The Power of Complexity

My system of coping with schizoaffective disorder consists of various activities.

Yellow gentian and lily of Martagon.

In a complex system it is precisely the number and variation of its units that makes it possible for the system to adapt, when its environment changes. (Compare: Martin Reeves, Simon Levin, Daichi Ueda: Von der Natur lernen, published in: Harvard Business manager, September 2016, pages 34-46.) It might seem curious to you that I get my ideas for writing in business magazines, but let me tell you that they pop up any time, sometimes when and where one would least expect it. So it came to be that I suddenly though of the variety of methods I use to cope with my schizoaffective disorder bipolar type as a system. At least a system that works for me. I never tried to sell it as a super system appropriate for everyone. I still see it merely as an inspiration, not a recipe. But by getting inspired by my system one can build one of one’s own. Of course I urge mental health consumers to always consult their psychiatrist before trying any of the methods I write about. For example, while experiencing a psychotic episode, it will be probably only the right medication that will do the trick. Psychotherapy or meditation would probably only confuse one’s mind more. But as I have already said, please always consult your psychiatrist.

My system consists of various activities on four different levels: biochemical, mental, energetic and the one concerning my lifestyle.

The first level is the one I leave up to my psychiatrist. I take medication as ordered. In case there would be all of a sudden more stress in my life, my system would be able to adapt all the better, because it has many activities. The first one would be a change of dosage, but after the initial shock I could back it up with more meditation for instance.

Which leads us to the mental level. I meditate according to the Phyllis Krystal method. There is this mental exercise called The Maple, which I do every morning, even if I feel completely fine. I have been doing it for ten years now and it proves very effective, for I usually wake up feeling anxiety. The Maple chases it away. On most days. On some days, though, I also do The Fear exercise from the Phyllis Krystal method to calm myself down.

The energetic level belongs to the field of alternative medicine. My husband gives me a Tibetan massage twice a week, which he learned from a Tibetan medicine doctor visiting Europe from Dharamsala. I also know how to perform it myself, if necessary, but I cannot reach all the spots on my back of course. It helps me fall asleep in the evening.

My lifestyle has changed immensely. I am very lucky that I did not have to find another job eight years ago, for my husband was already making enough money for the both of us. I just quit. Of course I write books and blogs, but since I am my own publisher, there is no one pressing me with dates of publication. I have reduced stress in my life to the minimum of anxiety associated with showing my work to the world. You can read more about the change of my lifestyle in my book Balancing the Beast – a book about balancing bipolar. And last but not least: Please feel free to write about your system in the comment section.

Take care,

Helena Smole, author of:

– a fantasy novel with romance Vivvy and Izzy the Dwarf: A series about relationships

Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

Leave a Reply