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I used to think that I could tell easily whether or not I was feeling emotional. But recently, I have realised that it isn’t as easy as I thought. There have been times that I thought I was calm enough when talking to my partner after a disagreement – only to find out that I apparently was not. You can guess what happened in those situations....
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Headaches have been my companion off and on for years. I usually take Excedrine and Tylenol and put a cold pack on my neck. I often have to lie down as well. I even suffered with migraines for a time and lived with shots, dark rooms, and tremors. Having bipolar has only exasperated the problem because the pain sometimes plunged me head first...
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Another Diagnosis

October 20, 2015
A month ago it was just another Tuesday morning: wake up, shower and dress, drink some coffee, then leave my husband and puppy at home to drive 45min to my doctor’s appointment. It felt like the same as before: go in for 45 min, talk, get refill prescriptions if I need to, and then go home, but – not this time. I walked into my doctor’s feeling...
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When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was in shock. I had no idea about mental illness or mania or psychosis. I had no idea that my brain could be responsible for altering my reality, for making me think certain thoughts, or for making me feel sad when there was no apparent reason. Up until that point, I took reality for granted, as...
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I know what you’re thinking, “A coloring book? Has she lost her mind?” But studies have shown that adults struggling with mental illnesses have benefitted greatly from coloring books geared for grown-ups and I’m one of them! I was given one for my 29th birthday in September. I can spend up to an hour carefully coloring the detailed pictures...
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Self-harm is a way of dealing with deep emotional pain. Hurting myself made me feel better when it was the only way I knew how to cope with feelings like anxiety, sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage. It’s an outward expression of inner pain—pain that often has its roots in early life. It may start as an impulsive reaction. It...
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Dealing with Stigma

September 30, 2015
“Are you on Facebook?” Those four little words make me cringe more than anything. Never did one sentence cause so much fear and anxiety. Then I have to weigh very carefully how I respond. There are questions I ask myself about the person: Are they open-minded? Will they understand? Every friend I have on Facebook, I trust. I trust that they won’t...
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I think it’s safe to say that many of us who have bipolar disorder struggle with weight gain. The main reason is that medications can affect our appetite. My medication makes me crave sweets like never before. A woman I met in my bipolar support group had just been diagnosed with the disorder and subsequently put on a mood stabilizing drug....
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When you’re first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it’s normal to be confused, scared, and upset. You may be grieving, and that’s okay. The pain may feel unbearable, but it will eventually fade. Though you may feel alone right now, you are never alone. There are people ready, and willing to help you. This illness may not curable, but it is...
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Positivity

September 16, 2015
Think...Think My thoughts are wild. Untamed. Running wild like mustangs Think...Think My mind is a minefield. One wrong step and it’s blown Think...Think One day bad. One day good. Think...Think One day fast. One day slow. Think...Think One day guided. One day misunderstood. Think...Think My...
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DBT and Me

September 15, 2015
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) was originally designed to treat individuals diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder (which I was), but has skills and tools for everyone. DBT has been, notably, successful in individuals with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD as well. I have /have had all three diagnoses, so I started trying to find DBT...
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Bipolar Is Just One Part of Me

September 14, 2015
Recently I had coffee with my cousin and we were discussing the times I have been unwell. This lead to me talking about how I write for print and online sources about bipolar, my passion for mental health promotion and how I volunteer for a mental health organisation. After this she warned me against becoming too caught up in the mental health...
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