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Tips and Advice

I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office recently in a large, oversized chair staring at the slightly crooked pictures on the wall. A boat. A beach. African figures. I could hear the ticking of the clock as I scanned the piles of books and patient records underneath, looking at anything but her face. Tick. Tick. Tick. I knew what she was going to...
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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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Does the title of this blog scare you? Does it make you laugh? Does it make you cry? Make you shudder? It might do one or all of those things. Most people never want to admit they have been to a psychiatric hospital. I can't say I would have ever dreamed I would be talking about this out loud, but the path between me and a psych ward is...
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I want to start by saying that this list of spiritual traps accompanying bipolar disorder is no scientific article. Rather, it is a list of my own experiences and those of my clients searching for ways to integrate spiritual wisdom gleaned during times of madness while also honoring the painful reality of bipolar symptoms. Just as creativity has...
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Although I sometimes wax nostalgic about bygone days when screens did not dominate my life and my attention was not as divided as often as it seems to be lately, the fact is I think a healthy social media community can be a great asset to persons suffering from mental illness. However, there are possible triggering pitfalls that can exacerbate...
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Carrying the Weight

August 15, 2016
Prior to my diagnosis and starting my treatment, I spent countless hours each day stuck in a cycle of worry and panic. I would ruminate, the worst moments of my life and every single mistake I've ever made surfacing in my mind and stuck in an infinite replay. This led to mental anguish and daily panic attacks, which went on for some time. It got...
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I always enjoy reading “listicles” about “what not to say” and “what to say” to someone with a mental illness. I read them and nod my head in agreement, as I can relate all too well. There are sayings or comments that may seem helpful, but aren’t in reality because they inadvertently minimize our thoughts and feelings or may make us feel even more...
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I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years since I received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I wish I could go back and tell my terrified teenage self that though life would sometimes be a roller coaster of ups and downs, a very bright future full of hope and joy would await me. It took a while to learn how to navigate this disorder, and the...
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The International Self-Care Foundation (ISF) has designated July 24 every year as International Self-Care Day (ISD) to symbolize that the benefits of self-care are experienced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7). The benefits of self-care are life-long. Each year, ISF comes up with a theme for International Self-Care Day, and the theme for...
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Most people can say that they’ve been emotional eaters before, whether it’s crying over Chinese food after a breakup or eating too much cake on your 20th birthday. Even I can’t lie and say that my hand was not in a box of Cheez-Its just before I started writing this. Emotions, whether they be excitement, restlessness, anxiety, sadness, happiness...
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Above: The Revs. Aaron Maurice Saari and John Freeman being interviewed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in front of First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs. My friends are going to laugh that I have the chutzpah to write an essay on self-care. You see, I am notorious for overworking and overcommitting myself. Sometimes that is the result of...
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This is the fourth in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one. Welcome...
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