Living With Bipolar Disorder

Man with Bipolar Disorder holding shirt's neckline

Bipolar Depression Symptoms

There are two types of bipolar disorder: bipolar I and bipolar II. Bipolar I requires a symptom called mania to be present; depression does not have to be present for the diagnosis to be made. Bipolar II requires a symptom named hypomania to be present.

Mania is manifested as:

  • Distractibility (poorly focused)
  • Insomnia (decreased need for sleep)
  • Grandiosity (inflated self-esteem)
  • Flight of ideas (jumping from one thought to another, racing thoughts)
  • Increased goal-directed activities
  • Pressured speech (or more talkative)
  • Risk-taking behaviors (sexual, financial)

Hypomania is a less severe form of mania and patients are usually able to maintain their jobs, as opposed to patients who are manic.

Depression is manifested as:

  • Insomnia (2-4 am awakening)
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Guilt (feelings of worthlessness)
  • Fatigue (loss of energy)
  • Concentration (indecisiveness)
  • Weight loss (decreased appetite)
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation (restlessness or slowing down)
  • Suicidal thoughts (intent with/without a plan)

With medications called mood stabilizers (i.e., Lithium, Depakote, Tegretol, etc.) and psychotherapy widely available, patients can lead a happy and productive life in society!

If you or anyone you know is suffering from Bipolar Disorder, please seek immediate medical attention!

The DSM Ready Community is a safe and nonjudgmental place where we can share our experiences with mental illness!

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Making Connections Is Vital

Group of authentic people huddling and making connections

Keep It Authentic

Whether you are young, old, rich or poor, do not isolate yourself and think that you have the world at your fingertips; it’s a fantasy. No matter how talented or successful you are, isolation will eat you alive; first will come the insecurity and anxiety, followed by the inevitable depression. A lone wolf mentality does not last.

Emotional intelligence involves having self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, assertiveness, empathy and social skills; the ability to make connections. Strong friendships, family relationships and other connections are key to developing excellent mental health.

Whether you are a student, lawyer or NBA baller, the benefits from making prosperous connections are enormous:

  • New friendships that will bring you happiness and love
  • A boost in confidence (being able to handle multiple connections will increase your sense of value)
  • Improved social skills (the more you interact with different types of people, the more diversity you expose yourself too)
  • Gaining new knowledge and insight (people come from many different walks of life; there is always something new you can learn)
  • Helps keep depression away (depression strives best when we are lonely and vulnerable; keep the depression door shut and open the social doors that will bring you happiness and prosperity)

Lastly, do not take advantage of your connections; your selfishness will not go unnoticed forever. Be authentic and strive to learn and build with your connections; sharing is caring!

The DSM Ready Movement is about building an international community focused on bringing people together to achieve a happier and healthier state of mind! 😎

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Be Assertive in Your Actions

Vocally assertive male wearing black sunglasses

Vocally Assertive People

If you do not learn to speak up, others will take the lead and you will become disappointed. Being assertive does not mean being arrogant; it means that you are confident, positive, assured, strong-willed and determined to accomplish your intentions.

Excellent communication is key to obtaining the successful results you desire and building the relationships you want; without being vocally assertive, your position of power diminishes. If you are struggling to be assertive, try implementing daily positive affirmations such as “I am strong and get my way”, “I am confident and assertive”, “I am determined to accomplish my goals.”

Being confident in your interactions portrays strength and leadership; it shows others that you are in it to win it! Vocally assertive people are not cocky or try to hard; they just know how to ask for what they want in a humble and self-assured way.

Vocally assertive people effectively communicate their wants, needs and boundaries while respecting the thoughts and wishes of others. They carry themselves with confidence, which attracts people and puts them in a position of power; they become the center of attention without actually intending to.

Do you have what it takes to start taking control of your life?

