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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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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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My Path to Acceptance

September 27, 2016
I keep hearing the word acceptance when it comes to living with bipolar. But what exactly does it mean to me? A doctor once told me acceptance means acknowledging a fact, but not necessarily being “ok” with it. I was uncertain so I looked it up. Acceptance is defined as “a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a...
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September is Suicide Prevention Month. This is my story of my suicide attempt on September 12, 2014. I have chosen to share this to raise awareness – it has never been told before. Blink. “One, two, three.” My limp body slid to the ER table. Blink. The bright light. Blink. Scissors cutting my shirt. Blink. “She’s crashing!” Black. I heard my...
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I know junior high was rough, and high school is only going to be rougher. By now you've realized that you're different from most of the other kids – they've told you so, but they didn't have to. You've been dissolving in tears for the least – or no – reason. You've been laughing out loud in class about things that no one else understands. ...
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Remember freshman year of college at the Fall Health Fair? A man at a table handed you a piece of paper and asked you to take a depression screening; they were encouraging all incoming freshman to take it. You had been fighting any suggestions from your mom about talking to a mental health professional, but then again, everyone else was doing it....
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Dear Amy, I want you to know there will be times in your life when you will struggle with a mental illness called bipolar disorder. I know it sounds complicated, and the truth is, it is. It is complex because we are talking about your brain. However, if you learn everything you can about how to manage your symptoms and find a good treatment...
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Relationships are hard, with or without bipolar disorder, but adding bipolar disorder to the mix just makes it feel that much harder. Before either rushing into a relationship, or avoiding them altogether, you might find it useful to hear a bit of advice from someone who fully understands the difficulty. Here are some questions I like to consider...
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It is frustrating to live with depression. I get it. I walk to the beat of humming depression almost every day. It is even more frustrating to take a handful of medications and not eliminate my symptoms entirely. What helps me feel better is that I try very hard to maintain a positive attitude. Is it easy? No. But it is truly imperative....
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Art, music, modelling, and crafts- these are just some examples of therapy that people with bipolar disorder have been using as personal therapy. I enjoy all of these creative outlets, but there are two things in particular that I have been doing to keep myself sane and sound: reading and writing. I have loved books my entire life; I am...
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