FROM THE VIDEO:
“Here’s what I’d like you all to try… Come up with some silly names for your most notable symptoms and feelings. This includes names for depression, mania, hypersexuality, anxiety, anger, etc. Coming up with a silly unique name will not only simplify the emotion, it also eliminates some of the stigma behind what that word means to you.
The word “depression” is a nasty word for me. I’ve associated so much pain and suffering with that word. Instead, I might call my depression “Eeyore” from Whinny the Poo. I’ll think or say to myself “I’m having an Eeyore day today.” One of our Patrons uses the name “Jenga Brain” to describe her racing thoughts. I use the word “spicy” instead of “agitated” sometimes. If I say “I’m so agitated,” it usually just makes me more agitated because of what that word means to me. If I think to myself “I’m feeling extra spicy today,” it feels different. If my partner says “Are you on the spicy side today,” it hits my ears better than “are you pissed off or something today?”
Try giving this a shot and see if this works for you. Little things like this help build self-awareness. The goal is to name these emotions as soon as you possibly can – before things get to a dark place. If you are already punching walls and screaming, it won’t do very much to call that a “spicy sandwitch.” The moment you notice an unfavorable mood or emotion, put a silly name to it. The combination of identifying your feelings – and doing so with a silly name – help in some small ways to cope with our Bipolar symptoms.