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Depression

Your buttocks are cold and aching because you’ve been pressing them for too long against those filthy concrete steps on the hallway, in front of the elevator. There are cigarette stumps and ashes all over the place, but that does not bother you in the least. You’re happy that human transit is sparse on the 4th floor, though you hear the elevator...
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Madeleine Breen

How do I pray, as someone who lives with bipolar disorder? In my younger years when I was fairly stabilized on medicine, the daily Scriptures were my prayer and my study, sometimes studying several hours with my commentaries and allowing the silence to foster the Holy Spirit’s voice. During daily Mass and throughout the day new things might...
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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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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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Sean DeArmond

Sean's wife, Sarah, wrote a blog that goes with this one. We recommend reading them together. In terms of mental health, we live in the best possible time; and the future only looks to be even better. We have resources and treatments, and an impressive number of professionals in the field who are skilled at properly diagnosing their patients...
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What Love Means Now

January 29, 2016
My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely different than I ever thought possible. It is not trivial. It is not selfish. It...
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Lights, candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa, nutcrackers, snowmen, gingerbread men, cookies, cakes, pies, ham, turkey, wine, sparkling wine, stockings, gift boxes, Christmas carols, and garland…this list goes on. This brings “happy” times…right? Not for me. Christmas time brings winter, which brings the whiteness of cold. It elongates the...
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Have you seen the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”? Every year, our family settles in to watch it at least once between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s a huge tradition with us.  We’ve been quoting it for years. “Save the neck for me, Clark,” is a classic in our home. As is, the holiday grace beginning with, “I pledge...
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The Dog

November 25, 2015
Creativity in bipolar disorder is more often than not associated with hypomania/mania instead of depression. However, I wrote this description of depression eighteen months ago while I was in hospital and psychotically depressed: My dog has returned to me. Not my cute, loving and gentle dog, but my big, all- consuming and unrelenting black...
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Surviving Bipolar Depression

November 23, 2015
It's like I'm Paralyzed. Not physically but mentally. It's this gripping fear of facing the day when I can barely muster the strength to get up and hit snooze on my alarm clock for the fourth or fifth time in a row. There's a relentless knocking of responsibility at my door but I am afraid to answer. I end up flipping my pillow because one side is...
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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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In my last blog post ‘My Experience with Psychotic Depression: Part 1’, I wrote about how I became suicidally depressed and psychotic, which lead to a hospitalisation. In this post I will write about the changing point of my depression and how I got better. I was in hospital for two months until I was discharged. While in hospital I didn’t...
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