Frequently Asked Questions About Beating Depression For Bipolar Traders

I have been stock trading for more than six years now. I started doing it in my last year in college out of sheer interest in the field, even though my collegiate background was too different from it. (I studied Theater back then.) A friend showed me how I could monitor the stock market and make money out of it without leaving the house, and that’s what I had been doing ever since. I merely did theatrical acting part-time, but my full-time job now involves stocks.

Despite the sense of fulfillment that I got whenever I traded stocks, many people still questioned my focus. Most of them believed a job that could be done at home was not a job at all – it was more of a hobby than anything. My own parents often told me, “You are not getting any younger, Doug. If you do not want to become an actor anymore, then we will be more than happy to send you back to school and get a law or business degree.”

While I often responded with a laugh or the waving of a hand, hearing the same thing – the same lack of trust in my ability to excel in my chosen profession – began to wear me down. I used to maintain a happy disposition even when the Great Depression caused the stock market to tank; I did not feel hopeless when it went on for months. I just waited patiently for things to improve. However, the more I listened to my non-supporters, the more I wondered if I was genuinely doing what’s right for me.

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Spiraling Down

My self-confidence continued to crumble when two of my five investments went on a slow but steady decline. I had this 80-inch flatscreen TV in the office where I watched the stock market graph every day, and it saddened me to see that those two might not recover anytime soon. When the third one dropped all of a sudden before my eyes, I lost it. I started weeping and feeling helpless, like a little boy who could not find his parents at the mall.

That’s how my wife found me. She was rooted to her spot for a moment (probably because she never saw me cry before), but then she eventually ran towards me and asked what’s wrong. Though I tried to contain my sobbing, I couldn’t. I blurted out all my worries about the stock market and how I could not seem to think of a way to reduce my losses.

My wife looked at me in the eyes. “Baby, perhaps it’s time for you to see a psychologist. I know you have been spiraling down little by little, but this – the crying and the negative self-talk – is on another level. I would honestly appreciate it if you get mental help sooner than later.”

My tears stopped falling for a minute. I had not thought of that before – the possibility of having a mental disorder. When I agreed, my wife contacted her psychologist friend once, and we went to her house in the same afternoon. The psychologist did a few tests until it turned out that I most likely had a bipolar disorder, although I experienced depression (all-time lows) more than mania (all-time highs). It was mild, and I was apparently lucky to have it detected early, but I still had many questions about my new condition.

What is the number 1 cause of depression?

Experiencing life challenges for a long time is the primary cause of depression. Imagine, if you cannot find work, someone always bullies you, and your relationships are strained, you may be unable to help but feel like everything is going against you. Worse, you may believe that the situation will never change.

What is the most reliable symptom of depression?

A sense of worthlessness is the most reliable symptom of depression. It is evident in most – if not all – types of mood disorder. Because of this symptom, you may not want to talk to anyone or do anything, to the extent that opportunities pass you by, thus depressing you further.

What methods do you do to improve your mood better?

  • Listen to music. The more upbeat it is, the better. It may be better if the songs have been sung by your favorite singers so that you can sing along and feel the lyrics.
  • Walk in the neighborhood for at least 15 minutes every day. Getting exposed to sunlight is ideal for improving your mood.
  • Look for a reason to laugh daily. The act of laughing tends to increase dopamine production in the brain and oxygen in the body.
  • Clean your house. This activity can clear your mind, especially when you see that everything is in order.
  • Offer a hug to someone. Experts say that a simple touch allows your brain to produce more oxytocin, a love hormone. In case you are alone, doing a self-massage will do the job.
  • Count your blessings every day. Ask yourself, “What good things happened today?” Write them down or think about them to feel better.
  • Confide about your issues with a loved one. Often, your mood will not improve if you keep on harboring negative feelings.
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What is the most severe form of depression?

Atypical depression is most likely a severe form of mood disorder. It is a subtype of dysthymia that often appears for the first time during teenage years. People with atypical depression experience the following:

  • Hypersomnia
  • Weight gain
  • Intense sensitivity to failure and rejection
  • Feeling leaden
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Suicidal tendencies

What are the four types of depression?

