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Stephanie Rae

February 12, 2016
My name is Stephanie. I'm 37 years old and have a 16-year-old daughter. I was officially diagnosed as having bipolar disorder in 2004 after a serious suicide attempt that left me in a coma on life support for a week. I have spent the last 12 years learning about my illness and speaking openly about it to help break the stigma. I'm currently...
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Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal image of relationships makes for enjoyable movies, but it’s not realistic—in the...
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“Mentally ill persons increasingly receive care provided by correctional agencies. In 1959, nearly 559,000 mentally ill patients were housed in state mental hospitals (Lamb, 1998). A shift to "deinstitutionalize" mentally ill persons had, by the late 1990s, dropped the number of persons housed in public psychiatric hospitals to approximately 70,...
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Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was one of the most traumatic events of my life. The illness presented itself in my teens and at the time I was unaware of the possibility that my experiences had a diagnosis and that things could get better. By the time I began experiencing panic attacks, catatonia and hallucinations I was careful to hide...
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Andrea Bain

February 9, 2016
Andrea Bain is a 47-year-old artist who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1992. Since then her diagnosis has been refined to Rapid Cycling Bipolar 1 with Psychosis. She is the wife of an incredibly supportive man and mother to two teenage girls. She manages her illness with ongoing medical care, family support, and through the therapeutic...
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Learning to Live “Alone”

February 5, 2016
After my husband and I had been married for 16 years, his liver became damaged from Hepatitis B.  A year later he had a liver transplant which he survived for five and a half years.  At the end of that period, the Hepatitis destroyed his new liver and he needed another.  He died during the second transplant. I had married him...
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My Manic Summer: Take 2

February 5, 2016
It seems that my last blog post was somewhat prophetic. I am currently sitting on a bed, in a psychiatric hospital, recovering from my second psychotic manic episode. This episode evolved much like the last did, with me becoming so elevated that I lost insight and subsequently stopped taking my medication. I had been hypomanic and compliant...
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How Do You Handle Setbacks?

January 29, 2016
Many people that I’ve met who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are very intelligent and creative individuals.  Sometimes those same people have very high expectations of themselves due to being smart.  Another potential tie-in for some is that when manic some of us get a TON of stuff done.  Although this energy and output is not...
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“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband and daughters would be better off without me.  I left my home and began...
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Life with bipolar has a lot of ups and downs...and not just for moods. I think relationships, romantic ones, become one of the hardest parts of your life to manage and to keep balanced when you have a mental disorder. Romantic relationships include allowing someone into your innermost circle and letting them see all of you – the good and the...
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