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A little backstory: I was diagnosed with bipolar type II disorder in January and started taking medication then. I am still on the original medication I started with, because it seems to work well for me, and have since added a second medication to the mix to help keep me even more stable. I have experienced one depressive episode since my...
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Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply function some days.  Lots of days. Every time I leave my therapist, I feel so...
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Hinges of Marriage

November 11, 2014
“We don’t have anything in common” my friend lamented, “sometimes I wonder why we even stay together.” As I listened I absently glanced at our white patio doors with it’s 3 hinges. “Well” I shared with sudden inspiration “it only takes three hinges to hold a door open.” I then shared the hinges needed in the marriage of one of my...
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Interest in the more subtle Yoga practices related to mental health has expanded. The other side of the Yoga coin, ayurveda (AH-yur-vey-dah), offers 5,000 year old tips on lifestyle and stress management, diet, herbs and cleansing and other complementary healing modalities which can help us to balance symptoms of bipolar disorder. Ayurveda,...
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Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

November 6, 2014
For the past 5 ½ years I have concentrated on one thing and one thing only … getting my son’s and my own mental health in tip top shape.  Finding the answer to decades of issues with my diagnosis of bipolar illness in 2009 was just the beginning for me.  At the same time, my son, age 8 at the time, was diagnosed with mood disorder, ADHD...
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The Balance Button

November 5, 2014
It's about balance, isn't it? It's about exertion and then rest, it's about give and then take, it's about yes and then no. But the problem is I don't have the "balance" button. I have bipolar 2. Of course, it's difficult to draw the line between the symptoms of this condition and my own unique personality traits. I don't know where that line...
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South Africa The sad bigotry, Like stalactites, Cold fingers,  Paw at the caverns of my mind Phantoms,  reminitions of my past,  Await me,  In cochineal cloaks,  Those ghosts of yesterday  To feed again,   Extinguish the lights of my horizons I yearn to remove this cancerous growth   Within...
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Out of the Dark

November 4, 2014
Mental Health Awareness Week occurred from October 5-11 and on October 11 I participated in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s ‘Out of the Darkness Walks’ in Northern California. I was planning to go alone because I had attempted to persuade friends and family to join me, but I got the same response, ‘Susanna that is too...
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The concept of a therapist seemed rather peculiar to me. For one, of course this total stranger was going to listen to all of your banter for the lump sum of $100/hour; I think most of us would to the same. And for second, why would you want to banter about the darkness of your inner and outer mind to a complete stranger. Due to the fact I was...
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‘Sometimes I just want to crawl under a rock. It seems as if that is the safest place; the hardness of the rock will protect me from what I don’t want to face and I don’t need to exert energy into doing anything anyone asks of me. I can escape to the darkness this rock shield provides and be alive in my own world without a care.’ If you are...
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I have written about appreciating cognitive difference and there is a great deal of literature that expounds on seeing the value of neurodiverse conditions. Appreciating the lifestyle of those with differences is part of understanding the value of diversity. I have also asked, as have many who study these problems: where do we draw the line...
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This is part three of a three part series: Part One: Planning for a Family When You Have Bipolar Part Two: From Pregnant to Mommy The next hurdle was returning to work. I’ve been back to work for almost 6 months now, and was quite surprised with myself that the transition went very well. It turns out that I am the kind of mom who...
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