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Bipolar Disorder

Recently, my daughter had to have heart surgery to close a hole in her heart that should have closed on its own shortly after she was born. She is 18 months old and is now 7 weeks post surgery, healed quickly and is now considered to be healthy and normal.  But the stress of the situation caused a relapse in the stability I was so proud of...
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Long before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar one disorder, I led an active life.  After college graduation, I became an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and I worked in a family-owned gym  My duties included greeting members and creating their fitness programs. While working there for two years, I...
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Rescued by a Dog

December 18, 2014
I own a psychiatric service dog. He’s similar to a dog that would assist a blind person, but he’s trained differently. He’s not a therapy or emotional assistance dog, he’s a certified service dog and is allowed anywhere that a dog for the blind would be allowed to go. Let me tell you my story and then you can decide if a psychiatric service...
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Summer and the Festive Season

December 17, 2014
Living in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas and New Years is a time of long, hot days, and having Bipolar with ‘seasonal affective components’ usually results in me becoming elevated. The 15 hours of sunshine, hot weather and days of being active at the beach is enough to push my mood above baseline. The festive cheer, New Years Eve...
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Tis the Season to be Depressed

December 16, 2014
It is that time of year again when we are supposed to be joyful, surrounded by friends and family, and have a generous heart.  Many of us though find this time of year to be depressing especially because we are supposed to be in the Holiday Spirit.  We are keenly aware we cannot be with loved ones either because they may live far away,...
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Life Preserver

December 16, 2014
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate life with a mental illness, the idea that you, personally, are a life preserver for...
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Buying a gift for a friend or family member with bipolar disorder? Skip the standard Starbucks gift card - and choose something that promotes wellness. Below are a wide variety of selections ranging from $1 to $200 (you can find many of them at discounted prices, so shop around). All of my picks are products I’ve used personally, that my...
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We all know someone or have gone through the experience of losing friends because of a mental illness. I don’t have many friends right now and I go day by day watching my two sisters, my Mom, my Dad, and even going into a store, I see girls laughing together and the sad thing, is that, that was me a few years ago. That was me. Some of my...
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Jumping off my balcony, abusing drugs, walking down the middle of a highway and neglecting meds. That’s how I use to ring in the New Year and wish my family a Merry Christmas. Since I’ve been diagnosed bipolar in 2011 I’ve found that once the Christmas season hits, I start to experience relapses. I could be as stable as a seamstress going into the...
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I Should Just Go

December 10, 2014
Often, there are times when we don’t want to do anything; nothing inspires, nothing motivates, nothing is uplifting. “It seems that the weight of the world is bearing down on me and I can’t possibly do anything about it-I should just go. It’s just one thing after another.” Moving forward after a bout with depression is one of the toughest...
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Dual Diagnosis

December 9, 2014
“Population-based studies have documented that among all patients with major psychiatric disorders, those with bipolar disorder have the highest prevalence of comorbid substance abuse and dependence” (Tohen, et. al 1998, Pg. 133).My substance abuse came long before my diagnosis of Bipolar I.  As children living in fear of their Father, my...
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To Loathe or To Love?

December 9, 2014
To Loathe Every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw. Self-loathing had been a big part of my identity. Why did I hate myself so much? Why did I look at my reflection with contempt and disgust? I am not sure how or when it started, but many of my earliest memories were of simply not wanting to be me. Since that was...
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