One day you notice your smile lines have turned into wrinkles. Or maybe your back and knees creak after a flag football game. It’s inevitable: The passage of time brings changes in the body, in relationships, in outlook.
The mantle of maturity often fosters a stronger sense of self, even as midlife marks the creeping arrival of “senior moments” and medical issues. Parents have to adapt to an empty nest, which can be an emotional challenge even as it leaves more time and freedom to focus on personal pursuits. Ditto for those who step back from the workplace.
How does bipolar play into all of this? Mood shifts may change or intensify. Medications that worked for decades may lose their potency or start contributing to other health conditions. Yet years of accumulated knowledge can yield a better grasp of how to maintain balance.
Of course, everyone’s journey with bipolar is different. At 69, Dennis hasn’t noticed any differences in his bipolar I symptoms.
“They always say that as we get older, we change,” he says. “I’ve been doing well on the same dose of medication for 25 years. Maybe these things happen a little later than people think.”
Or maybe some credit goes to Dennis’s daily walks around Boston and longtime involvement with a local Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance chapter.
Anything that helps you stay active and socially connected will make the third act of life run more smoothly. It turns out “functional age” — how we perform daily tasks, whether we exercise, what we do for fun—may trump chronological age.