  • Clinical depression: This severe mood disorder causes individuals to feel helpless, hopeless, and unworthy of love and attention. It is typically not caused by grief or physical condition.
  • Chronic depression: You experience depressive symptoms for no less than a year, but they are milder than what people with clinical depression deal with.
  • Manic depression: Its new name is bipolar disorder. When people have manic depression, their mood swings tend to be extreme and may last for days every time.
  • Seasonal depression: This mental disorder is usually experienced during the wintertime due to a lack of light exposure.

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

The following symptoms characterize bipolar disorder:

  • Excessive sleepiness or sleeplessness
  • Low or high moods
  • Impulsive thoughts and behavior
  • Sense of worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Faster speech than usual

What are the four types of bipolar?

  • Bipolar 1 disorder: You experience extreme mood swings for an extended period.
  • Bipolar 2 disorder: The manic and depressive symptoms are somewhat mellow, although they are still noticeable.
  • Cyclothymic disorder: You deal with depression and hypomania, but they do not last long.
  • Mixed bipolar disorder: You experience varying symptoms simultaneously.

What triggers bipolar?

Several factors can trigger bipolar disorder, such as:

  • Abusing alcohol, drugs, and other substances
  • Being in the presence of a mother, father, brother, or sister with the same condition
  • Dealing with excessive stress or traumatic event

What are the signs of bipolar in a woman?

When a woman has bipolar disorder, the following symptoms can be observed:

  • She gets irritated quickly.
  • She has more energy than usual for various activities.
  • Her self-esteem increases.
  • She does not sleep much.
  • She talks a lot, to the extent that people may not understand all the words.
  • It is challenging for her to concentrate on a single activity.
  • She gives in to impulsive thoughts without worrying about repercussions.

Can girls be bipolar?

Yes, girls can be bipolar. In truth, women get diagnosed with bipolar disorder as frequently as men. They tend to experience this condition’s symptoms more often, considering women deal with hormonal changes every month.

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Are tattoos a sign of mental illness?

Studies reveal that individuals who get tattoos tend to use ink to cover up their lack of self-esteem. They are also more likely to get diagnosed with a mental illness than others. In that sense, it may be safe to say that having tattoos indicates a person’s poor mental health.

How do doctors test you for bipolar?

In reality, there are no specific medical examinations for bipolar disorder. When you see a doctor for the first time, they will want to run brain scans and thyroid function tests first. The latter is important, considering a malfunctioning thyroid gland can cause a mood disorder like depression. Once hypothyroidism has been ruled out and the symptoms of depression – and mania – are still there, the doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for a mental health evaluation.

The thing is, you cannot expect to receive a diagnosis after your first evaluation. Besides talking to you regarding the symptoms and their duration, the mental health professional may want to discuss the matter with your loved ones to figure out what other signs have still not been mentioned. Only when they manage to rule out other mental conditions they can diagnose you with bipolar disorder.

Can bipolar people tell they are bipolar?

The answer is no. Many bipolar people do not realize that they have the disorder, especially if they have been previously diagnosed with ADHD or depression. As you know, depression is one of the primary symptoms of bipolar disorder. But if your sense of worthlessness gets replaced by manic symptoms sometimes, you should see a psychiatrist ensure whether you have bipolar disorder or not.

Is bipolar inherited from the mother or father?

It is quite rare for people to inherit the bipolar disorder from any parent. However, when it happens, it is typically from the mother. One study backed up this idea, citing that between mothers and fathers that they have tested, the latter failed to pass down bipolar traits to their kids.

Is Bipolar 1 or 2 worse?

Bipolar 1 disorder is worse than bipolar 2 disorder. When you experience the former, you tend to have severe manic symptoms. You feel invincible; it’s as if nothing can hurt you. But with bipolar 2, the manic symptoms may be diminished, albeit slightly.

Final Thoughts

My wife and I had a long conversation that night on what I should do to get better. I was more depressed than manic, so we both thought that’s nice – it meant that I would not have daredevil moments in the future. As for the depression, we chose counseling and therapy – and lots of exercises – over antidepressants.

A couple of months later, my chosen treatments seemed to be working as different ideas on avoiding significant losses in the stock market flooded my mind again.

