You may think that your psychiatrist and your psychotherapist constitute your treatment team. You can add your caregiver, your bipolar friends, and your online groups and call them your support system. But there's one person you've left out. One who can be vital in getting the care and help you need.Your pharmacist.My pharmacist – indeed, all the...
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June 16, 2017
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...
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...
June 2, 2017
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.
June 1, 2017
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...
May 23, 2017
#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...
May 23, 2017
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...
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,...
May 16, 2017
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 —...
May 9, 2017
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...
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...
Mental health awareness is a term that we are hearing more and more these days- and May is an important month for us mental health advocates! In Canada, the first week of May is designated as Mental Health Week, which was first introduced in 1951 by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and has become a yearly tradition ever...