AM 20 Adderall, 50 Lyrica, 7.5 Zyprexa
afternoon 10 Adderall, 50 Lyrica
PM 50 Lyrica, 5 Zyprexa
A post brought to you by The Topic Request Survey.
Strategies for supporting friends/family with mental illness
This seems simple enough, right? But I know it's not simple. Loving a crazy can be really damn hard. I will be the first person to admit it's not easy to love me.
I'm going to break it down to three parts.
How to support a crazy who is depressed:
"Depressed" by Gianfranco Ferlazzo
Just be there.
Please don't try to"cheer" us up. Depression isn't a case of needing to be cheered up.
If we ask for a joke, by all means, give us the best "knock knock" you know, but if we don't ask for a joke - let us be sad. Let us cry. Let us know that it's okay with you for us to just be how we are in that moment. It's exhausting to pretend to be okay when we are feeling far from it. Let us know it's okay with you for us to feel the way we are feeling.
I know it's hard to see someone you love in pain. It's natural to want to "fix" us. But we're not broken. We can't just "suck it up" either. Trust me, if it were that easy we would already be doing it.
This was a Sunday Secret a few weeks ago.
There is nothing simple about depression. We might just need to sit in the dark. If that's the case, don't insist on turning on the light. We might want to talk, but we might just want to be silent. If that's the case, don't insist that we talk. Just silently be with us. Your mere presence is far more helpful than you know. Sometimes when I'm depressed I don't feel like talking or actively being around others, but just knowing the hubs is in the other room, doing his own thing, makes it less lonely.
Sometimes we want to be hugged and have our tears wiped away. Sometimes we want to be alone. I know you're not mind readers, and to be honest, even we don't always know what we want or need when we are lost in the dark. It's okay to ask us, "How can I be here for you?" At times, just the asking is enough.
I know everyone is different, but I always appreciate an occasional "check in." An email, or phone call that just says, "I've been thinking about you." Sometimes when I'm depressed I struggle with reaching out to others, so to have someone reach out to me can make all the difference. You never know when your email, or your phone call, or your outstretched hand will give us the strength we need to stay far away from the ledge.
Speaking of the ledge, if we are suicidal, it's a whole different story. I talk about what to do here.
How to support a crazy who is manic:
"A Touch of Mania V" by Kimberly Conrad
This is a tough one.
Mania can strike us all differently each time. We can be outrageously out of control. Everything is fast. The way we talk..the way we move...the way we think...it's all fast, fast, fast. It can be hard keep up with us. It can be impossible to catch us.
Because manias can be so destructive the best thing to do is to encourage us to call our doctor. Manias need crazy pills to get them under control and they need them asap.
This can be especially difficult because we might not want to give up our mania - we feel too happy and too good and too alive. We can also be really fun - what a hoot to be around us! We don't need to sleep. We're creative. We're hysterical. We're the life of the party. We feel like we are our best, happiest selves. But in reality we're not.
We can make horrible, fly-of-the-moment decisions that destroy things. We can quit our jobs our drop out of school. We have no sense of consequences. We can go on crazed shopping sprees. We can buy $600 bottles of champagne. We need to gingerly know it's time to call our doctor and take our pills. We might be really hard to reason with. I can guarantee you we will be. Who the hell wants to give up the ability to solve the secret of life and the power to fly? I know I don't. That's why we need you to help us call our doctor and take our pills.
How to support a crazy who is mixed:
"Mixed Episode 2" by Numbaholic13
This can be the hardest one.
When mixed we can be raging. Anger and anxiety can completely overcome us. We can scream, and cry, and break things, and be mean. We feel like the worst version of our selves, caught in the depths of the worst version of hell. It's having the feelings and tears of a deep depression, with a side of uncontrollable rage, and the endless energy of a mania tainted with all consuming anxiety. It's the worst recipe. The all time worst. Again, encourage us to call our doctor and take our pills.
Crazy pills can get all of these situations under control - but only if we take them.
What if the crazy you love doesn't have a doctor?
Help us find one.
Volunteer to make an appointment for us. Drive us there. Sit in the waiting room.
What if the crazy you love refuses to go to the doctor?
For this I have no good answer. You need to bet the judge. But if we are damaging our relationship with you, or damaging your life, you don't have to put up with it. Being bipolar is not a get out of jail free card. You can tell us that you will be here for us once we seek treatment. This is still supporting us.
I hope this was at least a little helpful in answering your question.
We are so lucky that you love us.
We are so lucky to have you in our lives.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Until next time...