Monday, August 4, 2008
School is a stressful environment to every teen, but especially to teens with bipolar disorder. Every day is difficult. Of course each teen is different, and will react differently in different situations, but one thing is the same for all, school is a challenge. But there are things you can do to help yourself through the day. One of the first things you should do is find a "safe room". A place where you can go if your feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, or on the verge of a melt down. Maybe the library, the nurses office, or a teacher that you get along with and understands you. My "safe room" was my art teachers class. I went there if i was stressed out, overwhelmed, or just needed to get away. Sometimes just getting out of the classroom and going somewhere that you like an makes you feel comfortable can mean the difference between a good or bad day. Then after you feel in control again return to class, or stay there until class is over if you know that by returning to that situation you'll just be in the same state you left in. Just knowing that there is somewhere you can go to is helpful. It gives you an out. If you can't go to your "safe room" at that exact moment then try alternatives. Stepping out of the room and getting a drink from the water fountain, or putting your head down on your desk. It's always a good idea to talk to your teachers about how bipolar disorder effects you individually. Tell them what you know sets you off, so they can help prevent potential problems. For instance, my brother gets overwhelmed by large amounts of work. If a teacher gives him a pack of worksheets and tells him its all due on Friday he shuts down and gets in the frame of mind that he can't do it. Even if he has enough time to do it, because he's been given it all at once he's too overwhelmed to work on it. But if the teacher gave him the same amount of work in smaller portions throughout the week he can finish it. The same could work for you. By talking to your teacher and figuring out ways to avoid a breakdown then your day will go much smoother.