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By Megan Shultz

I have Bipolar Disorder.  At the end of January 2016 I finished a course of 15 ECT treatments for a severe episode of depression.  A couple of weeks after I finished the ECT I started to become very angry and irritable. The mania was setting in. You see, mania isn’t always euphoria, sometimes it’s lashing out at my husband for no reason...
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By Pieter Steyn

I want to ask you, how are you? What heaviness are you carrying? What tears are you holding back? What pain and what fears are you keeping inside?People often ask you how you are and you reply “fine”, but you are not fine. They will never know that. You start believing the lies around you, saying that you are not good enough, that no one is going...
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Self-Stigma

June 9, 2017

by Kelly C. Kirby, MS, LPCC

I oscillate between thinking of my bipolar disorder diagnosis as my enemy and my partner in life. When I reflect on this ideological difference, I wish I could blame external events or influential people for my shifting perspective; however, I know that my focus changes most drastically because of self-stigma.Self-stigma exists for many...
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How I Eliminated Self-Stigma by Amy Gamble

Starring Amy Gamble, Mental Health Awareness Month Vlog Contest Winner!For more of Amy's work, visit here. 
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In a recent conversation with a good friend, we talked about a mutual friend who appeared to be showing signs of bipolar disorder but who was quite closed to the possibility of a problem. The conversation meandered to what it was like when I was first diagnosed with bipolar, as this friend had known me since then. I wanted to know how open I was...
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The Unseen

May 23, 2017

Kryss Jobes

#TheUnseen is when mental and/or emotional fatigue leads to withdrawing, and depressed thought loops. It is when "I'm tired or "I don't feel good" mean so much more. It is when you can't even handle being around the people you love. It is when you wish you could confide in someone, but you can't let anyone see that part of you. It is when people...
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Finding My Purpose

May 23, 2017

Rebecca Lombardo

I’ve always been extremely hard on myself. I think those of us who struggle with depression frequently are. I know that I have a tendency to compare myself to others who don’t have to deal with mental illness. Are they more successful than I am? Do they have a better house? A great job? I’m realistic enough to know that everyone has burdens to...
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A Generation of Silence by Tom Roberts

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, IBPF is holding a blog/vlog contest for the opportunity to have your work published in addition to our normally scheduled content. More info here.
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Journey to Recovery

May 16, 2017

Thomas R. Grinley

Like many people, my bipolar disorder was misdiagnosed for years. On average, people wait six years for a proper diagnosis. For me, it was decades. In hindsight, my new diagnosis made so much sense and explained so much of what I had been through over the years. It explained the implosion of my first marriage, the numerous jobs I had lost,...
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Eliza Dimapilis

I have always been open about my mental illness, especially my experiences with psychosis and paranoia. I can't see any reason why not to. It is scary when attacks happen, but I find it somehow alleviating to the soul to share what's going on with me, or tell someone about it, in retrospect. It's amazing on what openness can do to other people —...
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Zach Morgan

 This blog was originally published for the Daily Nexus, UCSB’s student-run newspaper.I used to think anxiety was just a bunch of bullshit. In middle school, seventh or eighth grade I think, I remember my grandmother talking to one of my aunts on the phone. My aunt was telling my grandma about how her daughter had just been...
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Vicki M. Taylor

 "Anxiety can begin early in life for people with depression or bipolar disorder. Anxiety and mood disorders can be a co-occurring diagnosis.”- DBSA Treating anxiety disorder in combination with bipolar disorder can be tricky. Anti-depressants can often increase manic episodes for people with bipolar disorder. Benzodiazepines, another...
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