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Sleepy Stretches

Woman stretching in bed

Benefits Of Stretching Before Bed

Stretching is a wonderful habit to develop, especially after intensive workouts. It helps you feel mentally and emotionally relaxed, relieves stiffness and feels great. A good time to unwind and stretch your body is before bed!

Because stretching is a very personal act, the activity helps you focus on your bodily sensations and gets your mind off your daily stressors; this relaxes you for a good night’s sleep.

The awareness of your body during stretching helps you develop mindfulness; the act of being nonjudgmental towards yourself in the present moment. Mindfulness has been shown to promote better sleep. And with a little bit of stretching before bed, you can avoid getting into the habit of sleep deprivation and the increased risk of mental illness that comes along with it.

Stretching helps relieve muscle tension and loosens you up prior to sleep. Imagine going to bed feeling stiff after a 3 hour tennis match? It’s not a good feeling. Stretching is for your muscles what showering is for your skin and hair; they help you rejuvenate.

Stretching improves your flexibility, increases your range of motion, reduces musculoskeletal pain, relieves stress, calms your mind and helps decrease tension headaches! All of these benefits can help promote a better night’s sleep because they help your body recover from the wear and tear of daily activities, promoting peace of mind before you doze off.

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The Beauty Of Your Parents

Parents sitting on pavement looking at body of water

Love Your Parents Forever

They were there at your birth. They were there during your childhood, adolescence and adulthood. For those who can relate, parents are the most beautiful people in our life. They sometimes know us better than we know ourselves; despite our stubbornness, they continue to love us and stand by our side! And sometimes they show us tough love because they want to see us succeed and surpass their success.

Maintaining a relationship with your parents as you age is very important; they now need your help as you once needed theirs. But helping them should not be viewed as a chore; do it with passion and love! It’s a blessing that your parents are still in your life!

It is true that relationships can grow apart as people age and this is no different with your parents. But you have to work at maintaining a relationship with them, being open-minded to understanding their viewpoints and ways; after all, they have been around longer than us!

Do not become angry with your parents; love is all they have wanted for you since you were born. Learn to redirect your anger in the gym or jog it off outside in nature. Loving your parents will make you feel better about yourself, will maintain a therapeutic relationship and will help them live longer!

Do not neglect your parents! When they ask you to spend some time with them, do it! They probably are feeling lonely and miss you; work at maintaining a strong bond with them and keep them close in your life. They are very precious!

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Let The Beach Be Your Date

Brown wooden walkway heading toward beach

The Beach Bum

The beach has a very relaxing ambience where you can unwind and allow your worries to sail off into the distance. Find a beach with a boardwalk on a warm summer day and enjoy watching the white sand, blue sky, splashing waves and people playing beach volleyball or sunbathing; become one with the ambience.

Find a partner, family member or close friend and soak up the peace of mind brought forth by the beach; become connected with the environment and forget about work, stress or negativity. Utilize the beach as a place to destress on weekends and lower your expectations; you are there to reward yourself with tranquility.

The beach can bring you closer to your loved one; it’s a place to improve your listening skills, show more love, free yourself from pain and become more present in the moment. Allow the sun rays to massage your body, the shifting clouds to entertain your imagination and the jet skis to spark your motivation; the beach has it all.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time at the beach to be a beach bum! You just have to be 100% present in the moment; let the beach be your date! Show it that you are fully immersed in its presence and it will reward you with dopamine and a soft spot in your heart!

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Bring Purpose Behind Your Actions

Three passionate women lifting their arms with purpose

Purpose Driven Life

Whatever you do, do it with purpose and passion! The beauty of being genuine and passionate in your actions is that you can really make an impact on others; a domino effect can promote goodness among the people around you.

There will always be leaders in life, but one or two here and there is not enough to make a meaningful impact in this world. We need people with strong character to step up to the plate and deliver goodness and strength. We need people who will inspire others to reach their maximum potential.

And whatever you do, use your heart and remain humble; there already is enough arrogance and cockiness in this world. If others become angry at you, you do the opposite. If others want to fight you, you start peace. If others wish you harm, you pray for them.

