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Mania

I was eighteen years old when I first experienced acute manic psychosis. I had just arrived at the University of Georgia for my freshman fall semester when I suddenly had what seemed like a profound spiritual awakening. I felt as if I was waking up from a bad dream, as if my mind and body were merely figments of my imagination. I felt an...
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Creativity

June 23, 2015
I sometimes wonder how and why many people who have bipolar disorder feel and become creative. I know, for example, when I am in mania I become far more into writing, descriptions, and reading book after book. I crave to live outside my life most of the time, but especially in mania. Let me back up a notch and define what exactly I mean by...
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Taming My Mental Illness

June 22, 2015
Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of bipolar that would make me constantly unwell if I didn’t control it. This is...
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Last month I participated in a Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) with local law enforcement. These officers, dispatchers, and prison guards were learning how to improve their interactions with people who have mental illness. It is a week-long training put on by our region’s mental health center. Counselors talk with participants about mental...
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Long Way Down

May 13, 2015
‘It feels like a long way down.’ Yes it certainly does. The crashing fall from the highest peaks of manic elation to the deepest depths of despairing depression is devastating. My mood swings are like clockwork and for the past few years I would become gradually more elevated from October until my mania would peak in February/March. May would...
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The Lyrical Caregiver

April 16, 2015
"Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life"- Berthold AuerbachGrowing up, music was a big part of my household. Not that any of us played musical instruments but just, enjoying it. Dancing around the house. Singing at the top of our lungs. We all had different tastes in music. So the house was filled with different genres. Let’s...
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Diary of a Mood Swing

March 24, 2015
2/25/15 Mania.  I am manic as hell right now.  I can’t sit still.  Nothing is enough. It’s insatiable.  I smoke too much, want sex too much, shop too much.  And it’s never enough. Never.  I have to keep going, keep seeking out pleasure, and it’s like it’s not even my decision.  It’s like it’s happening to me...
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Practicing self-care when it comes to Bipolar Disorder means that not only do I take my meds and see my doctor regularly, but also over the years I've learned a few "tricks" to help get me by. These are simple things that make my life, and the lives of the people in mine, much easier. My goal is to keep myself as stable as I can, with as few mood...
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My Manic Summer

February 27, 2015
The summer of 2013/2014 was magnificent, exhilarating and glorious. It was also a manic summer. I had just come out of one of the darkest winters of my life, where I was hospitalised and everything had ground to a halt for months. Spring came around, and with it hypomania. I was extremely speedy and productive at work, I had countless energy...
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I recently watched a documentary called “Titanic’s Final Mystery.” It put forth a new theory that, due to unusual weather conditions on the night of the Titanic tragedy, there was a mirage that prevented the ship’s lookouts from seeing the infamous iceberg. It’s an interesting theory, though there’s debate as to whether it’s true. But the bottom...
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I just finished filling out a WRAP plan with the help of my therapist. WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan. The plan can be found at mentalhealthrecovery.com and is free to print out. This isn’t the first time I’ve filled out the plan. Years ago while I was in an acute treatment unit for severe depression (before my bipolar I...
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I Have a Bipolar Support Dog

December 29, 2014
When I got my dog, Lena, just over two years ago, I didn’t yet know I had bipolar disorder. I had been diagnosed with major depression by my college’s health services and given only an anti-depressant to take. I had been high as a kite all summer – my apartment was spotless, I’d traveled across the country, I was hosting parties and potlucks for...
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