General Anxiety Disorder & How it partners with and fuels Bipolar Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by:


EXCESSIVE anxiety and worry = fearful expectations.


In order to be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder one must:


a.) experience excessive anxiety or worry for most of the time for at least 6 months.


b.) the worry is NOT based on a specific thing…it is based on multiple things for example: events, activities, work, relationships, people etc


c.) the person experiencing the worry finds it difficult to control the worry.


Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety are as follows:

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Team THRIVE ~ Self-Care Activities: Talking About Influence & Shame

Questions to Ask Yourself and Share to Help Others


To Submit your answers post your answers in the comment section of this blog.


Directions: This is for you.  You don’t have to share it, but if you do, you will be helping a lot of people.

Only answer questions that you feel comfortable with.  By no means do you need to answer all of the questions.






How do I respond to life circumstances that are beyond my influence?



What in my life can I influence?



What’s different between my responses to the things I have influence over and the things I don’t?



How do I currently respond to the things that bring me stress?



How would I like to respond to the things that bring me stress in my life?



What’s the first thing I would notice and do differently in my response?

What’s the second?

What’s the third?



If I responded to stress differently, what would be different in how I feel about myself, my relationships, and my ability to achieve my goals?



How does the way I respond to stress affect my experience of Bipolar Disorder?







What is something that I want to talk about, but haven’t because I feel I will be judged?



Who will judge me?



What will they think about me?



How will I talk to myself about me?



What if my thoughts about there thoughts are wrong?



What if they’re right?



How would I seek out support from anyone or ask for help with shame in the way?



How did this thing come to be shameful for me?



Who did I give permission to make me feel shameful?



What would I say to myself if I didn’t feel shame?



What’s different about these thoughts?



What do these thoughts want for me?



If they had hope, what would it be?



How does this relate to Bipolar Disorder?


How might your responses to stress affect manic and depressive episodes?


How might shame promote mania and depression?


If I am ashamed to live with Bipolar Disorder…

how will I take medication that could help me?

how will I prevent episodes

that cause me to feel shameful to begin with?

how will I explain an addiction to episodes?

will I cover it up with alcohol & drugs instead and suffer more?

how will I get medical help?

how will I keep my job?

how will I keep my friends?

who will help me, if no one knows?

how will I keep it from getting worse?


You don’t have to be ashamed. You’re not alone.



Why I Prevent Mania. Reasons to prevent relapse of bipolar disorder episodes.


A common question that I am asked is, “Why would you take medication and do whatever it takes to prevent mania?”


The simple answer is there is no way I would have achieved any of my goals and accomplishments in my life if I had chosen mania instead.


I take lithium (even though I have the horrible side effects of “lithium-induced psoriasis) and do everything I can to prevent mania for the last 15 years because the peak of mania caused me to become somebody I truly fear…someone who is not me.


I was completely out of control in my mind and body.

I couldn’t stop emotionally hurting myself and other people.

I could not stop hurting the people I love no matter how badly I wanted to and how hard I tried.

I have never been so scared and in so much pain in my life that I never wanted to experience it again EVER.


And I never want to experience the full-blown depression I had after that mania.


In that form of depression, I did not feel alive anymore.

The great philosopher, Descartes, says you know you exist because “I think therefore I am.”


I could not think.

I could not feel.

I did not believe “I am” anymore.

Who I am, was destroyed and dead…yet I was still breathing.

I did just enough to survive because I was forced.

If I had stayed that way for long, and had not had help, I probably would have commit suicide as soon as I had the strength to do so.


I do whatever it takes to NEVER EXPERIENCE THAT AGAIN.


Yet, I am persistent about me being who I am.

I refuse to lose myself to medication. I do whatever it takes to prevent mania while maintaining who I am.

I don’t even let myself go a few days, let alone a few weeks with hypomania….if I were to wait that long, I’d lose control and lose myself.


Of course I miss hypomania.

That was the most incredible and awesome experience of my life.

I trust that nothing else in life will ever come close.

Yet, I know that if I choose mania, I will have the most incredible UP TO a few months EVER then full-blown mania will kick in because you can’t stop it…and everything else in my life that I have worked beyond so hard to achieve will be destroyed.

Even if I only had hypomania…I would still make the WORST decisions humanly possible because I would take on FAR more than I can handle EVER…and I would destroy my quality of life.


Mandalas That Contain Me ~ Artist, Robin Mohilner

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The experience of coloring these Mandalas (art in a circle) is a very containing and relaxing for me.  It is a centering activity.  It helps create moments of balance.

These Mandalas come from the coloring book, “Coloring Mandalas 2: For Balance, Harmony and Spirtitual Well-Being” by Susanne F. Fincher (72 sacred circle designs for people of all ages)