In her new video, Julie answers the question, “How do you deal with bipolar brain overwhelm when you have a project due?”
Julie answers this in the video and its written form below.
It’s normal for people with bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders to SHUT DOWN when the brain has had enough.
My mother’s house has an old wiring system. If we use the heater upstairs and I turn on too many lights in the basement, the circuits flip out and the electric system shuts down.
This is exactly what I experience when my brain shuts down.
You will notice I am reading off my computer today. My anxiety and overwhelm were too much for me to meet my goal on this video, so I am letting myself do what works.
I hate it, but it’s my reality.
Here’s what I do:
I remind myself that it’s very normal for the bipolar brain to stop working effectively. I LOVE work. But after about 25 hours or work – even if I spread it out, my brain says no more and shuts down. I will start to cry. I can get paranoid. I can’t sleep.
My REAL non bipolar self- used to get very upset when this happened. “Come on Julie! You love working! Why do you get so freaking sick when things go well!”
Just like my mom’s house electricity, my brain shuts down once it hits overload.
What do you need to say to the people in your life about your work limitations due to bipolar brain overwhelm?
You are normal. I am normal. Your loved one is normal if bipolar disorder makes long work days impossible.
It’s our reality. Let’s face it and get on with life.
We can do it!
A Note from Julie: I write scripts out first that I then share with people who might not understand why I act as I do because of bipolar disorder. Here is a script that shows how I talk with people about my work limitations:
I’m happy we are working together. As you know, I have bipolar disorder. It’s common for people with bipolar to get overwhelmed from work. Our real selves usually love work and want to keep going, but our bipolar brains simply don’t care about what we want. I have a four hour limit on how much I can work at once. Sometimes, it’s two hours- but my maximum will be four hours on most work days. On some days I can’t work at all and have to spend all of my time managing my bipolar disorder. My overall limit is 25 hours Monday through Friday, but I can work more if I spread it throughout the week.
I can work more when my sleep is in order.
I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to be surprised when I say, “What time is it? My brain just stopped working!” You will know that means I have given my all and have to rest.
As you can see, I do get work done, but don’t be surprised when you see what a struggle it is for me every single day. I have accepted this and would love your help in getting things done during my realistic work window
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community
Julie A. Fast