It is much easier to manage the disease once you accept that you have it. This is particularly pertinent for family members who have to live through the turmoil.  Certainly my family, especially my Mum, was very, very relieved when the psychiatrist explained to her what was happening, as unsurprisingly she felt worried that she had in some way ‘’screwed up’’, and how was it possible for her child to go so badly astray. It was also a relief for my Mum to understand that the drinking was a bi product and not the cause.

Your lifestyle options have to be tweeked and often curtailed. However, don’t drown in self-pity, as there are hundreds of other awful illnesses and situations which people have to deal with. Listen to your body in order to avoid a relapse or an episode. Know your triggers (See T) and don’t push it. It is not an easy ride, but eventually you will learn to live with it. There’s no choice!

I have not tried Acceptance Therapy or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Up until now I have had regular (less so now) sessions with my psychiatrist, which have leaned more towards the diagnostic side. It is obvious that someone with a mood disorder has to train his or her brain to think differently.

So how do you accept this awful illness?

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