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Bipolar Disorder

Emotions and moods fluctuate for everyone. When life is going our way we are happy and when things are rough we can be down. This ebb and flow of moods is normal; it is what makes us human. So what is the difference between ‘normal’ and ‘bipolar’? Bipolar Disorder takes those highs and lows to the extreme: mania and depression. Manic...
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My Formula for Recovery

October 20, 2015
It took me a few years to figure out just what I need to stay mentally healthy with no risk of relapse. I had been on the road to recovery so long that I forgot how important all the things I do every day are. I learned the hard way that I need to stay on my plan indefinitely or it will be very difficult to get back on track. This past summer...
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Guys Supporting Guy Friends

October 20, 2015
Often I hear of women getting together with one or more friends to do things to support one person and/or another. Some examples are getting a manicure, meeting for coffee, or going to a movie. Sadly this isn’t as common in guys doing things together with their buddies from a place of support. Sure a lot of guys hang out with each other. However I...
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I used to think that I could tell easily whether or not I was feeling emotional. But recently, I have realised that it isn’t as easy as I thought. There have been times that I thought I was calm enough when talking to my partner after a disagreement – only to find out that I apparently was not. You can guess what happened in those situations....
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Headaches have been my companion off and on for years. I usually take Excedrine and Tylenol and put a cold pack on my neck. I often have to lie down as well. I even suffered with migraines for a time and lived with shots, dark rooms, and tremors. Having bipolar has only exasperated the problem because the pain sometimes plunged me head first...
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I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder after a wildly embarrassing acute manic episode. I did it all. I claimed to be Jesus. I punched a friend, who I thought was the devil. I got arrested in the lobby of my freshman dormitory. I stripped off all my clothes and demanded the police come look at my naked body as proof of my divinity. And this...
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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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