It is perfectly normal to experience feelings of loss when your emotions and moods stabilize. However, while the highs of Bipolar Disorder—the constant energy and high level of creativity—feel good for a while, they eventually lead to trouble and bad decision-making. While in the manic stage, it is easy to forget the inevitable “lows” of the depressive stage, which always follow. The old adage of “What goes up, must come down,” unfortunately, does actually apply to Bipolar Disorder. It is also normal for people with Bipolar Disorder to prefer the highs of their manic stage, and resist taking medication that they feel “robs” them of that high, when it stabilizes their moods.
Most people who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder also have a highly creative side. When not medicated, this creativity can blossom and great ideas are abundant. The downside, however, is that an unstable individual becomes so "high" that they lack the focus to do any real good with these creative ideas, nor are they able to see those ideas through to completion before the “low” kicks in.
So, the best solution to this problem is to find a way to harness your energy and creativity while still taking your bipolar medication.
To do this, you need to look at your specific situation and tailor your techniques to match it.
For example, let's say that you have a creative hobby or job. Maybe you are an artist. In that case, you need to harness your energy and creativity on a daily basis, despite the changing moods of your bipolar disorder. Use the following techniques to achieve this.
• Start your morning off with a mind exercise. Since your medication may suppress your creativity a little bit, you need to prime your imagination to get it started. Any game or exercise, like jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, coloring, can jump start your creative juices.
• Just get started. Another way to increase your energy is to just get going. By jumping into a task, even when you feel less than energetic, you can engage your mind in the task and the energy will usually follow. Once you get caught up in the project, your energy will skyrocket.
• Talk about your ideas. When you put your ideas into words, especially if you have an avid listener to talk to, your mind will begin to get excited about the project and your creativity and energy will increase. You can try talking out loud to yourself, but this idea usually works better if you have someone with whom to share the excitement.
Now, let's say that you just want more energy. Maybe you don't need it for your job, but you miss the "highs" of your un-medicated life. In that case, you need to find ways to infuse energy into your life on bipolar medication.
• Exercise. It sounds simple, but it is very true. Exercise increases your energy levels. Plus, during exercise your body releases endorphins, (so called "feel good" hormones), that will actually elevate your mood. After about thirty minutes of moderate exercise you will experience a "natural" high.
• Eat right. The types of foods that you choose to put in your body can have a real effect on your moods. By choosing a nutritious, healthy diet, you can guarantee that you give your body the fuel it needs to perform at its best. When your body is energized, so is your mind.
• Think positive thoughts. Another great way to increase your energy and your creativity is to engage in positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is a therapy technique usually used to help people in times of anxiety or depression. However, this same technique can be used here.
Follow these steps to put positive self-talk to work in your situation.
1) Choose a mantra or affirmation. This can be as simple as saying "I am going to have a great, energetic day today", or as complex as saying "Today I will experience high energy, high creativity and positive thoughts".
2) Repeat your affirmation. Once you have chosen an affirmation, repeat it at least ten times a day. However, as you repeat the phrase, don't just say it. Attempt to visualize yourself having a great day as you say the words. Really feel the energy and creativity as you repeat the phrase.
3) Use visual clues along with your affirmation. Choose a setting to visualize that depicts the outcome of your affirmation. Use this visualization while you repeat your phrase and also at random times throughout the day. This visual reminder will help keep your mind focused on the outcome.
Once you become comfortable using all (or at least some) of these techniques, you will soon find that you can experience controllable highs and enjoy increased energy, even while on medications for your bipolar diosrder!