My name is Ross Szabo. Im the Director of Youth Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign.
Im the co-author of Behind Happy Faces: Taking charge of Mental Health. And I have a bipolar disorder.
The best treatment in our country, in the world is really medication and therapy for all mental illness. I think the most important thing in
treatment is obviously finding a treatment that works for you and thats medication if its meditation if its -- whatever it is
Find a treatment that works best for you. You need to take care of yourself. You need to think of yourself as somebody who has bipolar disorder,
not Im bipolar and bipolar dictates my life. Im going to dictate my life and deal with bipolar disorder as I do that. I think triggers are really
hard and I think whats interesting about triggers from a treatment perspective is when I was young and people would ask me of what are my triggers.
I didnt know what that meant. And I didnt know what my triggers were.
And what I have learned to do in my early 20s was rather than trying to pick out the events that triggered me, I'm trying to pick out the emotions
that came with the event. When most people have anger, it usually something builds and then they snap.
If you can locate that building feeling and you can slow it down or recognize it and do something else that isn't punching something, thats recognizing triggers in a different way.
It's recognizing the emotion in you that leads to the event.
I can do the same thing with mania and do the same thing with depression is really feeling when that comes on and then changing coping mechanisms.
I do think talking about it -- I think talking about your triggers is the most important thing because it can relieve that and I think that what most people misunderstand
is -- I think a lot of people will think if you just talk about it and it goes away, thats not what talking should be there for. You talk about it to identify it
so that you can find other ways to deal with it.
Exercising is really important to me because if you have that rush of endorphins, if you have that rush of energy, it really helps you.
And then, when you're in that recovery time from being exhausted, its really cathartic to me. I think also those changes in lifestyle
like even diet and even sleep and all of those things can be included in coping mechanisms for the triggers. I tried a lot of different exercises throughout my life.
My mind is constantly raising and one thing that I would say is different for me when I was going through my worst time and now is that I kind of embraced
that My mind is going to think a lot and exercise is a way for me to kind of get all those -- get all that energy out and get those thoughts out.
One thing that kettlebells and fighting do for me is I dont think. I dont think at all during class because the kettlebells are so heavy and so it helps me.
It helps my mind especially with fighting like if you're fighting, you can't be thinking like about other things.
You have fists coming at you or you have people trying to choke you out or hurt you.
And so, you really have to focus and I think the kettlebell training especially is really good for me, because I went through really hard times and
I have to recover and I can channel a lot of the hard times I've gone through into that iron, and its coming from the earth.
And then, when I breathe again on that recovery phase where Im like, â€œAll right, Im trying to recover.