A Bipolar Biography…
Welcome to Bipolar Days.com
My name is Nigel Bashér and i’m the creator of this NEW Bipolar Disorder Support Community website…BipolarDays.com.
I’m a retired Clinical Hypnotherapist and part time Online Entrepreneur…in that i aspire to helping others through the internet. Bipolar Days is a NEW Bipolar Disorder Support Community Website, with videos, posts and recommendations to help those with Bipolar and their loved ones who support them. We would love you to be part of our community and to help us to educate others about Bipolar and to help us to play a supportive role in the Bipolar community throughout the internet/world.
That this website and the Facebook social media page is only managed by myself. Though I do try to keep some sort of regularity to it; it is not always possible with my Bipolar. I hope you understand and remain a valued subscriber. Your support in helping to make BipolarDays.com a voice and resource in the Bipolar Community is greatly appreciated. This is part of a personal goal of mine; to help as many people as I can, with my personal integrity and desire to help others. Using the unique, positive and creative sides of my Bipolar, to bring about that reality during my lifetime.
This is a simple Bipolar bio that those with bipolar will hopefully relate to
and those without Bipolar will understand more about it.
The two particular skills that I have mentioned above; Hypnotherapy and Entrepreneurship, have helped me through over a decade of challenging times with the Bipolar Disorder and i would like to share with you a little of my journey if i may, and what has worked and what hasn’t for me and for others with Bipolar. As a result of doing so, these strategies may help you too, or someone that you know with Bipolar.
I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (formerly known as manic depression) around 2004, along with Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), following a traumatic experience in 2002 and narrowly avoided being hospitalized under the Mental health Act, as i could no longer function mentally and was a danger to myself, having overdosed on Lithium and written a jumbled, barely legible last will and testament on a scrap of paper.
I went from being an intelligent person, to someone who could barely function. I could barely spell my name, let alone do anything else. It was extremely frightening. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. Sadly it would be a long road to some sort of recovery back to my old self…finding myself trapped and alone in a barely functioning mind. Paranoid and frightened, completely withdrawn from the world i once knew.
I had no idea what was happening to me on multiple physical and psychological levels.
Mania and Depression
On developing these psychological conditions I was unable to work full time, for over a year. After that i tried part time, until it was obvious that i was unable to work at all. In the end i lost my professional career. In that year alone, i had a deep depression that lasted about 3 months and the mania in equal measure, at least it felt like that way.To date it has been a challenging journey back to some sort of cognitive ability, sadly; In many ways, i was never to be the same person again. The life i once knew as my old self ceased to exist.
In 2010 i had a medical court case against a government organization that took me to the brink of bankruptcy, with their lack of honour and integrity. Just because i dared to stand up to their bullying behaviour, disability discrimination and lies. For at least 2 years i lived in a small wooden outbuilding with my dog Tess, while i rented my house out to pay the mortgage and bills etc as every penny that i had went into fighting the case. I had become very depressed with the pressure of it all and was not looking after myself and had few visitors, as there was barely enough room for myself and my dog.
I had very little money with the cost of everything, so i lived on junk food etc. My family literally kept me going. In 2012, I eventually won my negligence case, 8 years after the onset of these issues and was able to keep my actual home. Able to concentrate on my business aspirations again and to look forward to some sort of future, without the financial pressures of before. For me bipolar is enough, without the added money complications, brought on by my mania or other external factors outside of my control.
On the positive side I have many skills, from the practical to the technical. So, when manic, I have sailed through numerous diplomas and various projects. I have consulted for large and small businesses, built websites, conservatories and various large DIY projects for people for free, just because somebody mentioned it in the throws of mania. I simply cannot rest until it is done and as fast as possible. I have even dropped everything that i was doing just to help complete strangers in need of help, only to slip into depression afterwards when i burn myself out. Nowadays I find that i have limited energy to apply to things, as bipolar/medication quickly robs me of my energy reserves.
I have given away or loaned out and forgotten about things of mine; often expensive items that others have gained from my poor medicated memory. I have spent 1000’s on a hot tub that i never plugged in (used), purchased 6 guitars when i could hardly play a chord. At times i would take on Mike Tyson (boxer) if threatened. Not a good idea by the way 🙂 At other times i would avoid a person half my size if they looked at me in a confrontational way. You get the idea. Bipolar is such a curious condition, and that is without talking about my PTSD challenges.
To me bipolar is a blessing and a curse. I love the manageable mania and creativity, yet dread the isolation, suicidal thoughts and despair. I often feel like a ghost, trapped in some sort of limbo. My journey has had the typical suicidal moments and crippling debt (over $100,000), either lost, given away or spent on things i will never need. The constant need to challenge my very existence is a worry to myself at times and a burden on friends and family. I personally find it easier to keep such moments to myself and to focus on applying my own coping strategies instead. This works for me, however one on one support works for others.
I am one of the lucky ones, in that i was able to clear my debt; though many are not so lucky. At times this condition has been hell on earth. One that few will never understand. I know it will never leave me, though i manage it through my therapeutic skills and a desire to help others through the medium of the internet and other methods. It gives me a purpose and a reason to keep living, in those moments when i have to challenge my various levels of bipolar thinking. My various new Internet Businesses and on going projects being my passion in life, as i have been able to progress them in my own time, without the stress and time restraints of working for an employer. Something that i would personally find impossible to do with this health condition.
