Manage your dating

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Fast When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 31, I was completely unaware of the triggers that caused my mood swings.

I blindly walked into situations and never thought, “Gee! ” It’s amazing to me that no one at the time taught me about triggers and how they could significantly increase bipolar disorder symptoms.

For example, I can have a pretty normal day and then I go way, way down because of an argument with my brother.

This means I write “Fight with Ed” on the line that represents a downswing.

When I left the relationship, the mood swings stopped completely.

This way, I can carefully chart the path of my mood swings, as they relate to the events in my day.

After doing this for a few years, I was absolutely amazed at what consistently triggered the illness and how I just kept doing those things anyway—I really was in denial. I loved him, but he triggered so many mood swings that my chart often looked like an EKG.

I used to think I was the problem, until I really looked at how much I was affected by his behavior.

I used to get caught up in this—for days, I’d think, “Oh no! ” My option here was to prevent the mania that caused the behavior. Here’s an example of how an outside trigger can cause significant mood swings.

A few years ago, I began a friendship with a brilliant woman who shared my career of writing books.

Then she did it in public; she actually slammed her fist on the table she was so angry.

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