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Anxiety

My experience with bipolar disorder had two long difficult periods of extreme symptoms separated by many years of only dealing with depression. The following story is about how I decided to go back to treatment after many years away. I was first diagnosed at 17 after a not-so-serious suicide attempt; I’m sure that sentence will only make...
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These past few years have been a season of waiting and stress for our family. My husband has struggled to find a permanent job, which has left us with no real sense of where we will settle down and start to build a life. The uncertainty of the situation has produced insurmountable fear due mainly to the possibility of losing health insurance. As a...
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Carrying the Weight

August 15, 2016
Prior to my diagnosis and starting my treatment, I spent countless hours each day stuck in a cycle of worry and panic. I would ruminate, the worst moments of my life and every single mistake I've ever made surfacing in my mind and stuck in an infinite replay. This led to mental anguish and daily panic attacks, which went on for some time. It got...
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I always enjoy reading “listicles” about “what not to say” and “what to say” to someone with a mental illness. I read them and nod my head in agreement, as I can relate all too well. There are sayings or comments that may seem helpful, but aren’t in reality because they inadvertently minimize our thoughts and feelings or may make us feel even more...
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Have you ever been so afraid of tripping that you couldn't take a flight of stairs, even though something like that would never happen? This is the stage setting for my anxiety disorder. I have written about my bipolar disorder a lot of times, but my anxiety didn't let me write about my anxiety. I stand in front of the staircase,...
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I have been dealing with social anxiety since around the time I was diagnosed with Bipolar. That’s 8 long years dealing with both Bipolar and social anxiety. I used to keep myself at arms-length from people for fear of being rejected, since my social anxiety causes weird behaviors. These can be misconstrued very easily if you don’t know me well....
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Dear Dad,  On your birthday, and on every day, you should know how appreciated and loved you are. I am your daughter that was shy, was afraid of strangers, had separation anxiety from Mom (from what I hear), and was afraid of my own shadow. I played it safe and didn’t take risks. I tried not to be trouble. You worked long hours and...
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Dear Friend (On Your Birthday), We met almost 17 years ago, we dated in Grade 10, we had fun while it lasted (all of 6 or 7 months), and went through the “awkward” phase were we couldn’t be friends because “exes” weren’t friends in high school. But, that didn’t stop us for long. We didn’t realize it right then and there, but we built what we...
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Until I was 16, I thought that my uncle had died of cancer rather than suicide. There was always a dark joke in the family that we have a history of mental illness in our lineage. There is the distant cousin who lived in a tiger cage because, well, he thought he was a tiger. My beloved older brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when...
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Moving Forward

May 23, 2016
I have had quite a bit going on lately. I would like to share with you some of the things that have been keeping me so busy. As summer wound down last year, I went back to work. Why is this important – because I have been on disability since April of 2011. Things had happened and I thought I was going to lose my disability. So I started looking...
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Easing Gift Giving Anxiety

December 16, 2015
In my family, as odd as it is, we have a tradition of on holidays attempting to make one person cry with the most sincere gift. Birthdays and Christmas are the times we do this the most, mainly because those are the two biggest gift giving days. It’s an odd tradition but we do it from the bottom of our hearts, not to be cruel. Sometimes, it’ll be...
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The Many Faces of Anxiety

December 2, 2015
Everyone deals with anxiety at some point in their lives. When you’re getting ready to argue or fight, it is that exact emotion that causes your hands to shake. It can cause you to start to feel warm or even for you to start sweating a little. Those are our bodies’ natural reactions to anxiety. Around 40% of people with bipolar disorder also...
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