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May 9, 2017
This blog was originally published for the Daily Nexus, UCSB’s student-run newspaper.I used to think anxiety was just a bunch of bullshit. In middle school, seventh or eighth grade I think, I remember my grandmother talking to one of my aunts on the phone. My aunt was telling my grandma about how her daughter had just been...
Vicki M. Taylor
"Anxiety can begin early in life for people with depression or bipolar disorder. Anxiety and mood disorders can be a co-occurring diagnosis.”- DBSA Treating anxiety disorder in combination with bipolar disorder can be tricky. Anti-depressants can often increase manic episodes for people with bipolar disorder. Benzodiazepines, another...
Mental health awareness is a term that we are hearing more and more these days- and May is an important month for us mental health advocates! In Canada, the first week of May is designated as Mental Health Week, which was first introduced in 1951 by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and has become a yearly tradition ever...
Russ Federman, Ph.D., ABPP
For those living with bipolar disorder, the first few years post-diagnosis can be some of the most difficult in terms of one's relationship to the disorder. Beyond the necessity of initial symptom management, the process of accepting and coming to terms with the reality of one’s bipolar disorder is among the more difficult tasks to be faced....
April 21, 2017
Q: Besides attending couples’ counseling and individual therapy, are there any other specific strategies you use to keep your relationship balanced?Beka: To keep balanced, I make sure I take time for me (and we take time for US as a couple – i.e., date nights!). I get massages regularly, eat well, exercise (this is huge for me), and make...
April 5, 2017
Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is the first thing that came to mind on the 2nd of April, when Namibia officially changed to winter time. The change in time signals the transition from summer to fall; nights begin to get longer while days are limited to few hours of sunlight. Various textures and colours take over and it’s like the world is...
March 21, 2017
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...
March 15, 2017
In retrospect, during my daughter’s battle with mental illness, I wasted a lot of energy worrying about things I couldn’t control. When I learned about a framework called Three Concentric Circles at work, I realized this was a powerful approach I could use to improve my effectiveness in my personal life as well as at work. The concept is to...
January 12, 2017
First, let me say that I hate shopping. Not just grocery shopping, which I assume pretty much everyone hates, but all the kinds of shopping that women are stereotypically supposed to love: clothing shopping, shoe shopping, makeup shopping, and furniture shopping. I especially loathe car shopping. The only times I really like shopping are when...
“Youth is wasted on the young,” Irish playwright Oscar Wild is quoted as saying. It may be true, too, that happiness is wasted on those who have had no real trouble. Memories of my own youth surged through me recently when I met a 27-year-old woman who has her own video blog about her experience with bipolar disorder II. I envied her as I...
December 22, 2016
Vicki M. Taylor
Every year at this time, I tell myself that “this” year, I am going to relax, avoid overdoing and not get anxious. Does it work? Sometimes; sometimes not. Why?Because I always have good intentions, then LIFE happens. You know, that “something” we can’t control. Events we didn’t “plan” for like: Work. Family. Friends. Unexpected...
December 14, 2016
We may have the same disorder in common, but how it manifests in each of us is different.Obviously, bipolar 1 and 2 are different. But the way I see it, really, everyone has their own personal version of bipolar disorder.For example, I have bipolar 2 with anxiety disorder. I get very few hypomanic episodes – mostly just depressive ones. I...