 

Economy Is Down – COVID-19 Effect

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As of today, the world already has more than 9 million people infected by COVID-19, with 471,754 deaths and 4,513,310 recovered.  In the Philippines, we have reached 30,682 cases, with 1,177 deaths and 8,143 recovered.  This is genuinely a health crisis we are facing, and it seems it has affected all aspects of our lives: economically, politically, psycho-emotionally, socially, culturally, and spiritually.

Continue reading “Economy Is Down – COVID-19 Effect”

How To Avoid Emotional Stock Investing

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How many times had a spur-of-the-moment decision led to a feeling of misery because you were too emotional? According to psychology, emotions can get in our way when making decisions. At times, emotions cloud our decision-making, and it makes us regret our actions.

We feel emotions because we are humans and our surroundings affect us. Emotions can dictate our actions if we let them control us. Regulating your emotions is like honing a skill or changing a habit. It is possible with time, but it is hard.

“Many people mistakenly believe that if they just had more money, all their stress would disappear and they’d be blissfully happy.”  Bahareh Talei, Psy.D. stated. Being in control of your feelings, especially in the stock market, is a gamechanger. Follow these steps if you are having trouble controlling your emotions to avoid emotional stock investing.

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Take A Breather After Consecutive Wins Or Losses

Consecutive successful investments make you want to invest again and again because of euphoria. You feel unbeatable and invincible.

On the other hand, consecutive losses make you not want to invest again because of fear—fear of being wrong (again), fear of losing money (again), and fear of leaving money for others to take (again). You feel crushed and shattered.

“Although any stress can take a toll on your health, stress related to financial issues can be especially toxic.” Elizabeth Scott, MS, a wellness coach emphasizes. Taking a breather is a simple yet effective way to regain rationality. It can be in the form of taking a deep breath, having a short break, or temporarily stopping after consecutive wins or losses. Assert to yourself that what you are experiencing is only temporary. This mantra is a powerful motivator for you to try again.

Research, Research, Research

Indeed, knowledge is power. Studying the stock market by analyzing charts, discussing with people, and reading journals can help you make fact-based decisions. An investor who knows more about investing in the stock market will most likely have more investing opportunities.

In addition, the use of different techniques has proven to give investors confidence in allocations in the market. This way, you lessen, if not eliminate, the emotions that may influence your decisions. Instead, you make your decisions based on facts. Being able to make decisions without second thoughts, backed up by research, is a healthy way of balancing a lack of confidence and overconfidence. 

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The Bottom Line

Thinking rationally will get you anywhere. Our emotions must always be in check to avoid emotional stock investing. Take a short break and think about the reasons why you invested in the first place and the pros and cons of that investment. Furthermore, doing in-depth research, especially in your area of expertise, can help you overcome fear and be confident in making decisions. “We all have money issues and quirks of one kind or another. If we don’t know what those quirks are, they will emerge in a time of real stress or panic.” Eric Dammann, PhD used to say.

Stock investing is a game of emotions. Understanding the effect of your feelings in the stock market and, better yet, the psychology behind the stock market is already an advantage. While you should not take investing lightly, you also should not take the outcomes of your investment to heart.

Detach. Adapt. Adjust. There’s no single approach to being a successful stock investor. But the earlier you learn to take your emotions out of the equation, the faster you’ll rise in the stock market board. Trust yourself. You can do this.

Proper Attitude Of A Stock Investor

Nowadays, more people are deciding to invest in stocks. Thus, people cannot help but invest hurriedly without adopting the correct attitude needed from a stock investor. These people who hastily spend their money risk losing all of it if they do not have the appropriate mindset and outlook. Here are some of the approaches required to be a successful investor to help you in your journey in the stock world.

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Patient

Patience is a virtue, and it is a crucial one in the stock world. Just like any other business, stocks can be challenging to manage. However, you need to know that learning the right temperament will be one of your recipes for success. It means that you can control yourself in deciding your moves. Being impatient can cause poor decision-making regarding investment.

It is also crucial for investors to accept that returns are not immediate in the stock world. Most investors spend years before witnessing growth in their money. Aside from these factors, the right temperament also involves not only being motivated but also being realistic.

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Analytic

Whenever people engage in a new venture, it is imperative to know the how-tos. However, in the stock market, there are no specific how-to’s to be a successful investor. There may be instructional materials about the technicalities, but these cannot adequately teach you how to be a leader in the stock market.

