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Jumping off my balcony, abusing drugs, walking down the middle of a highway and neglecting meds. That’s how I use to ring in the New Year and wish my family a Merry Christmas. Since I’ve been diagnosed bipolar in 2011 I’ve found that once the Christmas season hits, I start to experience relapses. I could be as stable as a seamstress going into the...
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I Should Just Go

December 10, 2014
Often, there are times when we don’t want to do anything; nothing inspires, nothing motivates, nothing is uplifting. “It seems that the weight of the world is bearing down on me and I can’t possibly do anything about it-I should just go. It’s just one thing after another.” Moving forward after a bout with depression is one of the toughest...
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Dual Diagnosis

December 9, 2014
“Population-based studies have documented that among all patients with major psychiatric disorders, those with bipolar disorder have the highest prevalence of comorbid substance abuse and dependence” (Tohen, et. al 1998, Pg. 133).My substance abuse came long before my diagnosis of Bipolar I.  As children living in fear of their Father, my...
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To Loathe or To Love?

December 9, 2014
To Loathe Every time I looked in the mirror I hated what I saw. Self-loathing had been a big part of my identity. Why did I hate myself so much? Why did I look at my reflection with contempt and disgust? I am not sure how or when it started, but many of my earliest memories were of simply not wanting to be me. Since that was...
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I am fortunate to be mentally stable and manage my bipolar disorder well.  That being said I sometimes have a tendency to not always have a positive mindset throughout my day.  At times negative things that people say or do bother me and I’m not able to let go of them quickly.  In the last week I’ve come across an exercise which is...
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Stigma

December 9, 2014
I wanted to start off this month's blog by saying that I'm so thankful that I live in a society where I can both be honest about my mental illness and reach out to others. I know that we used to live in a time where you pretty much couldn't talk about any mental illness, but now there are so many people fighting the stigma. I am proud to say...
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Nine years ago this December, my mental illness erupted through the surface of my otherwise regular life. Work was a snowstorm of activity with the holidays approaching, and I remember feeling super stressed out trying to keep all my end-of-the-year meetings with my many clients. This, on top of buying gifts for everyone on my list, which had...
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Broken Radio Dial

December 2, 2014
Being understood is on my top ten list of desires.  I’d imagine it’s pretty high on everyone’s list but for those suffering from an illness which carries so much stigma, being understood can save a life.  I’m talking about being understood by the people that I do life with.  Trying to describe what’s going on, even to people that...
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Outside its cold, inside I’m warm as I sit down to drink my hot cup of herbal tea and write my blog. Usually each month when I submit my blog, I address a certain topic that is important in the mental health community, but this month I want to focus on what it means to be thankful. How many times are we so focused on our troubles, and we forget to...
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Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

November 26, 2014
Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m left institutionalized. The same happens with jobs and money. I am pretty...
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 We've all heard it before, or something similar, "This too shall pass". "Just puts your big girl panties on". "You've been here before, you can do it again". While our loved ones mean well, in the throes of depression, these are sometimes the absolute worst things to say to someone living in what seems to be the depths of doom....
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That's Not a Real Diagnosis

November 25, 2014
“That’s not a real illness.” “I don’t believe in mental health.” “If you don’t need medication, you must not really have bipolar.” These are just a few of the long stream of comments from people in my life, the most recent being “You know, I don’t think you’re bipolar, I think you have cyclomania,” because having a Bachelor’s in psychology...
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