How your hidden and chronic conditions can be your Super-Powers!
Updated: Aug 5
During our fourth series, we invited the very inspirational Saskia Lightburn-Richie to come on and tell us about all the conditions (or superpowers as she called them) that she lives with, and how she manages her symptoms day to day, in particular her Bipolar.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that affects your mood, making you swing from one extreme to another, and affects 1 in 100 people.
Bipolar causes extreme mood swings ranging from depression and feeling very low to feeling lethargic and having manic episodes where you can feel very high and overactive.
The low days is what Saskia has to plan for, making sure she has ways to look after herself. This is why she created a self-care plan that she can follow, and her partner can follow too when Saskia is experiencing the lower days.
As we've spoken about a lot in the podcast before, chronic conditions can affect people in lots of different ways. So finding a self-care plan that works for YOU is very important.
Even on those days when you feel like you can take on the world. Planning how you'll manage your energy every day can be vital to helping you prevent a relapse and manage one when the inevitable happens.
Letting those around you know how these conditions affect you, is also a great way of managing your symptoms. Finding ways to explain the way you feel to others might seem tricky or frustrating.
Saskia talked about how using the Spoon Theory is a great way to explain the chronic fatigue she experiences to others.
She also shared, that for her personally, talking to others who suffer from the same condition helped her with managing her own thoughts and feelings about living with a condition, especially on those days where she felt others might not understand or she felt guilty about not being able to do things that life sometimes demands of us.
To anyone who is living with a chronic condition, it is very much a case of knowing yourself. Being aware of your own limitations, not comparing yourself to others and putting in place a plan around your condition as much as you can. This will help you focus your energy on the things that really matter to you and of course your loved ones.
Saskia raised a great point on the podcast about how health professionals will give you advice and medication on managing your conditions and symptoms, but the thing that is really lacking is advice on how to live day to day especially when doing those little things we all take for granted can seem impossible.
Tune in to the podcast below to listen to Saskia talk more about the things she does to manage her Bipolar and all the other conditions she's inherited from her treatment such as diabetes and ulcerative colitis.
Even if you don't suffer from any of these conditions yourself, Sasakia resilience and determination to spend time with her family and 17, (yes 17 grandchildren) and run a domestic abuse charity is so very impressive and inspirational.