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Mark Mercer

December 2, 2014
Hi, My name is Mark and I live with Bipolar Disorder. I was diagnosed at age 36 but after that realization now know I have had symptoms for as long as I can remember. I firmly believe in and endorse professional treatment but for me a really good way to help myself is to help others. Some of the deepest and most rewarding relationships I’ve...
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Outside its cold, inside I’m warm as I sit down to drink my hot cup of herbal tea and write my blog. Usually each month when I submit my blog, I address a certain topic that is important in the mental health community, but this month I want to focus on what it means to be thankful. How many times are we so focused on our troubles, and we forget to...
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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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 We've all heard it before, or something similar, "This too shall pass". "Just puts your big girl panties on". "You've been here before, you can do it again". While our loved ones mean well, in the throes of depression, these are sometimes the absolute worst things to say to someone living in what seems to be the depths of doom....
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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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Labeling Without Thought

November 25, 2014
A recent discussion with a nurse practitioner prompted me to think about the nature of labels. She argued that regardless of the label, the underlying condition of behavior consistent with that description remains unaffected by the label assigned. Naturally, I disagreed. Labels are descriptors: values to which we assign descriptions of...
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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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We have a thing against weakness don’t we… well I for one do. When I look at negative unhelpful patterns going on in my life, despite the apparent effort that I have put in to change – I feel so weak and whiny. I often hate listening to myself talk to others because I am thinking that they must be thinking, “Here we go again…” See that...
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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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Hey Jealousy

November 19, 2014
I have a friend who is an expert in her field. She is respected by the community and gives presentations from her knowledge base. She is also a talented artist and sells her painted wineglasses at many gift stores in the area. She plays the piano at her church every Sunday. She travels with her husband and two kids and they hike and camp regularly...
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