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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ My journey through bipolar disorder started genetically, but wasn’t kicked off symptomatically until the major traumatic event that could shatter any teenager’s life. My mother died suddenly of a ruptured brain aneurysm one week before Christmas when I was 14. Mother was...
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Help us win Healthline's Best Health Blog of the Year! Vote for International Bipolar Foundation here. I was diagnosed with bipolar type I disorder when I was twenty-three after experiencing nine years of symptoms, a diagnosis of depression, and then a diagnosis of bipolar type II. I consider myself lucky that I was diagnosed at a young...
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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ Do you remember the song “Sound of Silence”? The one we used to sing with Dad? Remember how we always thought it was about being quiet and not making any noise no matter what we were feeling? That's why I'm here, to break the silence. We have a mental illness called...
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Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ Dear scared Ros, I know you tried it again last night, like you try every week. You spend hours crying and pouring your emotions into your little black book hoping that someone will finally hear your cry for help. Your words seem to echo in the hollows of your soul...
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I was born in the mid 1950’s when mental illness just wasn’t talked about. I wish that I could have had advice about the bipolar disorder I struggled with prior to my diagnosis. Perhaps it would have brought some ease to the fear I was experiencing. If my parents had been better informed about mental illness and found a doctor to help me...
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If the teenage Sarah knew what 27 year old Sarah knows now, I believe this bipolar journey could have been a lot less painful.  But when I’m tempted to dwell on how much farther ahead I could be had I been more prepared to live life with a mental illness, I remind myself that I doubt I would have the same ability to empathize with others that...
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Do I Have to Take Meds Forever?

September 28, 2016
I can't give you the answer you want, because the real answer is "Probably. You will most likely require psychotropic medication for the rest of your life." (I'll get to that "most likely” in a bit.) Personally, I don't see what's so bad about taking meds. Is it our upbringing, with the incessant "Drugs are bad" messages from parents,...
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My father was a man of very few words. The only exceptions were hilarious dad jokes and long conversations with my mother -- conversations that looked so pretty that I wished to have some like them in my life. Since he didn’t talk much, I can't start with a quote of wisdom from my father since I have never heard him say something about life,...
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Carrie was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 28, though she experienced clinical depression for the first time as a teenager. She knew something was seriously wrong but wasn’t able to get help at that time. Carrie wrote the following letter to her 17-year-old self as a part of the Say It Forward campaign for Mental Illness Awareness Week. She...
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When I was in my 20s (I'm 37 now), my bipolar depression got so severe that the docs decided it was time to try ECT, Electroconvulsive Therapy. In the old days, they called it “shock therapy”. The premise is sound: if you cause a 10-60 second seizure in the brain, in at least 10 consecutive treatments, certain biochemicals “right” themselves and...
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