Become a role model for yourself and others; your actions will stimulate people way more than your words. Show yourself and others how good things are done. Teach yourself and others new information and productive behaviors that will uplift everyone around you.

Are you DSM Ready material? Are you willing to join a community based on honesty, integrity and passion?

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Depersonalization Disorder

Three hands on man's face experiencing depersonalization disorder

When Reality Decides To Take A Break

The feeling of depersonalization is terrifying and torturing at the same time. During the experience, it’s as if your mind is losing its grip on reality and allowing you to view the world from an external point if view; as if you are outside of your body.

For instance, while listening to somebody speak, it may become uncomfortable making eye contact with them because it almost feels as if you are coming out of your body, and the more you maintain eye contact, the worse it gets. So you start to constantly shift your body position; a slight turn in different directions gives you the hope that the out-of-body sensation will go away.

Another example is the sensation of not feeling steady on your feet; it’s as if you are walking on clouds because your steps don’t feel like they’re making contact with a solid surface. By experiencing this sensation, you start to panic and believe that you may fall over at any moment! The next thought that naturally rushes into your mind is to take a seat somewhere; but that is not always possible depending on where you area.

The cause of depersonalization disorder is not known; it may be associated with depression or anxiety. The symptoms may go away on its own or through psychotherapy. There is no medication that treats it. If you have anxiety, then antidepressants can be tried; sometimes the depersonalization is part of the anxiety.

If you or anyone is suffering from depersonalization disorder, feel free to share your experiences with The DSM Ready Movement so we can provide you with support and comfort! We are in this together.

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The Chemical Compound Of Nicotine

Addicted blonde woman wearing blue hoodie and smoking a cigarette

Nicotine Effects

Nicotine is a toxic yellowish liquid that is the active ingredient in tobacco. It acts as a receptor agonist at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In small doses it acts as a stimulant, but in larger doses it blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells.

Nicotine is highly addictive based on drug-reinforced behavior; the process of associating a drug with a certain behavior. For instance, you may start off smoking one cigarette at a party. The next time you attend a party, you may smoke a couple of more cigarettes.

The next time you have a beer at your friend’s house, you may smoke a cigarette for the first time away from a party setting. Afterwards, you make smoke a cigarette every time you drive to your friend’s house! Your brain attempts to enhance every behavior that is related to previous nicotinic behaviors; this is the addiction!

Nicotine creates a psychological dependence in the user; every previous activity under the influence of nicotine will make the user want to repeat that activity with nicotine again. Nicotine has a way of making behaviors more enjoyable; the second that you inhale the first puff, you feel an immediate sense of relaxation as if your stress is being sucked out of you.

Take a look at Mayo Clinic to understand nicotine dependence. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths per year in the United States and more than 41,000 deaths from secondhand smoke. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. That is 10 years stolen by nicotine!

The DSM Ready Community is here for anyone who is suffering from an addiction. Through support and the sharing of our stories, we can get past any roadblock that life brings us!

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World On Drugs

Two people sitting in a drug alley spray-painted by graffiti

Why You Should Not Try Drugs

The temptation to try substances stems from our burning desire to alter our consciousness and view reality from a different lens. The problem is not the alteration of consciousness, but the drugs themselves.

Other tools such as meditation and the emotion of happiness can also alter our consciousness; they provide non-harmful ways of viewing the world from a different lens. Meditation allows you to escape reality by directing your energy to your thoughts and presence, while pure happiness magnifies and enhances the present moment into something pleasurable.

Drugs, on the other hand, are tools with a high potential for developing psychological and physical addictions; some more than others. It is not worth exploring these tools for the sake of your sanity; losing touch with reality or becoming dependent on a substance defeats the whole purpose of your original quest to alter your consciousness.

The DSM Ready Movement is about promoting a natural and healthy lifestyle, where we come together to achieve happiness and success through the sharing of our experiences!

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