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Life is a Puzzle

June 12, 2015
After six days in the psychiatric hospital, I was taken to the intensive care unit because I had thought of a way I could kill myself in the hospital.  There wasn’t much freedom in the regular unit, but there was even less in ICU.  We were only allowed outside into a small yard once every couple of hours so those who smoked could have a...
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All I Have

June 9, 2015
All I have is a doctor or two, some friends, a bottle of pills, and a big mouth. These all serve as strategies to cope when I’m feeling especially hypomanic or depressed. I’m not the most strategic person in the world, but these few little “mental illness accessories,” as I like to call them, keep me as put together as possible in the ever-...
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through the depression. I felt, without a body, something in agony  or maybe a body without a soul, stiff and too heavy to pull from the bed.  Yes – an obese body, my own flesh and grief, too heavy for my body to lift. There is no other way to tell you: I woke up afraid I was going to live.  ...
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I made fake social networking profiles, lied about boyfriends, and of course thrived in the many fantasy worlds I had invented when I was really sick. For the longest time I believed I was destined to be someone other than the person that was living with my flesh and blood. Mentally I began to envision a more ‘attractive’ college student, model...
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My first heartbreak was in September, 1990 when the guy I was involved with informed me that although he really, really liked me, he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend. This was the start of my severe depression and suicidal thoughts. The idea of not being with this guy threw me into a tailspin. He was my life. I could not breathe without...
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The Caregiver Club

June 8, 2015
IBPF recently did a lecture about families and bipolar disorder that featured both consumers and caregivers – there was someone living with bipolar disorder, their parent, and their sibling. Now, I thought that was an amazing idea because I have five siblings. Yup! Five. I am the baby (halo ensured here). We hear from consumers often about their...
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There has been an increased interest in the judicial system among advocates for people living with mental illness: Human Rights Watch shocked America with the truth. A 127-pageinvestigative report describes a criminal justice system in America and its use of excessive force, even systemically brutal and malicious. The report, ‘Callous and...
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“I didn’t think I’d make it this far.” This thought has been a constant on the minds of many, at least at one time or another. It is a blatant cry of lost hope, but the courageous steps of something to look forward to. It’s all about finding that ‘one thing’ that makes you want to continue on. My wife and I have news that we are expecting our...
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Time to be Honest

June 5, 2015
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder six years ago. I’ve made a full recovery, but it hasn’t all been peaceful. I still have my ups and downs. Case in point, the week before last I had a panic attack before work. I had been so busy taking care of family members that I had not been asking for help. I had been putting my needs dead last. After my...
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Jeff Zacharias

In the LGBT community, the link between mental illness most notably bipolar disorder, trauma and addiction is undeniable. With heightened visibility comes the need to strengthen the clinical skills required to work alongside this stigmatized population. This workshop will address the mental health issues specific to the LGBT...
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