Dealing With Loss While Managing Bipolar


Shouldering Too Heavy a Burden

When a close family member passes, even non-bipolar people can feel overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility they suddenly find themselves faced with. Funeral arrangements, settling an estate, and distributing a deceased person’s belongings are all time-consuming and emotional tasks that can leave even the healthiest person feeling overwhelmed and overstressed.

I’ve known plenty of people who say they’d rather be busy because it gives them less time to think about their loss, but not everyone feels this way, and even those who do can sometimes find they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.

In these situations, the best course of action is to use whatever resources you have at your disposal to lighten the burden on yourself. Ask family or friends for help, hire a cleaning or moving service, or rely on a funeral director’s expertise (they really are absolutely wonderful people). Don’t try to take everything on yourself. You don’t need to show anyone what you’re capable of — the fact that you live with bipolar disorder every day already proves you have amazing strength and fortitude. Take care of yourself, ask for help, and don’t be afraid to delegate.

Feeling Isolated and Alone

Nothing can make a person feel more isolated than the death of a loved one. It is, however, very rare that we are actually alone in our loss. Most people leave many grieving loved ones in their wake when they pass away, and it is in those times we need to lean on one another.

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This is especially true for those of us living with bipolar disorder. We face so many challenges every day, but we are only alone in them if we choose to be.

Grief is no exception. Lean on your friends and family. Keep them in the loop on what you’re feeling and experiencing.

Don’t be afraid of burdening them with your struggles and emotions. Your loved ones are there for you, just as you’re there for them, and they will be happy to share with you and help you through a mutually difficult time.

Suicide and Your Own Mortality

Nothing makes us realize how brief life really is like the loss of someone we care about. A person is here one day, and literally gone the next — it can be a shocking reminder that death can come to anyone, at any time.

Next page: coping with loss and confronting mortality

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