Friday, July 6, 2012

Bipolar and Reluctantly Aging

Bipolar and Aging
The title should actually be "Bipolar Me Totally Freaking Out About Getting Old." I don't think about it all the time, obsessively, but seeing all of these changes accumulating is hard...need to get bifocals (this is the hardest one), eyebrows going from bushy and unmanageable to sparse enough to need penciling in,  wrinkles, skin and body parts starting to sag.. I know that this, and many posts on this blog seem very, "MeMeMecentric, but it's a blog largely about my experience with bipolar, so that's kind of unavoidable.

Getting "Work" Done
Back to the subject of getting old. I have gotten Restylane injections once, in the depressions between the corner of my mouth and nose. It really did help, but is temporary. I think mine lasted for quite some time, between 6mos and a year, but it's very expensive, and money is tight. No more Restylane for now.

Getting and Staying Fit
I am now on track for getting back into shape. Being fit again will give me a big fountain of youth injection. Last year I was running 5 & 10Ks. I was in the best shape of my life. Then I stopped working out altogether. I've started back up again, and my next post will be about what I am doing to get back in shape. I even think that I will track my weight in that post (gak!). Any of you who are game, and have doctors okay on getting fit, can join me. I don't necessarily want to run races again, but if I don't get and stay in shape, my body is going to just continue well as the small problem of all the preventable diseases that people can develop especially when not fit (heart disease, diabetes, and, for me at least, depression), understanding that genetics certainly plays a role too.

Sticking to a Beauty Regimen
As far as physical appearance, I also need to get back into the habit of washing my face at night and using nighttime lotion. Using the right products can help even skin tone, and hopefully reduce wrinkles. 

Stay Hydrated!
I also need to drink more water. That is the best way to hydrate, from inside out. I usually start the day with coffee, then have a diet coke, then have some water in the middle of the day, then drink wine at night, quite a dehydrating batch of drinks. 

I understand that my personal appearance worries are a bit superficial, but I do want to look the best I can for my age. I know I'll never be 20 again (and as stupid as I was in my youth, thank goodness). And aging is definitely better than the alternative!

How are you coping with aging? What has helped you feel better about yourself as you age? Leave a comment!

Evening 7/7: At most ages, even when I was a young adult, I had some features I had that I didn't like...knock knees, nose too thin, hair too curly. I've always critical of my appearance, at every age. I think many girls and women are. Today I'm as young as I'll ever be, so I'd better make a point to enjoy it.

Bipolar Stats:

  • Level of Mania (on scale of 1 - 10, with 1=none, 10=practically levitating): 2
  • Level of Depression (on a scale of 1 - 10, with 1=none, 10=can't get out of bed):
  • Medication Compliance (0 = not taking, 5=taking some, 10=taking all): 10
I am recording my mania and depression bipolar data separately because I often have mixed episodes where manic and depressive symptoms occur at the same time.

This blog is for informational purposes only, it is not intended to be used for the treatment of mental illness. If you are having emotional troubles, please see a mental health professional, not a computer. 


  1. I am 41 and I hate getting older!! I wear sunscreen everyday now, and moisturize like crazy. I am thinking of getting something like restylane in the creases by my mouth, but I am not rich, so we'll see. I try not to look in the mirror too long, or I will obsess and "see" things much bigger than they are. I hate it...I want to stay physically younger!

  2. Hi Shannon -

    Good point about moisturizing. We're about the same age. I am certainly better about putting sunscreen and moisturizer on than I was when younger. I think that staying hydrated, eating well and exercising are our best bets for looking young. Bought some lip plumping gloss today to keep my kisser looking poofie! Gotta work with what we've got ;)

  3. At 45 and getting what I call a second chance, I know exactly what you mean. I feel like the 25 years were largely swallowed up by BD. Well, they were I suppose.... I want to dig in my heels and resist aging although I do realize it's a one-way trip.

    As a guy I'm especially not supposed to be vain but ... my big gift to myself a couple of years ago was Lasik surgery. I realized afterwards that I really hated wearing glasses (not to mention losing them all the time)! And it made me feel younger, more capable.

    I try not to squint. The smile wrinkles I can live with. :)

    I'm impressed by all you do. Doing better help one do better. And the mantra "use it or lose it" is absolutely true.

  4. Andrew - Thanks so much for your comment. I have thought about Lasik, since I wear glasses too. Everyone I know who has had the surgery has been happy with the results. Just have to rustle up some $.

    Good point about a second chance too. So many of us with bipolar disorder have spent years seeking diagnosis and proper treatment. It can feel like years lost. I guess that is also another of the advantages of being older ... experience with the disorder and better management of symptoms.

    Good luck developing your smile lines :)