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Swim With Me

November 10, 2015
Self-loathing is something I do best. It never ends. I have knots in my stomach, bricks on my chest, a lump in my throat. I’m anxious and depressed at the same time. I try to be positive. I read articles about how to get myself out of this. But I can’t. It consumes me; it takes control, and no matter how hard I try to steer this boat, it sinks....
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“I think you’re becoming elevated” are words that make the ground fall out from under my feet. When I hear someone even hint that I am unusually energetic, cheerful, speedy or irritable it feels like my grip on reality is weakening. I can picture my ascent into mania all too strongly as the times when I have been manic and out of control rise to...
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Move Over Movement Disorder

November 6, 2015
Have you ever felt that you were the patient treatment wouldn’t help? After three years of searching for relief from Tardive Dyskinesia I was defeated. Out cold. Counted to ten. My saving grace was my husband because he would not let me give up. We were both up every morning at 5am, googling ‘Movement Disorder Specialists,’ ‘Tardive Dyskinesia,’ ‘...
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Mania, Anger, and Guilt

November 4, 2015
Mania is a very tough subject for me. When I’d go through the manic episodes it was very painful. I’ll admit, after I dealt with it in therapy, I just wanted to forget about it, but I know that’s not right for our readers. So, here goes… I deal with mania a lot. When I would get angry, anything would and could set me off. When I would get set...
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Tobacco Wilderness

November 4, 2015
Two years ago, I tried to give up smoking. It was just before Christmas, just before New Year’s resolutions come along where we all make promises to be better and do better, eat less cake, and then predictably fall flat on our faces. But it wasn’t about that. It was simply because I thought I should. It would be good for me, my health, my...
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No Longer A Number

November 3, 2015
Just like my bipolar disorder, my eating disorder started in bits and pieces and later formed a cycle. Did you know that as many as 14% of people with bipolar disorder have a co-occurring eating disorder? And it’s not just women! There are male anorexics,  bulimics and men with ‘Bigorexia,’ lifting and taking steroids to achieve the...
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Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself) have experienced a manic episode, then you know mania is not some passive, quiet,...
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Can those with psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder benefit from interaction with animals? For most people the answer is a resounding “YES!” There are an increasing number of dogs being trained to assist individuals with a range of disabilities. It has been noted through many types of studies that service dogs have a positive impact...
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I was standing at the kitchen sink crying. I had just screamed at my 7 year old again. Albeit he was being really annoying, and he talked back to me for the umpteenth time, but it was no reason to scream at him. I just couldn’t control my anger. I was in that agitated, almost-manic state. As soon as I yelled, he got very quiet – and I...
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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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