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Warning Signs

April 6, 2016
It’s so important with a mental illness to be vigilant of errant emotions because it could be a warning sign of the start of an episode. This has happened only a few times since I’ve been stable on medication.  The first time was during the summer a couple of years ago. I’m a teacher so I have the summers off. That year I didn’t get a summer...
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I have a secret.  I am a superhero. In some ways we all are superheroes.  I can hear the critics now, “Bipolar disorder is a curse.  Only suffering comes from a disease like that.”  Bah, I say.  Bah.  Life is what you make it.  Bad things happen; good things happen.  Babies are born; loved ones pass on....
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My last blog post, “My Manic Summer Take Two”, was written while I was in a psychiatric hospital for psychotic mania. Well, nothing much has changed as I am still hospitalised for that episode and am writing from hospital. To be clear, I am not writing this while I am floridly psychotic, which would be impossible (I’m sure most with bipolar I...
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Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal image of relationships makes for enjoyable movies, but it’s not realistic—in the...
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Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was one of the most traumatic events of my life. The illness presented itself in my teens and at the time I was unaware of the possibility that my experiences had a diagnosis and that things could get better. By the time I began experiencing panic attacks, catatonia and hallucinations I was careful to hide...
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“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband and daughters would be better off without me.  I left my home and began...
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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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Bell Let's Talk 2016

January 21, 2016

Melanie Luxenberg

International Bipolar Foundation is participating in the 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Initiative, which is taking place on January 27, 2016. How does it work? Bell Let’s Talk is a Canadian mental health initiative that encourages participants to have an open conversation about mental health using social media. For every text message, wireless...
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Trigger Warning. This article talks explicitly about self-harm and different types. If you feel as though you may be triggered but still want the tips, read with a supportive person present. We feel out of control and in control at the same time. We hurt ourselves and for a moment there is relief. Shortly after we feel guilt, shame, and even...
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This is the third article in a 3-part series. The blogger recommends reading the first article and second article before reading this one. When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder over 15 years ago, everything I read suggested that people with bipolar disorder should avoid stress as much as possible. As someone who had studied...
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Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself) have experienced a manic episode, then you know mania is not some passive, quiet,...
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Beauty Can Emerge

July 20, 2015
The other day I noticed that a plant in my cactus garden began to grow something that looked like horns and then like green candy canes!  At first I thought I should pluck them out because they were weird looking.  I asked a friend what she thought I should do.  She said that maybe that was my plant’s way of flowering. Within a week...
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