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After only a month of microeconomics during the summer, my budding alcoholism became apparent. I was drinking before all social events and blacking out frequently. Somehow, I still managed to get through my course unscathed, but once fall semester commenced, I could not keep it together any longer. After drinking late on a night of orientation, I...
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Farida Raj

 “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...
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Long time married couple Ron and Beka Owens answer your questions about relationships and bipolar disorder. 

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...
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Finding purpose in a life with bipolar disorder and various other mental diseases is not easy. I had no aim in life. I was born, grew up under the shelter of my parents like every other normal kid, and then was suddenly pushed into the real world when my mother passed away. I gave up my college life, I gave up on my jobs, and I gave up on...
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“Get a support system.” That seems to be the number one thing I have heard since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I would look at doctors and therapists and tell them I didn’t have anyone. What about family? No. Spouse? No. Friends? They wouldn’t understand. I found my support system through classes my medical insurance provided,...
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One part of being a mental health advocate that I pride myself on is being a walking pamphlet of resources for people struggling with mental health and being able to help them help themselves. As a student on Binghamton University’s campus, I am well known among my friends, acquaintances, and maybe even strangers as a source of knowledge on this...
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SOS: Saving Your Sinking Ship

September 8, 2016
Imagine you’re sailing on a ship full speed ahead to your next destination with naught a care in the world. All of a sudden, the ship springs a leak. It’s a small leak, so you patch it and continue to sail on. You don’t go much further before that small leak turns into a bunch of random leaks all over the ship. You don’t have enough materials or...
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My first instinct when realizing I needed psychiatric help because I was having a breakdown, was to call my company’s EAP (Employee’s Assistance Program). I was lost and they advertised at work that this program could help with many different things, one of them being depression.I thought I was suffering from depression, so I called the program. I...
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You Are a Rock Star

August 18, 2016
Hey! Hey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you over there. The one with bipolar disorder. The one that constantly looks down on themselves and wishes they were someone else. The one that wonders what happened in their life to deserve this wretched beast of an illness. I’m talking to the one that thinks about dying more than living, and who struggles some...
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Most of us will experience depression at some point in our lives. If you’re paying attention, this can give you insights into how to be supportive to other people in need. So, what is the best way to help someone who is dealing with depression?Don’t Try to Cheer them Up Helping someone with depression is not as simple as cracking a joke or...
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August is my birthday month. I turned 66 on the 7th, but as a typical Leo, I think of myself as 16. The illusion is shattered the moment I look in the mirror after I wake up each morning. I splash cold water on my face, see my messed-up grey hair and, if I get close enough to the mirror, I see a couple of wrinkles I did not notice before.  ...
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Approximately three years ago I started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. At first it was little things, like putting my glasses in a desk drawer instead of on my nightstand like I normally would. That was just the beginning. It progressed rapidly. Within months I was forgetting things more often. I would have a doctor’s appointment and...
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