border collie is capable of amazing achievement, evident in agility competitions, performing routines to music and of course their fantastic work with sheep farmers.

How does this relate to Bipolar Disorder?

This got me to thinking how closely the Border Collie resembles us Bipolar people! We are often high maintenance too and need to find a happy balance in life, just like the dogs!

Depression: As bipolar sufferers we are usually intelligent, creative and have a need to be stimulated in these ways in order to prevent boredom. Boredom in Bipolar often leads us to fixate on our thoughts and become obsessive, anxious, depressed or irritable.

Without a purpose we are liable to analysing every little thing we do or don’t do, often judging and criticising ourselves in the process. We can eat up our souls with our innate ability to analyse ourselves negatively. Our minds are hungry to work and without mastery, they run along of their own accord, often with negative consequences for us!

Hypomania/Mania: On the flip-side, if we spend too much time working, we are likely to end in a similar situation or possibly with hypomania or mania.

We are so intense in our focus, with many many ideas- so many that we often have to work faster and faster to keep up with our minds. The highs we can get from immersion in our occupation can then be exacerbated when, feeling so confident and drunk on life, we go to too many social events/nightclubs or spend too much time shopping. Mania here we come!

Peace and quiet are therefore essential in keeping us from becoming self-destructively high!

Balance: The Path to Reaching Our Potential

Like Border Collies we have a very strong need for balance. We are easily tipped either side of the scales. Learning to keep that balance seems to be one of the lifelong challenges for those of us with Bipolar. But once we have that balance through finding the right vocation, environment and (usually) medication, we are capable of fantastic achievements and can really thrive. Just take a look at any list of famous people with Bipolar Disorder and you will see that we can be just as successful as those without, and in some cases, even more so!!

Famous Bipolar Sufferers: Van Gogh, Carrie Fisher, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, Spike Milligan, Stephen Fry,Virginia Woolf, Amy Winehouse, Schumann……They’re all Border Collies!

Resources

List of famous Bipolar Sufferers taken from List taken from Wikipedia.

Photo Credits: Border Collie Jumping by gadgetgirl; Bored Collie by furry-photos; Puppy by andyvanyperen.