Triggers are emotional, physical and psychological experiences that weaken your sense of well- being. Sometimes called stressors, triggers are best defined as powerful events that set into motion powerful responses. For many people, a difficult event or threatening interaction will “trigger” a relapse of depressive symptoms such as over-eating, isolation or obsessive thinking.

Ask the therapist:
Keeping track of triggers

By Dr. Deborah Serani, PsyD
issue)
I’m told it’s important to identify my “triggers.” How?

Triggers are emotional, physical and psychological experiences that weaken your sense of well- being. Sometimes called stressors, triggers are best defined as powerful events that set into motion powerful responses. For many people, a difficult event or threatening interaction will “trigger” a relapse of depressive symptoms such as over-eating, isolation or obsessive thinking.

Learning what external events, toxic interactions, and even negative self-statements leave you vulnerable will help you offset a downward emotional spiral.

First, learn how to recognize the who, what, whys and whens of your emotional life. Start by looking at the calendar. Note dates that are meaningful or stressful for you, such as the holiday season or the anniversary of a divorce or death. Maybe it’s anxiety about a yearly physical exam, like a mammogram, or an annual family reunion that last time left you feeling emotionally raw. Noting difficult periods of the year allows you to anticipate and plan for threats to your well-being.

Consider all the hats you wear in your life. What circumstances at work affect your mood and behavior? At home, do certain actions of those around you tend to upset you? Are you feeling supported or overwhelmed? What happens when you don’t get enough “me” time? …

http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=31244853&msgid=575958&act=JMCK&c=521024&destination=http://www.hopetocope.com/Item.aspx/821/ask-the-therapist-keeping-track-of-triggers

How do you respond when negative emotions show up in your life? Do you wind up adding even more negativity to the already-not-so-great feelings? If this sounds familiar, then you may need to turn down the volume on your Self-Talk and learn how to listen instead to your Soul-Talk when negative feelings show up. Most of us simply let the negative emotions run their course until we "get over it." Unfortunately, getting over it typically means simply stuffing those feelings into the background as though hiding from them or denying them will somehow change the situation. You know that nothing changes and you have proof as well: If hiding or stuffing worked, then the negative emotion would be gone, unlikely to resurface again later. But you know better — the same negative emotions can have the effect of arising over and over again, often around the same or similar situations, and often with the same person or persons. So, what’s the alternative then when your negative emotions take center stage? The simple answer is to use them to get back on course. Let’s take anger as an example.

Excerpt: Soul-Talk: How to Rise Above Your Negative Emotions

Posted: 06/04/2012 8:32 am

How do you respond when negative emotions show up in your life? Do you wind up adding even more negativity to the already-not-so-great feelings? If this sounds familiar, then you may need to turn down the volume on your Self-Talk and learn how to listen instead to your Soul-Talk when negative feelings show up.

Most of us simply let the negative emotions run their course until we “get over it.” Unfortunately, getting over it typically means simply stuffing those feelings into the background as though hiding from them or denying them will somehow change the situation. You know that nothing changes and you have proof as well: If hiding or stuffing worked, then the negative emotion would be gone, unlikely to resurface again later. But you know better — the same negative emotions can have the effect of arising over and over again, often around the same or similar situations, and often with the same person or persons.
So, what’s the alternative then when your negative emotions take center stage? The simple answer is to use them to get back on course. Let’s take anger as an example.
Do you know anyone with whom you become angry from time to time? Maybe a lot of the time? If so, then you may also enter into a form of righteousness, blaming the other person with a deep sense of having been wronged. The more wronged you feel, the more angry you are likely to become. The more angry you become, the more you are actually straying from your path.
How to Find Value in Your Negative Emotions
Using our GPS for the Soul metaphor, you can use the anger that you feel as an indicator that you are off course in some way. For that matter, you can use just about any negative emotion to help you get back on course.
If you drive a car, or have been a passenger in one, then you may well have experienced the kind of bumpy disruption to an otherwise relatively smooth ride that takes place if the car starts to stray from its lane. Some highways even provide “rumble” strips on the outer edges of the lanes to provide both a rough and noisy indicator that you are straying from the road.
What do you do when that noise or bumpy ride shows up? Do you blame the road? Do you get upset with the highway engineer? Do you ignore the feedback and keep on driving off the road? I’m pretty sure you are smarter than that. However, when the anger rumble strip shows up disrupting your “perfectly” normal life, you may enter into your “dummy consciousness” and wind up blaming the apparent source of your anger — in this case, the other person.

 

for the rest of this story, click here

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-bishop/negative-emotions_b_1564750.html

Getting back in balance, bipolar relapse. And, get BP Magazine half off in May. Mental Health month.




Getting back in balance
Let’s talk relapse.

