V.  Bipolarity
Damage Limitation for Down Phases There are many things we can do in our MD "up" phases which may limit the amount of damage we suffer in our "down" phases. Among them I have personally found the following helpful. They all involve being prepared for the worst so as to achieve the best. (1) Do things properly. Don't cut corners where you could be caught out. Attend to details. (2) Keep a clean conscience. A guilty conscience that you can't do anything about is in my experience one of the most painful things on earth, and it frequently strikes when I am at my most vulnerable in a down phase. Like any other secret that we harbour, it can do enormous damage if allowed to fester. The best cure I know is talking to someone about it - ideally the person whom we think we may have offended (people are often amazingly forgiving), but where that is simply not possible try An experienced minister of religion (there are some advantages in this if you can take the plunge), or A therapist or counsellor, or A wise and understanding friend or relative. (3) Attend to your medication. Make sure you have adequate supplies, especially before going away or on holiday. (4) Go out of your way to maintain good relationships, especially with people (friends, relatives, neighbours) whose help you may one day need in crisis. Don't let any bad relationships be your fault. (5) Carry out your chores and other tasks - shopping, writing letters and so forth - while you have energy to do them. Tomorrow you may not have. In short, don't leave any situation in such a state that it could embarrass you or put you in difficulties if your inner "supply line" - your unconscious' channel to you of inspiration, energy and creative ideas - dries up overnight. Taking action to prevent such embarrassment is a very rewarding way of directing your energies while you have them, and will give you much cause to be very grateful to yourself later on. Martin Mosse, May 1998.