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I have not worked since I left my job in 2013 due to my mental health. I have successfully gotten a couple of jobs since, but have not made it past the induction period before I’ve become unwell again. I just don’t seem to be able to deal with the stress that comes with being employed. I may be able to work again one day, but for now I am...
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Lavender Blooms

May 4, 2016
I still like the way lavender blooms, the way it smells, the way it lingers on my skin and saturates my face with a glow of happiness.. And so does she; my old self, the self that didn't tear herself to pieces. I see her in my sleep, she stitches up my wounds and grows lavender in my mind. I feel it. She's still there. I catch her in the corner of...
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Maegan Bassett 

Mania You wake up after only four hours asleep, but that’s ok, you feel fine. Today is going to be a great day, a productive day, one of the best days of your life. You get in the shower and sing every song you know, and keep singing as you dress up and do your hair. You have no reason to leave the house today, but you’ll find one. Maybe you’...
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This is the third in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one. ...
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Everyone I have ever talked to within the mental health community has an acute awareness of the social stigma of their condition. They could jeopardize their career, could lose their friendships, or even have their family torn away from them. We are all aware that people look at us differently, fail to trust us with important tasks, or even skip...
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Thankfully I normally get to sleep very quickly. However, about a month ago it took me a VERY long time to get to sleep. I had a bunch of ideas swirling in my head and my mind kept firing off new ones. They were exciting ideas about a variety of things: a fundraising hike for the International Bipolar Foundation that friends and I are planning,...
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I remember what it was like hitting rock bottom. I hit it hard. I had checked myself into the psych ward twice and was dealing with a dull, achy feeling. Whoo boy, was that hard! Thankfully, I had and still have God, my husband, and mom on my side. I also found the right combination of medications and saw a therapist. It took a few years, but it...
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I consider mania to be the forgotten orphan of the two poles of bipolar disorder – with depression being the most discussed. Depression gets all the attention, all the talk, all the focus and mania is left out in the cold. On the International Bipolar Foundation’s (IBPF) website, the IBPF’s bloggers have written 77 articles about depression and...
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Warning Signs

April 6, 2016
It’s so important with a mental illness to be vigilant of errant emotions because it could be a warning sign of the start of an episode. This has happened only a few times since I’ve been stable on medication.  The first time was during the summer a couple of years ago. I’m a teacher so I have the summers off. That year I didn’t get a summer...
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I decided to be open about my bipolar disorder over two years ago. I expected that there would be some stigma, but what I didn’t expect or prepare for was the hidden stigma. The kind of stigma that isn’t immediately obvious until you reflect upon it. One of these hidden stigmas is people using my bipolar as an excuse or cop-out, either for their...
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I Am Much More Than That

March 25, 2016
When I facilitate groups, I ask people to say their name, something about themselves unrelated to their mental health disorder and, “And I’m more than that.” Inevitably, a person says something like, “Hi. I’m John. I’m bipolar, and I’m not much more than that.” I’m always sad when this happens because none of us should be defined by our mental...
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There were a lot of warning signs that I had a mental illness, long before my first diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. I would have massive mood swings and extremely violent temper tantrums that often resulted in the destroying of objects or attempts to physically injure someone. This resulted in...
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