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I have no memory. Alright, I'm being a little tongue in cheek here. But, most days I really do feel like I have no memory. Who knows when it began. I've always had some memory retention issues growing up. It drove everyone around me batty. I can't say as I liked it much. When I was younger, it wasn't that bad. I could still memorize mindless...
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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ My journey through bipolar disorder started genetically, but wasn’t kicked off symptomatically until the major traumatic event that could shatter any teenager’s life. My mother died suddenly of a ruptured brain aneurysm one week before Christmas when I was 14. Mother was...
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If the teenage Sarah knew what 27 year old Sarah knows now, I believe this bipolar journey could have been a lot less painful.  But when I’m tempted to dwell on how much farther ahead I could be had I been more prepared to live life with a mental illness, I remind myself that I doubt I would have the same ability to empathize with others that...
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Do I Have to Take Meds Forever?

September 28, 2016
I can't give you the answer you want, because the real answer is "Probably. You will most likely require psychotropic medication for the rest of your life." (I'll get to that "most likely” in a bit.) Personally, I don't see what's so bad about taking meds. Is it our upbringing, with the incessant "Drugs are bad" messages from parents,...
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My father was a man of very few words. The only exceptions were hilarious dad jokes and long conversations with my mother -- conversations that looked so pretty that I wished to have some like them in my life. Since he didn’t talk much, I can't start with a quote of wisdom from my father since I have never heard him say something about life,...
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When I was in my 20s (I'm 37 now), my bipolar depression got so severe that the docs decided it was time to try ECT, Electroconvulsive Therapy. In the old days, they called it “shock therapy”. The premise is sound: if you cause a 10-60 second seizure in the brain, in at least 10 consecutive treatments, certain biochemicals “right” themselves and...
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My Path to Acceptance

September 27, 2016
I keep hearing the word acceptance when it comes to living with bipolar. But what exactly does it mean to me? A doctor once told me acceptance means acknowledging a fact, but not necessarily being “ok” with it. I was uncertain so I looked it up. Acceptance is defined as “a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a...
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September is Suicide Prevention Month. This is my story of my suicide attempt on September 12, 2014. I have chosen to share this to raise awareness – it has never been told before. Blink. “One, two, three.” My limp body slid to the ER table. Blink. The bright light. Blink. Scissors cutting my shirt. Blink. “She’s crashing!” Black. I heard my...
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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/I know junior high was rough, and high school is only going to be rougher. By now you've realized that you're different from most of the other kids – they've told you so, but they didn't have to. You've been dissolving in tears for the least – or no – reason. You've been...
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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/Remember freshman year of college at the Fall Health Fair? A man at a table handed you a piece of paper and asked you to take a depression screening; they were encouraging all incoming freshman to take it. You had been fighting any suggestions from your mom about talking to a...
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Dear Amy, I want you to know there will be times in your life when you will struggle with a mental illness called bipolar disorder. I know it sounds complicated, and the truth is, it is. It is complex because we are talking about your brain. However, if you learn everything you can about how to manage your symptoms and find a good treatment...
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Relationships are hard, with or without bipolar disorder, but adding bipolar disorder to the mix just makes it feel that much harder. Before either rushing into a relationship, or avoiding them altogether, you might find it useful to hear a bit of advice from someone who fully understands the difficulty. Here are some questions I like to consider...
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