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July 24 is International Day of Self-Care. What a great day to celebrate! Since my acceptance of my 3rd bipolar type II diagnosis in 2009, I am so happy to share the things I have done to lift myself out of the suffering and into a place of stability where I feel I have more control over my life like never before. It's been a fascinating journey,...
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The Blahs

July 21, 2016
Here’s a post I didn’t think I’d ever write! I have been on what is considered to be the best mood stabilizer for over a year, and my mood symptoms have been totally under control. No ups, no downs. I have also been taken off the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) by my doctor, so there is absolutely no cycling. In the past, I would be...
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A Q&A for Self-Care Day

July 19, 2016
July 24 is International Self-Care Day. On behalf of International Bipolar Foundation, I asked my friend, Mike, a fitness enthusiast, yogi, plant-based eater and animal lover, to share the benefits of practicing self-care.As a person who lives with bipolar and anxiety disorders, I know that self-care is important, but I have difficulty with change...
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The Soup in My Head

July 19, 2016
"This drawing is called 'The Soup in My Head' and was drawn by my friend Julia. We were having coffee time together and I shared with her my fear of planning something ahead as I often have fozzy, foggy mood, and moodswings, although I take lithium and antidepressants. I mean I have no idea what to expect from tomorrow, it's puzzling, that's why I...
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Above: The Revs. Aaron Maurice Saari and John Freeman being interviewed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in front of First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs. My friends are going to laugh that I have the chutzpah to write an essay on self-care. You see, I am notorious for overworking and overcommitting myself. Sometimes that is the result of...
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We have seen a lot of movies that put the spotlight on mental illness. Movies like "Girl, Interrupted," "Prozac Nation," "Rain man," and very recently "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Infinite Polar Bear," to name a few. These movies portray what it is like to have mental illness.  Lately, the important issue of mental illness has made it to...
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Addiction is a disease. It can turn someone strong into a powerless human being. It can make someone a prisoner in their own body. "My name is Laura and I am an addict." That sentence took me three years to say out loud. I always will be an addict, but I am currently in recovery. Recovery never ends. I watched addiction in my...
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Medications can be an excellent form of treatment for bipolar disorder. There are multiple forms of medications including anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety. For me, the most difficult aspect of taking medications is waiting for them start working. Whether I’m in a depression or a manic state, there aren’t any...
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Dear Bipolar, You have been my closest companion over the years. You found me in high school and refused to leave my side. You convinced everyone that I was always low and moody, making me lose friends in the process. You convinced me that I was less of a person because you chose to live with me, but I tell you now that you are no longer...
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Since learning I have bipolar disorder, I have come to the reluctant realization that progress doesn’t always occur on my timetable. In my mind, I can see how things will be when I’m “all better,” but every time I race towards recovery, I inevitably stumble. It’s like trying to run before you know how to crawl.I force myself to be social and...
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It’s funny how the mind works. Before I signed up to contribute to this blog, I had everything to say about what it is like to live with bipolar disorder. I would think about all the different metaphors I could use to describe what it’s like to experience mania, or to live through a depressive episode. I rarely journal, but when I do it is...
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I’m not who I say I am. That’s because my family would prefer I not use my given name. Many of them don’t believe in bipolar disorder. They think my difficulties were created by using street stimulants during my halcyon Hollywood years, struggling to stay slender for the cameras. Taking mood stabilizers, antidepressants? Just more drug...
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