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Bipolar Disorder

Another Diagnosis

October 20, 2015
A month ago it was just another Tuesday morning: wake up, shower and dress, drink some coffee, then leave my husband and puppy at home to drive 45min to my doctor’s appointment. It felt like the same as before: go in for 45 min, talk, get refill prescriptions if I need to, and then go home, but – not this time. I walked into my doctor’s feeling...
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Human beings are social animals. We live in communities and in addition to our basic needs of clothing, shelter and food, we need strong bonds, of belongingness to go through the motions of life through good and bad times. In the case of a serious health issue affecting someone, the role of the family or caregiver needs no introduction. We need...
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As far as I’m concerned this week is the best week of the year. It’s not only Mental Illness Awareness Week, but here in Australia it’s Mental Health Week. Although mental health promotion and awareness of mental illness should be continuous throughout the year (not only during one week), now’s one of the best times to start talking about it....
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When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was in shock. I had no idea about mental illness or mania or psychosis. I had no idea that my brain could be responsible for altering my reality, for making me think certain thoughts, or for making me feel sad when there was no apparent reason. Up until that point, I took reality for granted, as...
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Embracing Change

October 6, 2015
Life is a beautiful fragile precious gift, that’s why we call it the present. Life is ever changing, nothing in this life is certain except that one day all our lives will come to an end, when this life is over, it’s inevitable. We cannot put a stop to the hands of time, but we can learn how to live the life we have been given with arms open wide...
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Awareness for mental illness is so important because of the stigma attached to it. When I had told a former friend that I have bipolar disorder, she jumped back and yelled, “Don’t attack me!” Seriously? I’ve never attacked anyone in my life. Sadly, that’s not the only case of someone being judgmental and close-minded about the issue. People...
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I know what you’re thinking, “A coloring book? Has she lost her mind?” But studies have shown that adults struggling with mental illnesses have benefitted greatly from coloring books geared for grown-ups and I’m one of them! I was given one for my 29th birthday in September. I can spend up to an hour carefully coloring the detailed pictures...
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Self-harm is a way of dealing with deep emotional pain. Hurting myself made me feel better when it was the only way I knew how to cope with feelings like anxiety, sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage. It’s an outward expression of inner pain—pain that often has its roots in early life. It may start as an impulsive reaction. It...
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Dealing with Stigma

September 30, 2015
“Are you on Facebook?” Those four little words make me cringe more than anything. Never did one sentence cause so much fear and anxiety. Then I have to weigh very carefully how I respond. There are questions I ask myself about the person: Are they open-minded? Will they understand? Every friend I have on Facebook, I trust. I trust that they won’t...
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I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was young, fifteen or sixteen years old, but before that I had been seen by doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists for depression. I think ‘manic’ stages were assumed to be me being a ‘normal’ kid: happy, productive, and full of life and energy. During the time after diagnosis I was put on,...
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I think it’s safe to say that many of us who have bipolar disorder struggle with weight gain. The main reason is that medications can affect our appetite. My medication makes me crave sweets like never before. A woman I met in my bipolar support group had just been diagnosed with the disorder and subsequently put on a mood stabilizing drug....
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In this video, Sarah talks about the dull feeling she had when she first starting taking medication. It eventually went away after she worked with her psychiatrist to adjust the medication to what works best for her. Read more of Sarah’s posts for IBPF here. You can find out about Sarah’s other passion, health and nutrition, at her blog...
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