Posts tagged ‘Behavior’

January 3, 2012

Taking inventory step 3 – unhealthy people

We all have had, and some still have, toxic people in our lives. So now that you have made a list of the unhealthy people in your life, if you wish to truly be healthy, you must decide what to do about those people. As I have written in the past, if a person is incredibly toxic and I find myself not being able to maintain healthy boundaries, I remove that person from my life. It may seem harsh, but my sanity, my balance are what is most important to me.

For those people who are not toxic, but display unhealthy behaviors I set boundaries. I am very clear with the people in my life. I am very straight forward about my mental health and why it is important to set boundaries with people.

An example: I have a friend who really likes to party. Not all the time but she likes to party pretty hard. I have went out with her on a couple of occasions and realized how unhealthy her behavior was. Close to toxic! However, as long as I do not go out on the town with her we can be really good friends. So I have told her that, although I enjoy her friendship, I cannot go out partying with her. It took a couple of times of her asking and me saying no, but she finally gets it and no longer asks.

Again, (and I will say this over and over again) talk to your therapist about how to approach people and how to set boundaries with them.

Your choices will get better and better every time you set a boundary with a person. You will begin to see how strong you really are. You will also begin to feel healthier with every boundary you set and keep.

I hope you are doing well in this journey! And again if you have any questions or any comments please feel free to contact me! You can leave a comment here or you can contact me via email @

Now that your human inventory is complete, and in the next several blogs, I would like to address the issue of having a job and dealing with the people you work with. I will then address triggers, how to identify them and what to do about them! And soon we will work on building a support system, building self-esteem, and making a choices – consequences journal!

Love, Veronica

December 31, 2011

Taking inventory step 2

Now that you have made a list of the people in your life and thought about whether you believed they are healthy or unhealthy people in your life it is time to dig deeper.

Look at the side of your list that says healthy people.  Think about what it is about them that you believe makes them healthy.  Make a list of those behaviors.  This is an important task.  Being able to identify healthy behavior in other people can also help you identify healthy behavior in yourself and behavior you can mirror.  But wait!  Before you carve that list in stone take the time to discuss these behaviors with your therapist.

It is important to get feedback  from an outside person because what you may think is healthy may not be.

For instance, let’s say you wrote Jill is always there when I need her.  Is that healthy, or do you just like that behavior?  Perhaps you need to expand on why you think that is healthy.  Is Jill at your every beckon call?  Is she the go to person for everyone?  Or is she just a great person to talk to because she never judges or give advice – she just listens?

Discussing these behaviors with a therapist can help you identify what is really healthy and what is not.  Your judgement may be skewed, colored by bipolar disorder!

Eventually you will be able to trust your own judgement!  It will come and with that trust you will heal enormously! Trusting yourself is a very important step in bipolar no more!  We will cover how to work on trust soon!  Promise.  But for now… lets work on that list!


December 15, 2011

Why? Nature or nurture?

People will argue whether bipolar disorder is nurture or nature?   Well, maybe it is both.  Thinking about why is one key to understanding how not to be or at least how to control it.  So years ago I started doing research into the why of bipolar disorder and here is what I came up with:

Some disorders, such as tourettes, muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, Pompe disease and others do not become apparent until the  late teenage years or early adulthood.  All of these disorders are genetic disorders.  So couldn’t bipolar disorder, and depression be genetic disorders that have an onset in late childhood or early adulthood?  When were you first diagnosed?  What age were you when you first new something was not right?  When did you realize what was going on in your head was not “normal”?  If you said anywhere between late teenage years or early adulthood you are not alone. The average age of onset is 21 to 25 years old.  For me, I was in my early twenties when I first heard the words “manic – depressive” now known as bipolar disorder.  So what if these mental disorders are just bad DNA coding?

As to genetic coding, maybe bipolar disorder is like sickle cell anemia.  Sickle cell occurs more commonly in people (or their descendants) where malaria is or was common. This “defect” in the cell shortens a life span but on the other hand if you are born with a single allele it may increase life span because you are almost immune to malaria.  So lets apply this concept to bipolar disorder.  You say there is no positive side to bipolar disorder?  I disagree.  I am going to go way out there for a minute, but stick with me here!  What if you are a hunter that live 1000’s of years ago.  You are sent out on a long hunt and to sleep would be your death.  So you adapt.  Your brain not only compensates for lack of sleep, but the extreme stress you are facing.  You become creative, daring, you take chances but it is all for the survival of you and your tribe. Mania! Once back home, after days perhaps longer of no sleep, your brain has to find a way to reverse what it has adapted to do in order for you, once again, to survive.  So you sleep.  Which may have evolved into depression.  This adaptation is now a “defect” that can shorten a life span but could have increased a lifespan 1000’s of years ago.

Here is another thought, perhaps bipolar, or depression are inheritable disorders. Like getting your Mom’s eyes or your Dad’s nose.  How many people in your immediate family have a mental disorder?  I can tell you, for myself, it is quite a few.  Perhaps we were all born this way.

Or not.  Maybe the passing down of a mental disorder is all about nurturing.  I mean if your Mom or Dad suffers from bipolar disorder, and their Mom or Dad suffers from depression, and your Grandmother or Grandfather suffers from either one, wouldn’t it makes sense that each generation teaches the next. Perhaps they do not have the life skills to teach the next generation life skills and so on.  Perhaps you or I were taught inappropriate ways of handling stress or not taught a way to handle it at all.

Or lastly, maybe it is a combination of nature and nurture.

So now that all the maybes of why have been covered, lets move one to what steps should be taken before you make the choice to be medication free.

December 10, 2010


Mike and I started talking… a lot.

I wanted him to understand why I was so screwed up. Why I did the things I did. But how can you explain something to someone you do not understand yourself?

I wanted my relationship to work with Mike and I wanted to be a good Mom.  So I sought help.

I found a new psychiatrist and a new therapist.

The psychiatrist performed tons of test.  Word associations, ink blot, history evaluations, etc… all which added up to…

LABELS!  Bi-polar, several personality disorders, severe depressant… and more

And a laundry list of psychotropic meds.

Therapy turned out to be nothing more than blaming all of my issues on my parents.  True they had a great influence on who I was… but really???

Here are the three questions we worked on for months…

1) How do you feel about your Moms death? [Hmmm, let me think about that…. bad?]

2) How do you feel about your Dad molesting you? [Hmmm, I have no idea?]

3) And my all time favorite…. How would your life be different if all of this had not happened to you? [REALLY?]

Mike and I continued to work on our relationship and he eventually moved back in.

I became a zombie again.  No emotion.. I never cried, I rarely smiled.  I was just nothing.  The meds turned me into to nothing.  But nothing was better than the alternative…. CRAZY!

For about four years I did OK.  I held down a job and eventually found an even better job.  Mike and I rarely fought.  He was an awesome step-dad.  Jake was doing good. Mike and I got married in 2001.  I was HUGE! I weighed over 200 lbs on my wedding day! In part because of the meds.  In part because the meds don’t just magically make you love you!

But the truth is, I felt nothing.  I knew I loved my son, but I could no longer feel it.  I knew I loved Mike, but I could no longer feel it either.  I believed it was something I could live with.  And I did live with it… until 2002!





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