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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...
Russ Federman, Ph.D., ABPP
For those living with bipolar disorder, the first few years post-diagnosis can be some of the most difficult in terms of one's relationship to the disorder. Beyond the necessity of initial symptom management, the process of accepting and coming to terms with the reality of one’s bipolar disorder is among the more difficult tasks to be faced....
May 2, 2017
I cringe anytime I hear someone talking about finding "the cure." It’s the same feeling that strikes me when someone walks into my office, where we help people with mental health problems, proclaiming how they just want to “fix” their loved one. Warm-hearted and well-intentioned, to be sure, we have adopted the language of the fight for...
April 26, 2017
Q: My partner does not always seem open about sharing their experience with bipolar disorder. How do I speak openly with them about their condition and my concerns? I also frequently worry that I might unintentionally do something that might trigger an episode for them - how do I avoid doing something that might accidentally trigger them?Beka: For...
April 21, 2017
Q: Besides attending couples’ counseling and individual therapy, are there any other specific strategies you use to keep your relationship balanced?Beka: To keep balanced, I make sure I take time for me (and we take time for US as a couple – i.e., date nights!). I get massages regularly, eat well, exercise (this is huge for me), and make...
My introduction to transpersonal psychology came in the form of initiation. I was no stranger to adolescent disturbances, assigned twelve-step meetings, and group therapy for my drinking after having wrecked my car, and there were many less outwardly consequential experiences that nonetheless ate at my soul. I could not wait to get to college,...
April 11, 2017
I woke up in a bed of steel, covered in snow white blankets. Drops of water were running down my face, but i couldn't tell tears from sweat. I rose up and looked around the room trying to get a grip of reality. It was just a dream… a bad dream. A thin little girl, barely one hundred pounds, was on her way up a hill, surrounded by the greenest...