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As far as I’m concerned this week is the best week of the year. It’s not only Mental Illness Awareness Week, but here in Australia it’s Mental Health Week. Although mental health promotion and awareness of mental illness should be continuous throughout the year (not only during one week), now’s one of the best times to start talking about it....
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When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was in shock. I had no idea about mental illness or mania or psychosis. I had no idea that my brain could be responsible for altering my reality, for making me think certain thoughts, or for making me feel sad when there was no apparent reason. Up until that point, I took reality for granted, as...
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This is Mental Health Awareness Week, and as a minister who has bipolar disorder, I am aware that churches tend to be filled with silence not awareness. One of my passions is helping churches become more aware of mental health issues and know that recovery is possible. A great deal of stigma stems from the church which once (and some still do)...
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Embracing Change

October 6, 2015
Life is a beautiful fragile precious gift, that’s why we call it the present. Life is ever changing, nothing in this life is certain except that one day all our lives will come to an end, when this life is over, it’s inevitable. We cannot put a stop to the hands of time, but we can learn how to live the life we have been given with arms open wide...
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Awareness for mental illness is so important because of the stigma attached to it. When I had told a former friend that I have bipolar disorder, she jumped back and yelled, “Don’t attack me!” Seriously? I’ve never attacked anyone in my life. Sadly, that’s not the only case of someone being judgmental and close-minded about the issue. People...
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I know what you’re thinking, “A coloring book? Has she lost her mind?” But studies have shown that adults struggling with mental illnesses have benefitted greatly from coloring books geared for grown-ups and I’m one of them! I was given one for my 29th birthday in September. I can spend up to an hour carefully coloring the detailed pictures...
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Self-harm is a way of dealing with deep emotional pain. Hurting myself made me feel better when it was the only way I knew how to cope with feelings like anxiety, sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage. It’s an outward expression of inner pain—pain that often has its roots in early life. It may start as an impulsive reaction. It...
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Teresa Smeigh

October 1, 2015
Teresa Smeigh is currently 59 years old and lives in Deptford, New Jersey. She is a mental health blogger and has been featured on 2 websites with her articles about Bipolar Disorder. Her desire is to be a mental health advocate. She has joined a few projects to help try to make more people aware of the disorder and to help eliminate stigma. ...
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Dealing with Stigma

September 30, 2015
“Are you on Facebook?” Those four little words make me cringe more than anything. Never did one sentence cause so much fear and anxiety. Then I have to weigh very carefully how I respond. There are questions I ask myself about the person: Are they open-minded? Will they understand? Every friend I have on Facebook, I trust. I trust that they won’t...
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Lynn Ulrich

September 30, 2015
My name is Lynn Ulrich. I have a bachelor’s degree in Education and am currently an elementary school teacher and gym instructor. I was diagnosed with rapid cycling Bipolar I Disorder with psychotic features in 2008. In my free time I love to go to the gym, play with my son, and spend time with my significant other. 
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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was young, fifteen or sixteen years old, but before that I had been seen by doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists for depression. I think ‘manic’ stages were assumed to be me being a ‘normal’ kid: happy, productive, and full of life and energy. During the time after diagnosis I was put on,...
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Jessica Hull

September 30, 2015
Hello! Thank you for taking the time to read my biography. My name is Jessica Hull. I am thirty years old. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety at the age of sixteen. Prior to this diagnosis I was being treated for depression only from the age of eight to approximately fifteen. I have a very...
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