Nevertheless, it is still important to educate yourself regarding finances and consumer habits. That way, you can analyze the predictions presented to you. Now you will not solely rely on stock market news and become a spectator in the stock market. You will be an actor in the stock market, and you will know how to manage your investment.

Good Decision-Maker

News about stocks can be useful. However, it can also be overwhelming. Thus, investors must know when to let stock news affect their decisions. Patience and the ability to analyze stocks can help investors to make the right decisions.

Thus, you need to know how to balance your gut feel and what you know from the news. You do not need to read every report about the stock market since that can be extremely draining. Read and analyze reports which are beneficial to your decision-making.

Another important aspect of being a good decision-maker is the ability to understand risks. After studying the risks, balance them with perceived benefits and decide accordingly. Another great tip is to avoid stocks that are receiving too much public attention. Stocks that experience too much public awareness tend to become overpriced and unstable.

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Final Thoughts: What Makes A Stock Investor Successful

Learning how to be patient, how to analyze, and how to make the right decisions is what constitutes the proper attitudes that will guarantee a stock investor to be successful. Returns in stock investments are long-term; thus, its waiting time is also long-lasting. Learning about stocks is a commitment; therefore, those who want to become investors need to adapt to changes in their attitude to survive and prosper in the stock world.

Can Money Buy You Happiness? Maximizing Joy With Budgeting

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Can money buy you happiness? That is an age-old question asked and answered by everyone. If you ask this question to your older relatives and your friends, then you’ll likely find their answers to be very different. And you can see why: everyone’s relationship with money can depend on many factors, including their lifestyle, age, and even culture.

“Many people mistakenly believe that if they just had more money, all their stress would disappear and they’d be blissfully happy.” –Bahareh Talei, Psy.D.

Answering this question isn’t easy. But there are simple things that you can do now to make sure that your hard-earned money can reward you with maximum happiness. All you have to do is to remember these three numbers: 50-30-20.

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Setting Aside The Essentials

Who doesn’t want a new pair of shoes or a delicious meal at a fancy restaurant? We all do! But before you spend your paycheck on a shopping spree or a food trip with friends, you must know your priorities first.

We should start with the essentials: rent, utilities, groceries, and others. You might find this part dull, but these are the stuff you definitely cannot forget about. No one wants to get their lights cut off or get kicked out by the landlord.

“if you’re under significant financial strain, it’s associated with depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and a sense of loss of personal control.”  Brad Klontz, PsyD said. List down all the essentials and sum it up to get your total. You’ll find that you need to allocate around 50% of your income on this. That sounds like quite a lot, but trust me: things will get better from here.

How To Spend On The Things You Love Guilt-Free

Now that you’ve made sure that you’ve set aside enough for your day-to-day expenses, it’s time to get to the best part: guilt-free spending! Set aside 30% of your income. You can use this to spend on the things that bring you happiness. It can be going to the movies, eating out with friends, and getting you that new pair of shoes (YAS!).

List down the stuff that you like the most. If you’re the sort of person who loves shopping for new clothes, then set aside more of the 30% for that. If you’re someone who likes traveling and going out of town, then devote more on that one and spend less on others.

Remember that 30% can be a pretty small amount, so knowing your priorities can help maximize it and make sure you waste less. If you have a magazine subscription you no longer read or spend a lot of fast food when you can cook cheaper, healthier food at home, then maybe it’s time to let them go. We can learn something from best-selling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”

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Investing For Your Future

Being able to set aside money now to be ready for the future is a crucial part of any budgeting plan. The remaining 20% should go into any future goal, be it a vacation, a new car, or your dream wedding. These goals can be expensive, but saving up bit by bit can make it attainable. Note that “Learning to cope with financial stress and effectively manage your financial situation can help you feel more in control of your life, reduce your stress, and build a more secure future.” Elizabeth Scott, MS, a wellness coach explains.

A portion of that percentage should also go to preparing for any unforeseen expenses. The money you save now can save you headaches from future emergencies.

Whether money can buy you happiness or not, you can be confident that you can make the most out of this simple 50-30-20 budgeting plan. Take control of your expenses, spend on the things you love, and have peace of mind all without breaking a sweat.