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Bipolar Disorder

I Am Much More Than That

March 25, 2016
When I facilitate groups, I ask people to say their name, something about themselves unrelated to their mental health disorder and, “And I’m more than that.” Inevitably, a person says something like, “Hi. I’m John. I’m bipolar, and I’m not much more than that.” I’m always sad when this happens because none of us should be defined by our mental...
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There were a lot of warning signs that I had a mental illness, long before my first diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. I would have massive mood swings and extremely violent temper tantrums that often resulted in the destroying of objects or attempts to physically injure someone. This resulted in...
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It's difficult to know what to do when your adult child has the symptoms of a mental illness. We encourage our children to be independent and take care of themselves. But what do we do as a parent if our adult child is struggling with depression, anxiety and  mania? It's often hard to know what to say or do  if you feel like they should...
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I have a secret.  I am a superhero. In some ways we all are superheroes.  I can hear the critics now, “Bipolar disorder is a curse.  Only suffering comes from a disease like that.”  Bah, I say.  Bah.  Life is what you make it.  Bad things happen; good things happen.  Babies are born; loved ones pass on....
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This is the second in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one. ...
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You Are Not Alone

March 10, 2016
I decided to start writing to help people like me but I didn’t really pursue it seriously until my sister passed away unexpectedly last year.  I needed to transfer my grief into something productive (that’s just my personality) and so here I am, writing a blog post every month to help others with a diagnosis succeed. I want to give hope but I...
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You probably hear all the time that if you eat right and exercise, you’ll feel better both mentally and physically. This can be challenging when we live in a world that thrives on junk food and unrealistic expectations on how people should look. So, is it even worth it? Why even try when the healthy payoff isn’t as great as being unhealthy? ...
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When there is a big storm that will knock out your power you prepare for it, right? Typically, you keep water, a flashlight, and some food that doesn’t require cooking because you might lose all power. To some extent, it’s the same when preparing for a low swing/depression part of bipolar disorder. We tend to procrastinate preparing for...
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Breaking the Stigma

March 7, 2016

Ron Owens

When I first met my wife she was invisible. Sometime after her bipolar diagnosis she was led to believe that her illness was not something to be discussed, it was something to be ashamed of. Most people that knew her diagnosis tried to be supportive of her “moodiness” offering her advice like: “If you find a good man, you won’t be unhappy anymore...
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Yesterday I was discharged from a psychiatric hospital after a five-week stay. I was hospitalised for mania and psychosis (you can read about it here). Instead of only feeling the expected excitement and joy, I also felt underlying apprehension and fear. But mostly, sadness dominated over happiness. We had the usual family meeting, which ran...
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After living with bipolar for 8 years, I have noticed some thought patterns that I tend to have around when it comes to thinking about my emotions. Questioning one’s emotions is a useful tool in learning to manage them. As my psychologist and I have discussed, emotions do stem from thoughts – which may or may not be true. Sometimes, admittedly, I...
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Someone Who Understands

February 26, 2016
Jane and her fiance, Dana, each wrote about their relationship for our couples series. JaneWriting a blog set together is both an awesome and odd experience. I write without outlines, and pour everything out – much like I deal with my moods. My fiance Dana needed a list of questions to try and answer. He approached the article the same way he...
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