This is the seventh in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one.
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Carrie Elizabeth Lin
Author’s note: This post has political content, though my intent in publishing the article is to share what was for me a very big stressor (and how I dealt with it). I couldn’t figure out a way to tell the story effectively without including some of my political views. My views are mine alone and do not represent those of International Bipolar Foundation.
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 was in her senior year of high school at the time and had been experiencing a depressive episode for more than a year.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Judging from some of the stuff that flies across my Facebook feed, there is a big need for such awareness. As an individual living with bipolar disorder, a psychotherapist, and a mental health educator, it astounds me how much intolerance and ignorance is out there. One such example is an Internet meme that’s been making the rounds the last few weeks: “I don’t know about where YOU live, but the weather here is somewhere between bipolar and downright psychotic this spring.”
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 real world it takes a lot of awareness and maturity to maintain a healthy relationship.