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585414 tn?1288941302

Keeping Organized?

How do people deal with having trouble remembering things or concentrating? Often it comes from bipolar and sometimes it is a side effect of medication. Or both. But what are people's coping tips? I'm looking at one which is a bulletin board with reminder notices such as doctor's appointments. But what are some things other people do and have you experienced this?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I use stick-ums, have a little diary on my computer as well,so that I never forget appt's.
I also have my meds split up for the day - in a pill container. I used to forget alot.
603015 tn?1329862973
This was so bad for me during my recent mixed episode that I couldnt even follow a recipe that was written down. I couldnt remember what I was doing or going to do, this I found to be the most scarey as I had been used to having "blonde moments" but I could multi multi task, in the end I had to give in and I had a memo pad with me at all times, if I had things to get done I wrote them in there, if I was going to get something I wrote it in there, I would also have members of the family and friends call me to check I had remembered where I needed to be, it was the only way I could function albeit feeling like a complete spazz and failure.
585414 tn?1288941302
  Well the thing for me is keeping organized without getting ocd. A computer program like Quicken is good to keep track of bills. I'm very happy with my file cabinets (needed, some contain confidential information). Don't put things off. Such as wash the dishes right after dinner so they don't pile up. That used to be a problem. And on the other hand if something is frustrating come back to it. A remote control that's stuck should not cause hours of frustration (typical before recovery for me). Leave it alone and then come back. Same with finding lost objects. Timing was never easy for me but its good to plan things out, although not obsessively so (again there's always a balance, I stopped taking vacations with someone with ocd I knew because they practically planned every minute out, you have to be spontaneous). Daylight savings time was a nuisance for me because everything has to be readjusted including medication scheduling. I know on Sundays at midnight there's a minor but neccessary rebooting of Medhelp. That's a good practice for timing because the messages go in at that time and then I won't be able to access it although I will be up.
   Insomnia is not fun for me and frankly I prefer sedating medications to activating ones. With known medications, I preferred the sedation of Risperdal or Seroquel to the activation of Abilify because I was up the whole night on it although that was a long time ago. Its rare to find something that doesn't affect my sleeping one way or the other. But that's life. But one good way to make sleeping easier is to have everything planned out for the next day so you are not worrying about it, something that kept a family member with cyclothymia awake repeat nights until they worked out coping strategies with their therapist.
Avatar universal
-a main calendar is my savior, in the living-room (my main room we (Daughter & I) use.
-phone list for EVERY place I go or call (even the vet) *L*
-med container for 3 x a day for myself & Daughter
-do laundry, dishes, all domestic chores as needed, Before they back-up...big ole' issue
-return phone calls othen so people don't stress
-put all B'day, Anniversary, bills in a pocket folder for the coming month, date on the side
-pay ALL the bills on the 3rd of the month for the next month, electronically if possible
-buy all groceries for the month, when get Pd. (3rd), except fruit & milk, gas as well
-try to clean as I go to keep it organized
-schedule DR app'ts together so driving is a minimum, if possible
-be very flexible, don't  sweat the details & be generous with your time & loved ones!
-take my meds same time each day (same bat time, same bat channel) *L*
-go to church with a friend so there is no excuse to 'forget' by ommission
-maintain doing the 'car work', easy stuff for a single Mom BEFORE it runs out of oil/gas

that's my life (grin), main thing is to not go crazy over the small details, laugh a lot!
Tres
Avatar universal
I make a lot of lists. Shopping lists, to-do lists, phone lists, etc. I try to keep things separate by category in multiple small yellow legal pads. I put appts on the calendar - sometimes on more than one calendar. If a doctor's office has a reminder call service, I request it... I also take advantage of holidays or days I know I'll remember for other reasons. Friday the 13th, I have an appt. St. Patricks Day, I have an appt. And, so on. We have almost all the bills on auto-pay. The others go in the bill box (big magnetic box on the fridge) and should be in order of what's due next... We have a multi-compartment organizer on the wall with boxes for paperwork, a small shelf, pen holder and hooks to hang keys. Filed by category, we shouldn't lose anything important - in theory. Ideally, a lot of that would be filed, recycled or shredded annually. (The one compartment that is overflowing is the vet compartment). One compartment that will hopefully never be cleaned out is the "good guy" cubby for the best contractors or mechanics, etc. We have actually had a company out to do an estimate that had ripped us off big-time a few years before. We had both forgotten the name of the company... So, there's effort being made.

Regardless of my condition, there will always be a certain amount of chaos in our home. I try to keep it together enough to get through the day - day by day. I hate to cancel or reschedule appts, so as long as I know/remember/am reminded that I have to do something, I usually turn up. It's inevitable that I will forget things, though. It happens. Hubby can't remember anything either, so I have to make lists for him, too. Things may improve a little, but I don't think a well-oiled machine is in our future. We had a professional organizer out last week and I'm waiting to hear from her. I think a few tweaks would help both of us. My husband forgets his TWIN sister's birthday almost every year. I forget random things and my memory is totally unpredictable - sometimes, it's excellent. If I had a dollar for every time I've said, "I've been meaning to...", I'd be a wealthy woman - with someone to gently remind me of the things I need to do - instead of someone who has panic attacks in the shower over impending appointments (often contributing to being late for those appointments). I don't know where you'd put notes in the shower, but I can get lost in there and totally lose half an hour if I forget my routine. If practice makes perfect, I should've perfected that YEARS ago! At least I got a huge wall clock that I can see from the shower. Now, I can see the magically disappearing time. It's because of this that I know I'm bound to forget things because a lot of what is happening during that time is forgotten. There's a gap. I assume there is nothing important in that gap. Maybe I notice I am out of some bath-related product or maybe something reminds me it's someone's anniversary, but it's not going to stick around and I'll have to settle for feeling guilty later.

This is an interesting question. We are seriously going through a lot of issues relating to this right now and it is tough. It is not only related to remembering things, but also to organization and to how people respond to their environment. I can only take a certain amount of organization. I get very uncomfortable in an orderly room. It feels cold and sterile. It seems to affect my mood quickly. I think that's why I have a hard time remembering what is said when I go to a regular doctor's office or to a dentist's office. It is too sterile. It does something to me and even though I feel like I'm focused, I often cannot recall much of anything they've told me. I ask them to write things down for me the past several years. I remember new things better here at home because I'm more comfortable here at home. Brains are funny.
780426 tn?1240484228
I have the same symptoms and have OCD as a diagnosis as well as BP.  The two are a constant battle.

Right now, I use
1. A calender with moderate size squares so I don't write too much (it fits in my large purse.

2.  I have a small hand held tape recorder I keep with me.  It is great for when I'm in the car or shopping etc.

Just remember (ha-ha), don't get bogged down with the 'cure' of a poor memory :)

Peace,
mcb27
456970 tn?1287587447
my boyfriend is the one with BP in our house and he is bad at doing things around the house and he is bad at money management.  i have recently installed a half dry erase message board and half a cork board in our living room.  i make a lot of lists but he despises lists and sometimes feels like my lists are nothing but a giant compilation of things i am nagging him to do.  he also initially didn't like the board because he didn't like how it looked in the living room.
so on the dry erase board i make a list of things to do and i include my things to do like dishes and laundry along with things i'd like him to do. that way it isn't a list JUST for him.
it seems to be working.  he has embraced the list and he sometimes even adds his own things to do or things like calling to re order contacts.  he gets more done which makes me happy and we can pin bills and things like the baby's doctor's business card and a calender to the cork portion!
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