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Tips and Advice

Hobby

November 12, 2014
Do you have a hobby? I don't know if you do, but if you don't, then you might want to think about getting one. When I first told a good friend of mine that I have bipolar disorder, she recommended that I find a good hobby. She was right! I'll admit, it was hard at first. Between getting my medications adjusted and my therapy appointments...
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Help us win Healthline's Best Health Blog of the Year! Vote for International Bipolar Foundation here. 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...
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Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply function some days.  Lots of days. Every time I leave my therapist, I feel so...
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Hinges of Marriage

November 11, 2014
“We don’t have anything in common” my friend lamented, “sometimes I wonder why we even stay together.” As I listened I absently glanced at our white patio doors with it’s 3 hinges. “Well” I shared with sudden inspiration “it only takes three hinges to hold a door open.” I then shared the hinges needed in the marriage of one of my...
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‘Sometimes I just want to crawl under a rock. It seems as if that is the safest place; the hardness of the rock will protect me from what I don’t want to face and I don’t need to exert energy into doing anything anyone asks of me. I can escape to the darkness this rock shield provides and be alive in my own world without a care.’ If you are...
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I do sometimes wonder whether to share my emotions with my partner. On the one hand, he wants to know my thoughts and feelings – there would be no real intimacy in a relationship if we didn’t share on a deeper level. On the other hand, being open does put me in a vulnerable place. As mentioned in an earlier post, I can feel judged when he...
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I read a study once that stated the incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder was 10-fold greater in bipolar patients than the general population (see more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/anxious-bipolar-patient#sthash.RRY1nBjh.dpuf). This made me take pause and observe my own obsessive-compulsive thinking, as I have bipolar...
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Just Don't It

October 8, 2014
As I’m sure you noticed, I’m using a grammatically incorrect title, but I couldn’t resist.  (May my seventh grade English grammar teacher forgive me!)  During the 1980's a trendy Nike ad campaign caught the world's attention with the tagline “JUST DO IT!”  Nike's message was loud and clear: there were no excuses when it came to...
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Dullness

October 2, 2014
I want to talk to you all about something that I experienced very intensely when I first started taking medication. What happened was I felt a very strong dull feeling inside. I was no longer feeling the lows, but I was also no longer feeling the highs either. So, I was just left with a sort of bored feeling constantly. I will admit, it was...
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As a counselor with a background in vocational rehabilitation, I’m a big believer in meaningful work for people with mental health disabilities – the research shows it’s an effective path toward recovery, and I’ve seen this firsthand over and over. In my last post, I talked about finding work that works when you have bipolar disorder. In this post...
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Running is My Therapy

October 1, 2014
I woke up on Thursday, September 4th and the torture struck instantly. My head filled up like a water balloon, except it wasn't water I was filled with, it was disturbing, bizarre, negative and pesky thoughts. I recognized immediately from waking up I was unwell, but I proceeded onto my daily life. By Monday night the feelings both physically and...
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Triggers

September 30, 2014
Although I was officially diagnosed in March 2009 with Bipolar I disorder and began treatment, I am confident in saying that my bipolar episodes started well before that time.  If I could guess somewhat accurately, I would say it all started somewhere around the age of 18 … which would be the early 90’s.  If I only knew then what I do...
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