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Mourning Period -- Losing Your 'Old Self' After A Bipolar Diagnosis

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Let’s face it. Being diagnosed bipolar can be a huge trauma. The diagnosis often comes with hospitalization. And, with the diagnosis usually comes medication. As the medication begins to work, you begin to go through subtle changes, changes that may save your life, but changes that cause the "old you" to disappear.

The old you is gone. You are now a labeled, medicated version of yourself.

And you’re much less proud. Bipolar illness is quite humbling.

How does the body deal with the loss of the old self?

Let’s face it. Most of us go through a mourning period after we’re diagnosed.

I got very sad after I was diagnosed. It seemed as though the new me was more than I could handle. I now had a major mental illness and took lots of pills every day.

I was in mourning.

This period of mourning lasted a few months. It was the body getting used to the new me.

Thank goodness, after the mourning period, I noticed that acceptance of my illness began to seep in.

If you’re recently diagnosed, you may be in a period of mourning.

There are things that can help you through this:

Be easy on yourself. You’re in a period of transition.

Talk to your friends about what’s going on in your life. Take comfort in their kind condolences.

Keep a diary of your feelings.

Go swimming early in the morning. Dive into an icy cold pool. Swim 20 laps.

When you’re grocery shopping, treat yourself to a divine brownie.

Don’t wear black; wear hot pink.

Don’t go out of the house without make-up; you’ll feel better.

Lean on your significant other.

Don’t hang up on the charity that phones you for money.

If you’re weepy, wear sunglasses.

Take a long bike ride or a long walk. Breathe in the air.

If you don’t have one, invest in a cat.

Take a short retreat at a neighborhood hotel. Check in alone or with someone you love. Luxuriate in the hotel bed; watch as much t.v. as you want; swim in the hotel pool. Eat crackers and cheese. Drink lemonade.

Invest in a soothing facial.

Plant marigolds in Styrofoam cups like you did when you were in kindergarten; watch them grow.

Invest in some music from around the world.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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