In a way, relapse is the dirty little secret of recovery. We can take our meds, watch our sleep, exercise religiously, practice mindfulness … and still be upended by a bolt from the blue.

“You can never say that someone with bipolar disorder has had their last episode; relapse is part of the illness,” Alan C. Swann, MD, explains in our story A Bumpy Road: Dealing With Relapse (Spring 2011).

Sound hopeless? Not at all.

In our current issue, columnist Stephen Propst admits that he used to equate relapse with failure. Now, he insists, “Working through a relapse can actually be enlightening, educational, and empowering.”

For example, relapse may be a signal to:

  • Look at whether you are trying to do too much on your own.
  • See if you’ve slacked off on healthy habits.
  • Double-check your self-talk.
  • Redirect your energy to spend time with friends or do fulfilling activities.

Soft Bipolar Cyclothymia: 5 Easy things to do to reduce summer hypomania

Here are 5 Tips to reduce summer hypomania

Wear Blue Blocker Glasses Outside

Every time you even step outside the house, put those blue blocker sunglasses on. Don’t forget them when working in the garden, going out for mail, or going for a drive.

Pull the House Curtains

Darken the house. This reduces the amount of blue light inside. Pull the shades and curtains and watch a good movie. Don’t worry about what others think.

Change Light Bulbs In Spring and Summer

Put those pink and warm toned incandescent bulbs in to reduce blue white light and add yellow red light. Never read summers under bright blue lights. Check out bulbs.com for low temp special florescent tube bulbs.

Get Special Dark Time.

If wound up, you have to wind down. Getting dark time, say reading is better than activity. Activity in the summer just gets you more wound up.

Reduce Activities

Don’t go crazy in the summer with activities or you will go manic or hypomanic. Cut some things out. Be aware of activities in bright light that will stimulate the eye, such as picnics, walks, etc. 
for our other lists at Listmy5, go to

Bipolar, Anxious, Depressed? Where is your pet?

We’ve discussed pets in prior posts and in the Soft Bipolar Cyclotymia books.

Here is a great book, a must have if you want to know anything about the hundreds of benefits of pets of all sorts, especially dogs, cats, and horses. Pets cause shifts in the brain, and for the better. This book is a must have for all mental health workers, and every person wondering what the the benefit of a pet is. The vast quantity of information on the subject is incontrovertible. Get the book at Amazon.com or any book store or pet store. Give it as a gift, just as Sheryl gave to me!!
Welcome visitors this week from: Ukraine, Russia, Canada, USA, Australia, China, Italy, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, UK,  Czech Republic, Finland, and more!

Bipolar Cyclothymia Centered and meditative living: Rumi Poems ll

Luck is the one who takes the moon hostage.

I was blindly searching for His hand while all the while He was holding mine.

O moon, I have become famous because of you.

Opent the door to your blessings.

Go in the direction where there is no direction.

Don’t lower yourself
dont knock on every dooor
You yourself are what you are looking for
Don’t say I can’t
Say you can, “just do it”.

Do you smell a loaf of bread?
Go to that smell.

Salvation comes when you give in.

How do you get the juice without crushing it?

Work, keep digging
Submit to daily practice
Keep on knocking and the joy inside you
will eventuall open a window
and look out to see who is there

 When the ocean comes to you as a lover, marry it at once.
Don’t postpone it.

To find my way there i need to let go of my knwoing

When my soul soared
to that blesseed sphere
I was free of the tyranny of why and how
at last the thousand veils lifted
and I could behold the hidden secret.

The intellect says don’t take anotehr
stop toweard annihalation
its nothing but throns
Love says that the thorns are withing you
Be silent and pull the thorns of living out
of the foot of the heart
until you can see in your inside that field of flowers

Last night
I finally set my intelledt free
severed the dependenc
when my heart saw that
it took wings and flew

Now go, find your own Sun

Oh soul
you worry too much
you have seen your own strenght
you have seen your own beauty
you have seen your on golden wings
anything less
why do you worry
you are in truth
the soul, of the soul, of the soul

When the ocean finaly comes to you as a lover

Collection of Rumi Poems for meditative living, bipolar cyclothymia

This islove: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
First, to let go of live.
In the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.
 
Rumi
(from Khamush.com)

Love isreckless; not reason.
Reason seeks a profit.
Love comes on strong,
consuming herself, unabashed.

              

Yet, in the midst of suffering,
Love proceeds like a millstone,
hard surfaced and straightforward.

Having died of self-interest,
she risks everything and asks for nothing.
Love gambles away every gift God bestows.

Rumi
(From Khamush.com)

Tear Down This House!

