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judgMENTAL

July 26, 2016
Above: mixed media on canvas by Zaeli Eliza“You're making mental illness as if it's a big deal!” “You talk too much about it. You're glamorizing your illness!” “You don't need medication. It's all in your head.” “Think positive. Toughen it up.” Clichés, I know.Thinking it over, most of the time, the way I express how I go through the diurnal...
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Since learning I have bipolar disorder, I have come to the reluctant realization that progress doesn’t always occur on my timetable. In my mind, I can see how things will be when I’m “all better,” but every time I race towards recovery, I inevitably stumble. It’s like trying to run before you know how to crawl.I force myself to be social and...
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Dear Friend (On Your Birthday), We met almost 17 years ago, we dated in Grade 10, we had fun while it lasted (all of 6 or 7 months), and went through the “awkward” phase were we couldn’t be friends because “exes” weren’t friends in high school. But, that didn’t stop us for long. We didn’t realize it right then and there, but we built what we...
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Society likes to group everyone with bipolar together. They insist we are all alike. We are all violent. Every time something violent is done in this country it is blamed on bipolar. The person must certainly have bipolar. I can't speak for others, but for me, it gets pretty tiresome constantly being in the group that is responsible for all...
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Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition, especially how to recognise possible symptoms. That’s the easy part. The difficult part...
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"It’s not you, but..."I recently had this said to me by three people that I care about in the context of them asking to have some time by themselves to figure out their issues. I was able to give space much more easily for two of them compared to the third. The reason being I was much closer to the other person – he is my partner. ...
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Psychiatric disorders can cause a multitude of problems that would be very difficult for a person without a psychiatric disorder to deal with.  If you have a psychiatric disorder, it is even worse. I have a friend who like me has bipolar disorder and primarily gets depressed. Let us call her Margaret. Five years ago, Margaret lost her...
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Bipolar Attraction

March 25, 2015
“Bipolar (Disorder) people must have magnets to one another, because since I met you I have met all your friends and they all have Bipolar Disorder,” observes my partner.  So I do a quick search of the internet: A 2009 thread describes a similar phenomenon. In fact, most of the “evidence” I found was anecdotal (about 8 forums...
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Abandonment and Rejection

February 11, 2015
I woke up one day in 2011 in a 50 feet by 50 feet room lying on a mattress on the floor. One week had elapsed since I was consciously aware of where I was. My phone had gone off and I had not shown up for work or called any of my family members in a week. The only sign of what could have happened in that week was an empty bottle of vodka right...
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I Choose Life

January 5, 2015
I am just going to come out and say it.  I, Nanieve, am relieved that I can finally rip down the gaudy Christmas baubles, fold up the tree, and wipe the stupid but, expected cheerful grin off my face. To me, the festive season feels unbearably stressful.  Everything feels contrived. Every "ho ho ho", every elf in plastic...
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Friends

December 23, 2014
“Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything." WILLA CATHERI discovered I had bipolar disorder in May 2014. The diagnosis was delivered roughly 12 hours after I had called 911, on a night when I was terrified of my immediate surroundings. I was under the...
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Life Preserver

December 16, 2014
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate life with a mental illness, the idea that you, personally, are a life preserver for...
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