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April 5, 2017
“My son needs help. He has bipolar disorder. Bipolar! How can a seven year old child have bipolar?”I, a Remedial Educator, was sitting with a parent who had recently relocated from Canada to Hyderabad, India. A pediatric psychiatrist had diagnosed her son as having bipolar. She was advised that her son needed remedial teaching to enhance...
March 21, 2017
Q. Do arguments about issues in your relationship with your husband ever trigger manic or depressive episodes? How do you deal with any issues you may have if you feel that discussing problems will trigger an episode? Beka: Sometimes arguments trigger episodes, but I have found that it is better to be honest with each other than to let...
March 17, 2017
My only brother received a gift two days after his birthday, and ten days before Christmas. It was a gift that every person who suffers from mental illness wants.He carried a cross throughout his life called bipolar disorder. Many people - including me, our mother, his physicians, and his loving wife - tried to help him bear his cross. But he was...
March 15, 2017
In retrospect, during my daughter’s battle with mental illness, I wasted a lot of energy worrying about things I couldn’t control. When I learned about a framework called Three Concentric Circles at work, I realized this was a powerful approach I could use to improve my effectiveness in my personal life as well as at work. The concept is to...
February 14, 2017
Love can be the most wonderful emotion. It can bring both joy and sorrow simultaneously. Even the best and most solid relationships can often be difficult. It is especially challenging when a partner has bipolar disorder. This is not to say that you cannot have a good, strong, long-lasting relationship if you or a loved one have bipolar. But I...
November 7, 2016
“Oh my God,” my sister said, “you sounded just like Dad when you screamed at your wife during an argument!” She said that my head turned in a certain way just like our dad’s used to when he was in one of his frequent rages. “I thought he rose from the dead for a moment and you were him,” she laughed. My poor wife of nearly seven years is...
November 4, 2016
Living with mental illness is hard enough without outside interference, but no one can avoid the outside interference of everyday life. Whether you work full time, go to school, have hectic family lives, or any combination of these things; they all add more weight to what you’re dealing with already when you wake up. Recently, I mentioned how...
October 18, 2016
There has been no greater motivation for my recovery than fatherhood. Alone, I could go for long stretches of mood dysregulation. Even married, I was afforded the opportunity to sleep excessively and spend large amounts of time devoted to my self-care. Such privileges were no longer my reality once my oldest son was born in 2012. Suddenly,...
September 28, 2016
My father was a man of very few words. The only exceptions were hilarious dad jokes and long conversations with my mother -- conversations that looked so pretty that I wished to have some like them in my life. Since he didn’t talk much, I can't start with a quote of wisdom from my father since I have never heard him say something about life,...
September 8, 2016
Having been diagnosed as a manic depressive in 2009, I have had my roller coaster ride on this illness. My brain starts to function in such a manner that no one could ever understand or fathom the swings in my moods and behavior. As a person with bipolar disorder myself, I experienced extremities in my way of thinking. More often than not, this...
September 1, 2016
This Labor Day has brought back a gloomy memory. “You’ve failed at everything you’ve ever done, Daddy, and you’ve been sick all of my life.” Those stinging words came from my then 27-year-old son. He regretted saying that to me and apologized the next day. My son was struggling with his own challenges and needed me to be stable for him. My...
August 23, 2016
I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office recently in a large, oversized chair staring at the slightly crooked pictures on the wall. A boat. A beach. African figures. I could hear the ticking of the clock as I scanned the piles of books and patient records underneath, looking at anything but her face. Tick. Tick. Tick. I knew what she was going to...