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Caregiver

Being a teen is rough. That’s the understatement of the century. Add having bipolar disorder on top of that and life just gets that much harder. I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 22, (I’m 28 now) but the signs were starting to show when I was in high school. It was so painful at times, it breaks my heart looking back on it. First, let me say...
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I woke up sad and nervous before drug treatment court this morning.  My friend, Cee, was going to be held today in county jail until a bed opened up at a nearby drug treatment facility: she kept failing drug screens and this was her consequence. It would be meted out at court, but she knew already. Everyone in our group knew. Cee said a...
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Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition, especially how to recognise possible symptoms. That’s the easy part. The difficult part...
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The Caregiver Club

June 8, 2015
IBPF recently did a lecture about families and bipolar disorder that featured both consumers and caregivers – there was someone living with bipolar disorder, their parent, and their sibling. Now, I thought that was an amazing idea because I have five siblings. Yup! Five. I am the baby (halo ensured here). We hear from consumers often about their...
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“I didn’t think I’d make it this far.” This thought has been a constant on the minds of many, at least at one time or another. It is a blatant cry of lost hope, but the courageous steps of something to look forward to. It’s all about finding that ‘one thing’ that makes you want to continue on. My wife and I have news that we are expecting our...
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I just watched A Beautiful Mind again and found the premise that love conquers all somewhat hyperbolic in the film (I kept thinking, “If you’d just take your meds…”).  But then I remembered my college English teacher, who said hyperbole usually contains a shred of truth that it is built on. So, I thought I would chronical my life and loves...
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Loneliness

January 29, 2015
The days following my dad’s death by suicide were the loneliest of my life.  In a roomful of people, in the midst of a hug, in the middle of a conversation, the resounding thought I had was that I was alone. No one had the relationship I did with my dad, no one knew all the struggles he had endured that he shared with me, and no one could...
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Bipolar Mother, Bipolar Son

January 15, 2015
I dreamed of having a child throughout my formative years.  When asked what I would be when I grew up, I readily answered “A Mommy!”  I doted on baby dolls, babysat throughout my teen years and dressed every cat we ever owned up as a baby.  I deeply wanted to know the connection, but had problems with my reproductive system,...
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Friends

December 23, 2014
“Only solitary men know the full joys of friendship. Others have their family; but to a solitary and an exile his friends are everything." WILLA CATHERI discovered I had bipolar disorder in May 2014. The diagnosis was delivered roughly 12 hours after I had called 911, on a night when I was terrified of my immediate surroundings. I was under the...
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Life Preserver

December 16, 2014
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate life with a mental illness, the idea that you, personally, are a life preserver for...
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Buying a gift for a friend or family member with bipolar disorder? Skip the standard Starbucks gift card - and choose something that promotes wellness. Below are a wide variety of selections ranging from $1 to $200 (you can find many of them at discounted prices, so shop around). All of my picks are products I’ve used personally, that my...
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Psychiatry in Jordan

December 9, 2014
Teamwork in Psychiatry: King Abdullah University Hospital as a ModelI would like to make it crystal clear that this story aims not as the title may suggest, to draw up a panoramic view of the mental health system in Jordan. Nor does it claim a science-based approach while referring to mental illnesses or any medications usually administered to...
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