Avatar universal

who/what helps you besides medication?

Another question has reminded me of what can sometimes give me comfort and stability. I think the role of animals in helping with various conditions is well-documented. My psychiatrist even brings his dog into the office several days a week. We have a lot of animals. The care for them provides much-needed structure and one of my dogs is very special. He has been my lifeline. He doesn't mind the fetal position and I curl around him or sleep with my head on his butt. The horses are excellent for those times when I feel 2 inches tall. I don't normally ride or train when I'm like that; they pick up on the emotions, but I find grooming them is often calming and you can hug them really tight without protest. Because I am alone and isolated, it is a good thing I have these animals. In fact, my husband will tell the dog to "go take care of mom" when I get upset. And, the dog does a better job than any human could. I love my husband, but he is rarely around and is prone to avoid or deny problems.

I love music, but some of it is not so good when I'm going up, up and away. Other music is not so good when I'm in the pit. So, it is not a consistent help, but something I try when I think of it (which implies of course that I am actually thinking, LOL).

I also use aromatherapy - grapefuit/lemon stuff to try to get alert when I'm foggy. Lavender when I need to calm down. It's not the most effective thing, but I like things to smell nice so it certainly doesn't hurt.

Just curious who or what helps other people.
8 Responses
497950 tn?1255863927
yoga, when I can get calmed down enough to do it or have enough time to do it
running, don't do this any more because of multiple reasons
doing something creative
Avatar universal
Sleep is my comfort most of the time.  I also like nice smells such as lavender which I use to help calm me and snuggling with my cats.
Avatar universal
I love the animals too.  

Getting involved in a creative activity, I paint and it completely takes me over.  
But you have to feel a bit well to have the motivation.

Working with young people is a great help to me and trying to build relationships with them in order to teach them.  That keeps me going.
607502 tn?1288247540
Ive been meaning to reply to this.  Under normal circumstances I find that time alone is a valuable thing and silence as well.  When I get depresed and anxious especially crowds and loud noises freak me easily.

For me a nice long walk is a good thing.

I also use music heavily, I listen to a lot of classical music when I am down and just everything else all the time - headphones can be a very effective way to have personal space.

Something my pdoc also told me once is the belief that bipolars in his experience needed a space of their own, a private space like a study or workroom to be alone in, a place to think or just tune out.  It works for me.

normally anyway :)
Avatar universal
Do anything that has meaning to you, if you can't that day, don't be hard on yourself, there'e the next day. This is what was sent to me, maybe it will help.

Face the day
Whatever anxiety you may have about the day ahead,let it go
You will get through this day.
There will be joysand there will be difficulties.
There will be pleasures and there will be challenges.
Take each moment as it comes.
The energy you devote to worry and anxiety will serve no purpose,
will bring you no benefits,and will probably make your situation worse.
Let go of your worries and free yourself to live.
Put your effort and energy where they can make a positive difference.
You can handle whatever comes along.
You've made it this farand you'll do it again.
Step back from yourself and look objectively at your situation.
See yourself living the true adventure of life, with all its ups and downs
Consider how fortunate you are to have such an opportunity.
Today won't be perfect.
Yet you have what it takes to make it great.
Live it with all you can be.

Ralph Marston
644988 tn?1236364548
Thanks for that LeftCoastChick; it's excellent. I'm going to get a copy of that to read those times when it's needed and quite probably to send to friends when they need it.

3 things that help me;

Having a long bath with nice smelly oil.

Going for a long walk with the dog into fields / countryside.

My kids: they give me strength to carry on when I can't find it anywhere else. They have been the one thing that has stopped me opting out when I had no other reason I could find. And they have accepted me in whatever state, responding with depth, warmth, cuddles and humour far greater than I deserve or expect.

good question.
Avatar universal
Thank you for responding. A lot of things mentioned sound good to me.

The animals have been invaluable to me. Ours have kept me going when I was ready to stop the whole deal. One dog in particular is a constant presence and is my absolute best friend. Whether I'm having a good day or a bad day, he's right beside me. When I lose it, he'll come over and be shaking like a leaf so that my focus goes to comforting him. He's like a walking barometer of my moods sometimes.

Although total social isolation probably is not good, I have always needed a certain amount of time alone. I deeply value having time alone and my own special place. I have lost my "nest" since we moved 3 years ago and I miss it greatly. We had a finished basement with all MY stuff in it and a fireplace. It was cozy and underground and private. It had everything except a kitchen, so there was no need to leave it. "My" spot in this house is a large, bright room (converted 2-car garage) that connects with French doors to the rest of the house. It is not ideal. I hardly use this room except when I'm online. Our cats are in here and there's nothing peaceful about listening to one of them vomit. (He has done this daily for about 12 years now. Sigh...) Now, I really don't have a special place in practice and it is hard on me.

When I'm not doing too badly and can focus, I love to read. It is especially disturbing to me that in the past year, I've frequently lost my ability to concentrate and can't even read. Reading always gave me a way to completely escape. It's maddening now when I can't get into a book. Until recently, that was something I could always do.

*** LeftCoastChick - thanks for that. I like it. I'll try to remember it. (Accent on *try*). Should probably write it down, eh?

I wanted to add that crowds, noises, bright lights, etc. often cause me to get very agitated. We'd thought that was merely a bipolar symptom, but as it turns out I have some other things going on including agoraphobia and anxiety. Sometimes, if I am forced out, I find it isn't as bad as I feard, but other times, it is horrible. I am dreading going out for my monthly shopping trip because with the holiday shoppers, the store will be jam-packed. But, maybe I'll get lucky. I was dreading going to vote this year, but when I got there, there was only one person ahead of me and it was in a large, uncrowded room. My old polling place was tiny and just a nightmare. I'd end up covered in kids. For some reason, they are attracted to me at butt-level...

377600 tn?1225163436
hot shower
hot tub
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