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Jumping off my balcony, abusing drugs, walking down the middle of a highway and neglecting meds. That’s how I use to ring in the New Year and wish my family a Merry Christmas. Since I’ve been diagnosed bipolar in 2011 I’ve found that once the Christmas season hits, I start to experience relapses. I could be as stable as a seamstress going into the...
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I Should Just Go

December 10, 2014
Often, there are times when we don’t want to do anything; nothing inspires, nothing motivates, nothing is uplifting. “It seems that the weight of the world is bearing down on me and I can’t possibly do anything about it-I should just go. It’s just one thing after another.” Moving forward after a bout with depression is one of the toughest...
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Nine years ago this December, my mental illness erupted through the surface of my otherwise regular life. Work was a snowstorm of activity with the holidays approaching, and I remember feeling super stressed out trying to keep all my end-of-the-year meetings with my many clients. This, on top of buying gifts for everyone on my list, which had...
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Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

November 26, 2014
Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m left institutionalized. The same happens with jobs and money. I am pretty...
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Caregiving Matters

November 25, 2014
There are three things that I have begun to incorporate into my way of thinking as a caregiver. It started when I was in my early 20’s and began to lightly step onto the caregiving path for my aging grandmother. My parents long ago started something, (now defunct), called ‘Caregiving Matters’ when my grandmother was ill, for the issue of creating...
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That's Not a Real Diagnosis

November 25, 2014
“That’s not a real illness.” “I don’t believe in mental health.” “If you don’t need medication, you must not really have bipolar.” These are just a few of the long stream of comments from people in my life, the most recent being “You know, I don’t think you’re bipolar, I think you have cyclomania,” because having a Bachelor’s in psychology...
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November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that much of society most likely does not know anything about. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in recognition of a resolution that Senator Harry Reid introduced to the senate, pronounced the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be “Survivors of Suicide Loss Day...
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Getting Help

November 19, 2014
Getting help for my bipolar disorder was one of the hardest and best things I’ve done. I’m a pretty proud and independent person so opening up and making myself vulnerable was extremely daunting. I was in my third and final year of university when I knew something wasn’t right. The familiar feeling of dark hopelessness had started to creep...
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A little backstory: I was diagnosed with bipolar type II disorder in January and started taking medication then. I am still on the original medication I started with, because it seems to work well for me, and have since added a second medication to the mix to help keep me even more stable. I have experienced one depressive episode since my...
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Out of the Dark

November 4, 2014
Mental Health Awareness Week occurred from October 5-11 and on October 11 I participated in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s ‘Out of the Darkness Walks’ in Northern California. I was planning to go alone because I had attempted to persuade friends and family to join me, but I got the same response, ‘Susanna that is too...
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Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

October 16, 2014
When I think of myself 10 years ago, I am embarrassed and quite frankly shocked at how judgmental I was towards others who were different than me.  Ten years ago my mood fluctuations became unmanageable and anxiety and depression left me paralyzed. I resisted as long as I could, but my husband finally insisted I get professional help. I...
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Guilt

August 6, 2014

Sarah DeArmond

I'm here to talk to you about guilt. This is something that I felt for several years after I got help for my disorder. I couldn't believe the things that I had said and done to both my husband and mother. I was beyond devastated. I was apologizing constantly. I even talked about it in therapy. Even though they had both forgiven me time and...
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