mental health tip of the day

Mental Health Tip of the Day: Hi, I’m a grown-up and I’m afraid of the dark.

A therapist once told me that most (if not all) of her bipolar clients have a curious trait in common: the tendency to experience moods much longer than the average unaffected person does, often until it causes problems. Anger, resentment, frustration – negative emotions don’t like to evaporate from our brains as quickly as they reasonably should. For me, no sensation sticks around longer or more inappropriately than fear. I can’t sleep for days after watching the mildest horror movie, because images of monsters will flash at the corners of my vision in the darkness, making me experience surges of paralyzing fear over and over again. I can’t even leave the room to call for help, afraid the Babadook is waiting there. Nights like this occur frequently for me, and at the drop of a hat. So my best advice to you: if you’re afraid of the dark and you’re bipolar, don’t be ashamed of yourself; it’s not your fault. It’s likely just part of a psychiatric disorder that makes it difficult for you to let go of unpleasant feelings. (The other best advice I have is don’t watch The Babadook.)

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