Stress, it’s hard enough on most people, it’s Enemy #1 for Bipolar people

The kids are asleep and all is quiet here. I’m trying to relax, breathe and enjoy the silence. It’s been a little stressful lately and I’m definitely feeling the effects, mentally and physically.

I’ve found that I’m more susceptible to stress as I’ve gotten older. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have less patience, more on my plate or more responsibilities. Whatever it is, I know I can thank my Bipolar Disorder for putting it on steroids.

Did you know that stress can be the make or break cause of Bipolar if a person already possesses the genetic makeup to develop it? I had no clue. Apparently, just because you’re born with the perfect genetic storm, without major life stress, it will probably never manifest itself.

Most of us can recall our first Bipolar episode. I know I can and I also remember the huge stressor that preceded it. If what I’ve read is correct, that event activated or turned on my dormant genes that left me with Bipolar Disorder. It’s really an amazing thing to consider. What if it hadn’t happened? Would something else have triggered them or would I be “normal” today?

I don’t know and I don’t plan to dwell on it. What I do know is that I need to be very vigilant now. Stress is the biggest mood trigger for me and boy has it been crazy lately. Through my researching of Bipolar and stress, I found myself on Stress.org. It’s The American Institute of Stress.

Apparently The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory evaluation can tell you how likely you are to suffer physical illness from the level of stress you’ve been under over the past year. It lists major life events, both positive and negative and then gives you a value for each. I scored a 186. That put me in the category of “having a health breakdown in the next two years”. It was an eye opener.

Not only do I need to watch my stress for my mental health but my physical health too.

Well, I’m off to try and find some sort of advice on coping skills to help with this because I’m already getting less sleep and I’m a little more sensitive than usual. I don’t want to swing … high or low.

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