Tear down this house. A hundred thousand new houses can be built from the transparent yellow gemstone buried underneath it. The only way to get to that is to do the work of demolishing and then digging under the foundation. With that value in hand all the new construction will be done without effort. And anyway, sooner or later this house will fall on its own. The jewel treasure will be uncovered but it won’t be yours then. The buried wealth is your pay for doing the demolition, the pick and shovel work.. If you wait and just let it happen, you’ll bite your hand and say “I didn’t do as I knew I should have.” This is a rented house. You don’t own the deed. You have a lease and you’ve make your living sewing patches on torn clothing. Yet only a few feet underneath are two veins of pure red and bright gold gemstone. Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation . You’ve go to quit this seamstress work. What does the patch-sewing mean, you ask? Eating and drinking. The heavy cloak of the body is always getting torn. You patch it with food and other restless ego satisfactions. Rip up one board from the shop floor and look into the basement. You’ll see two glints in the dirt.

Rumi, 1250

Passionmakes the old medicine new:
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixir that renews:
how can there be weariness
when passion is present?
Oh, don’t sigh heavily from fatigue:
seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!

Rumi
(From Khamush.com)

Lovehas nothing to do with
the five senses and the six directions:
its goal is only to experience
the attraction exerted by the Beloved.
Afterwards, perhaps, permission
will come from God:
the secrets that ought to be told with be told
with an eloquence nearer to the understanding
that these subtle confusing allusions.
The secret is partner with none
but the knower of the secret:
in the skeptic’s ear
the secret is no secret at all.
 

Rumi
(from Khamush.com)

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

When I am with you, we stay up all night,
When you’re not here, I can’t get to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.

From Essential Rumi
by Coleman Barks

When the sweet glance of my true love caught my eyes,
Like alchemy, it transformed my copper-like soul.
I searched for Him with a thousand hands,
He stretched out His arms and clutched my feet.

From Thief of Sleep
by Shahram Shiva

With the Beloved’s water of life, no illness remains
In the Beloved’s rose garden of union, no thorn remains.
They say there is a window from one heart to another
How can there be a window where no wall remains?

From Thief of Sleep
by Shahram Shiva

Some Kiss We Want

There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language- door and

open the love window. The moon
won’t use the door, only the window.

From Soul of Rumi
by Coleman Barks

Love is the cure,
for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain
until your eyes constantly exhale love
as effortlessly as your body yields its scent.”

(From Love Poems from God, by  Daniel Ladinsky)

My heart is burning with love
All can see this flame
My heart is pulsing with passion
like waves on an ocean

my friends have become strangers
and I’m surrounded by enemies
But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me

I’m at home wherever I am
And in the room of lovers
I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances

Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world

I have lost my senses
in my world of lovers

Rumi
(from poetseers.org)

Both light and shadow
are the dance of Love.

Love has no cause;
it is the astrolabe of God’s secrets.

Lover and Loving are inseparable
and timeless.

Although I may try to describe Love
when I experience it I am speechless.

Although I may try to write about Love
I am rendered helpless;
my pen breaks and the paper slips away
at the ineffable place
where Lover, Loving and Loved are one.

Every moment is made glorious
by the light of Love.

Rumi 
(From Love Poems of Rumi – DeepakChopra)

A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more
than you love me?

The beloved replied,
I have died to myself
and I live for you.

I’ve disappeared from myself
and my attributes.
I am present only for you.

Rumi
(from poetseers.org)

From the beginning of my life
I have been looking for your face
but today I have seen it.

Rumi
(from Rumilovepoems.com)

LOVE IS THE MASTER
Love is the One who masters all things;
I am mastered totally by Love.
By my passion of love for Love
I have ground sweet as sugar.
O furious Wind, I am only a straw before you;
How could I know where I will be blown next?
Whoever claims to have made a pact with Destiny
Reveals himself a liar and a fool;
What is any of us but a straw in a storm?
How could anyone make a pact with a hurricane?
God is working everywhere his massive Resurrection;
How can we pretend to act on our own?
In the hand of Love I am like a cat in a sack;
Sometimes Love hoists me into the air,
Sometimes Love flings me into the air,
Love swings me round and round His head;
I have no peace, in this world or any other.
The lovers of God have fallen in a furious river;
They have surrendered themselves to Love’s commands.
Like mill wheels they turn, day and night, day and night,
Constantly turning and turning, and crying out.

Rumi
(from                                  Deepak Chopra)

HE SHIP SUNK IN LOVE
Should Love’s heart rejoice unless I burn?
For my heart is Love’s dwelling.
If You will burn Your house, burn it, Love!
Who will say, ‘It’s not allowed’?
Burn this house thoroughly!
The lover’s house improves with fire.
From now on I will make burning my aim,
From now on I will make burning my aim,
for I am like the candle: burning only makes me brighter.
Abandon sleep tonight; traverse fro one night
the region of the sleepless.
Look upon these lovers who have become distraught
and like moths have died in union with the One Beloved.
Look upon this ship of God’s creatures
and see how it is sunk in Love.

