Taking responsibility for your bipolar life means understanding the impact your actions have on yourself and others and taking the lead role in keeping yourself in the best state you can.
Ask yourself, “Who’s bipolar condition is this?”
You’ll find the answer is always, “My own”.
It doesn’t belong to your doctor, your partner, your kids, your parents, your carer, the government or anyone else. It belongs to you. You are responsible for making sure you do everything you can to keep on top of it. Don’t rely on anyone else to motivate you. You don’t need anyone to feel sorry for you. If you accept your condition you can start working towards being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be and it feels great to be in charge!
Many people with bipolar conditions feel that they have little or no control over their ups, downs and associated actions. While we may not be able to just ‘snap out’ of any state, if we assume full responsibility for our condition we can minimise the effects by doing what we can to prevent slipping into depression, mania and the associated emotions and states to begin with. We can also begin the recovery process as quickly as possible if we do find ourselves in an undesired state.
Responsibility is about maturity, it takes courage and hard work. It’s about learning from our mistakes and doing our best not to keep making the same ones over and over again.
Taking full responsibility includes (but is not limited to):
- Researching your condition as much as possible.
- Making sure you do everything you can to stick to your wellness plan.
- Taking note of your warning signs and triggers and make adjustments to your life where you can.
- If you find yourself slipping into depression or mania take the appropriate action so that you can minimise the impact instead of fuelling it further.
- If you have a doctor or healthcare professional, make sure they understand your condition and the latest treatments. Don’t let them just tell you what to do or what medication to take, work with them to make sure you’re getting the best treatment you can. If you are prescribed medication, research it fully and find out what people are saying about it or if there are better alternatives that you could try first.
- Recognise when you’ve made a mistake and don’t try to blame anyone else and also don’t just blame your bipolar, even though it’s often our first thought to do this.
- Learn to apologise well. We all make mistakes, none of us is perfect but if you apologise quickly it shows you’re not blaming your actions on bipolar, you’ve taken responsibility and can move forward. People will respect you more and understand you more.
In essence, taking responsibility is about accountability. The buck stops with you. Knowing this is in itself hugely empowering. Become the expert about yourself (and the aim of this site is to show you how to do it. )