We all have different coping methods. Mine are CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), CAT (Cognitive Analytical Therapy), Self-Hypnosis, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). Trying to get some quality sleep, relaxation and exercise. Healthy eating, meditation, reducing alcohol consumption and a daily purpose that matters to myself and others also helps. Getting out for walks in the fresh air and sun is something that i should do a lot more, as it is as powerful as medication and free. I just tend to feel safer and comfortable at home in my own environment, so getting out for regular walks is something i need to schedule into some sort of routine. Whatever that means, as i have always been a free spirit.
Being kind to oneself and others is at the core of managing this condition in my view, as any upsets or stress tends to set the condition back in me. Another helpful strategy was to cut up and cancel my credit cards. Mania and credit cards don’t mix as it just feels like a free method to buy stuff when in the grip of mania, as no physical money changes hands.
I tend to push myself to my extremes, as i have a driven personality. I tend to feel better about myself if i am motivated and moving forward with something slightly challenging, and not allowing myself to dwell on mistakes or negative thinking patterns if i can, as it is the road to deeper cycles of depression. On the whole i try to be as balanced as i can. I prefer to be positive and help others. I tend to stay at home in the peace and quiet with plenty of natural light, working on different projects. I do tend to get bored easily, so i constantly find myself moving on to the next shiny object.
I find that i’m easily distracted and take things that are said literally. I find myself going off on tangents, due to brain storming thought patterns, much to the amusement of friends and the delight or despair of others that i converse with at times. Another major issue for me is that i sometimes say what i think without a filter; so i say things that people don’t want to hear, as it is easier for them to conveniently deny the truth in some situations.
For instance, if a partner looked awful in a new dress, i would say so, and end up in the dog house, while the friend who lied and said she looked great, and left her to walk around in something unflattering, would be the best in the world. Sadly it seems that the latter is how society works.
Medication wise, Lithium made me feel like a ghost. Sodium Valproate appears to be a slightly better solution; though 2-3 months in, i have noticed significant hair loss and thinning of my hair. I regularly see clumps of hair falling out after washing it. I need to try something else, as it doesn’t help me to feel good about myself; especially when i do go out in public places. Hopefully there is a better solution with less side effects available? As of February 2017 i have been given Lamotrigine. I hope it has less side effects than the last one.
Like most people with Bipolar, i am inconsistent with my medication as i despise taking it, as it is so bad for my body, yet i concede that i need it to keep me alive. Without it i relapse into dangerous levels of mania and despair. I do not see the positive or negative changes in myself when on or off medication. I tend to not see the warning signs of the bipolar episodes coming, like family and friends do in me. It sort of creeps up on me and says boo…i’m back.
People with bipolar are intelligent, creative human-beings with feelings, only that they are amplified beyond normal thresholds. Unfortunately there is still a stigma related to psychological disability, even though it affects 1 in 4 at some stage in their lives. Government funding is low and few resources are available. People with bipolar are often the life and soul of the party, yet at the same time isolated and alone and greatly misunderstood by society in general.
I like to think that i am an honest, supportive and kind person, unfortunately, some people tend to exploit these qualities, as i find it difficult to say no and put my needs first when i need to.
A distorted outlook in mania or depression, makes it harder for someone with bipolar to see the world through rational eyes at times. Even their own families and partners don’t always understand the illness, while others don’t want to know at all, so they make their excuses and walk away. It can be hard for people, when they can see someone with bipolar functioning well one minute and not the next.
For example, I can get lost on routine car journeys that i have done many times. I get short or long term memory loss that comes and goes. I forget how i know people, even close friends, while at other times i struggle to do the simplest things. Anxiety can strike when i least expect it, along with dyslexia. Then there are the surges of higher functioning, confidence, creativity and other emotions. Not forgetting the other things that i have already mentioned.
Each day is different, as i currently have PTSD (the permanent one) and Cyclothymia; the rapid cycling version of the bipolar condition, though it started out as Bipolar 1, then changed to Cyclothymia for now? From what i have experienced, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat the many aspects of the condition, as it can take years for doctors to do so, at least it has been for me. I still think i am an enigma to them.
I have worked very hard over the years to manage the condition and to avoid extremes of behaviour, though it can be mentally and physically draining, looking after myself, monitoring my thinking, setting goals mentally and physically. Some people however, have no choice, it just gets all too much, so they end up hospitalized. Some do nothing to help themselves and so increase the risk of getting worse and external intervention.
Apart from personal coping methods that work for each bipolar individuals circumstances, a good understanding support network of doctors, family, friends and partners goes a long way in keeping life at some level of ‘normality’ for want of a better word.
Thankfully there are people who understand and see beyond the labels and the disability, and focus on the many strengths that people with bipolar have to offer, given the chance to do so.
I hope that this humble website helps others to learn more about bipolar and that it helps those with this condition to find the strength to love and help themselves as i have done, and to play to their incredible strengths; and know that people in the Bipolar Days Community are there for you too.
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I dedicate this website to my father who passed away with cancer in January 2015….gone too soon.
I developed PTSD and Bipolar and this website is to raise awareness of Bipolar primarily and to help others with the condition.
I'm also a retired Clinical Hypnotherapist and Entrepreneur...in that i aspire to helping others through the internet with my self-help websites and products.