Mathnawi VI, 617-623
The Rumi Collection, Edited by Kabir Helminski

Oh Beloved,
take me.
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.

Oh Beloved,
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.

Rumi
(from rumi.org.uk, translator not listed)

THROUGH LOVE all that is bitter will sweet
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!

Rumi
(from rumi.org.uk)

LOOKING FOR LOVE
A strange passion is moving in my head.
My heart has become a bird
which searches in the sky.
Every part of me goes in different directions.
Is it really so
that the one I love is everywhere?

 
Rumi
(from rumi.org.uk)

“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.


(from The Illuminated Rumi)

Keep on knocking
And the joy that is inside
Will find a window
And look out
To see who is there

Rumi (from The Illuminated Rumi)

Empty, emotionless and bored bipolar disorder cyclothmia person: alexithymia

There are several states where a person has lost touch with their story in life. One can feel empty, not have direction, and have difficulty accessing normal emotions of anger, frustration, desire, mischief, sexuality, and drive.

Of course, many bipolar medications inhibit the ability to have a life story going on. Those with years of experience on antipsychotics are happy just sitting around. They don’t know the life they’ve lost nor do they know what exists out in the greater world for them.

Psychiatrists have been greatly to blame for this problem in bipolar patients. It seems to have a patient come in zonked on meds, and empty life, and a empty smile seems to be the best patient. They are just less trouble, “messy”. Wake up psychiatrists: to have emptiness is as much a loss of life as is mania and mood swings.

Do you have these in your life:

feeling sexy
feeling sneaky
driven for the future
knowing your purpose
knowing your story in life
having interest
wanting to learn and explore
having fun
being entertained.

The loss of story and resultant emptiness can be caused by meds, ongoing depression, a unipolar depressive pattern, ptsd and more. But, a person can also just give up on life and resign. Guilt, fear, and shame often are underneath this choice.

Alexithymia:
Alexithymia is defined by:

  1. difficulty identifying feelings and distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal
  2. difficulty describing feelings to other people
  3. constricted imaginal processes, as evidenced by a scarcity of fantasies
  4. a stimulus-bound, externally oriented cognitive style.

From Wikipedia

We refer to alexithymia in our books on Soft Bipolar Disorder. Would you like more information on Alexithymia, comment below.

Soft Bipolar Books and Resources

Bipolar Disorder Cyclothymia and Binge Eating Disorder, What to do

The understanding of binge eating and overeating has come into its own these days. I just finished some new training on binge eating and would like to pass on a few ideas and some resources.

First, I see it as the number one eating problem of bipolar disorder patients:

1. unconscious eating, heavy grazing of food
2. overeating, large amounts
3. eating when full or not hungry

Unlike Bulimia, there may not necessarily be planned binge eating with Binge Eating Disorder (which is a new term and evolving). However, there is overeating when not needing food. The triggers for this could be both genetic and inherited as well as primarily stress.

Unlike the rampant hunger given by Zyprexa and some other medications, the binge eat does not have a severe appetite problem. They feel full. While there are many ways to look at the triggers, it seems too much depth analysis of that may not help: insight into the triggers helps as does behavioral therapy, or actions to intervene. The number one aid for this is charting or monitoring.

There is a problem with BED for patients even treated well. I do see more BED with lamictal use as well as Abilify. But, for those on good regiments, say lithium, BED can come about because

1. mood and stress problems are reduced and to leave that chaotic lifestyle can actually be a stressor of itself: what do I do with my time and mind now it’s calmer
2. there is an expectation that the good mood medication alleviates all life woes and you are impervious to life stress and struggle. Change, shift, stress, work problems and so on will still come into your life.
3. there are problems in life like biting your nails and overeating that are pretty hard to overcome.

If you are an overeater, and you binge half the time in a month, putting 5 to 10 lbs a month is easy. And, most patients then blame their medication. While there are those that clearly cause weight gain, there are those that do not……hmmmm, the problem might be you and your eating? Ya think?

And, if it is you and binge eating, there is no mood medication that greatly impacts this. The diet medications should be used with extreme caution if you are bipolar. They could help and they could open mania. Its a big gamble.

I would like to recommend books and materials that are current to the last 8 years so that they include new information on overeating and different types of binging.

If you have a website or book like this you’d like to recommend, please put that in the comments section below. Thanks, Dr. Bunch

Here are a couple of recommendations for information:

The definition of zen

some definitions of Zen, from an urban view

One way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.