Hi all, I am new here and found this thread. I can very much relate to it, so thought I would share. I have was diagnosed with "manic-depression" when I was 25 (I'm 50 now). I could not function well in either state as depression immobilized me (as someone else stated, near catatonia) while the mania scattered me to the point where I could get nothing done. I did have times of "feeling normal" in between - but depression seemed to rule and still can if I am not careful.
Daily exercise was the first thing I ever used to control mood swings; I tried this after a depressive state so extreme that when I "came out" of it I realized that losing my life was a definite possibility. (I refused to do any meds... too many bad experiences in my family.) After discovering a particular daily exercise that was helpful for me, I learned to use nutrition, too as well as spiritual and mental counseling/guidance. And so, these still help to this day. I still am slightly to one way or the other, but I feel it is normal (at least for me). Sometimes the struggles are daily and I must work harder on myself (tighten diet, get back to exercise, meditate, etc.) and sometimes I actually feel healthy and realize that my emotions are okay to have.
It sounds like you have a good plan! I preach all those things, but they are so difficult to stick with. I think everyone would benefit from the things you mentioned. Keep up the good work, Cindy!