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Your buttocks are cold and aching because you’ve been pressing them for too long against those filthy concrete steps on the hallway, in front of the elevator. There are cigarette stumps and ashes all over the place, but that does not bother you in the least. You’re happy that human transit is sparse on the 4th floor, though you hear the elevator...
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I recently planned my Drug Treatment Court Graduation. In July I will successfully graduate; the courtroom will be full of my guests and other participants. Each member of the seven panel treatment team — including the judge — will take time to give me accolades, followed by a recess in court so that everyone in attendance can congratulate me...
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Thanks For The Memories

June 13, 2016
Memories are maybe our most precious commodity. And I mean that they are a one-time deal; once we lose them we cannot get them back. That is the worst part about memories. But they also ground us, they give us direction by showing us where we have been, they allow us to hold on to things, search for things, identify with things, and desire for...
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No one ever sat me down and told me I had bipolar disorder. I can only imagine that some people indeed have this sort of experience. A person might see a clinician, tell them what’s wrong, answer some questions, and maybe fill out a test before learning they have a mental illness, but that just wasn’t how it happened for me. I went psychotic...
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Don’t let your symptoms define you. You are not your illness. When you are sick, in a manic phase, you may be angry, irritable, grandiose, a chatterbox. When you are depressed, you may be hopeless, even suicidal, totally fatigued, anxious, withdrawn and perhaps even morose. When you/I are exhibiting these extreme behaviors and emotions, it is time...
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Torn Between Realities

June 8, 2016

Lauren Gann

This was written during a manic episode when the author was experiencing psychosis and was hospitalized. It contains adult language which may be triggering to some readers. I awaken. I hear hospital noises. I feel aloof but in control. Why am I here? What is my purpose in this place? Suddenly it looks so familiar. I am in a Florida hospital;...
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Dear Husband,  We made it through the first year of marriage (not that I had any doubts, don’t worry)! We’ve been through more than our fair share of difficult times, loss and trying times together. But, through thick and thin, we’ve stayed together and can’t live life without each other. I never thought I would find someone who...
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Help us win Healthline's Best Health Blog of the Year! Vote for International Bipolar Foundation here. Several years ago, before I was diagnosed, during a particularly difficult bout of psychosis I believed I was a prophet receiving messages from God. I went days at a time without sleep, diligently documenting everything I heard,...
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I was diagnosed over a decade ago. I was young, a teenager, lost with no clue what to do. My first psychiatrist, who I met at age 14, didn’t want to diagnose me when I was too young. He waited a couple years to officially diagnose me with bipolar 1 disorder; I respect that. I tried medication after medication with this psychiatrist. Different...
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In a previous article, (Read Part 1: The Happy Salad) I wrote about how eating healthfully helped my emotional stability and listed some ways that helped me lose weight and feel better. One common argument against eating healthy is that it is too expensive. Many people with bipolar disorder (as well as a lot of the world) deal with...
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Madeleine Breen

How do I pray, as someone who lives with bipolar disorder? In my younger years when I was fairly stabilized on medicine, the daily Scriptures were my prayer and my study, sometimes studying several hours with my commentaries and allowing the silence to foster the Holy Spirit’s voice. During daily Mass and throughout the day new things might...
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I recently watched as a friend deteriorated as a result of a new medication. She was having an adverse reaction to it and within days was manic. Everyone else saw a happy-go-lucky her, while I saw the irritation building in her, as well as her frustration as she tried to deal with the growing symptoms. Within days the mania turned into depression...
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