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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...

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,...


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...

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...
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...

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...
 We've all heard it before, or something similar, "This too shall pass". "Just puts your big girl panties on". "You've been here before, you can do it again". While our loved ones mean well, in the throes of depression, these are sometimes the absolute worst things to say to someone living in what seems to be the depths of doom....

Caregiving Matters

November 25, 2014
There are three things that I have begun to incorporate into my way of thinking as a caregiver. It started when I was in my early 20’s and began to lightly step onto the caregiving path for my aging grandmother. My parents long ago started something, (now defunct), called ‘Caregiving Matters’ when my grandmother was ill, for the issue of creating...
November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that much of society most likely does not know anything about. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in recognition of a resolution that Senator Harry Reid introduced to the senate, pronounced the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be “Survivors of Suicide Loss Day...

Six Simple Things You Can Do

November 18, 2014
Be HopefulHope is crucial for recovery, and there is good reason to be hopeful when it comes to mental health challenges.  The vast majority of us who get appropriate treatment and support get significantly better.  This is good news, but it is also not news that has been told until recently.  Hope is the ONLY predictor of recovery...

Hinges of Marriage

November 11, 2014
“We don’t have anything in common” my friend lamented, “sometimes I wonder why we even stay together.” As I listened I absently glanced at our white patio doors with it’s 3 hinges. “Well” I shared with sudden inspiration “it only takes three hinges to hold a door open.” I then shared the hinges needed in the marriage of one of my...

Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

November 6, 2014
For the past 5 ½ years I have concentrated on one thing and one thing only … getting my son’s and my own mental health in tip top shape.  Finding the answer to decades of issues with my diagnosis of bipolar illness in 2009 was just the beginning for me.  At the same time, my son, age 8 at the time, was diagnosed with mood disorder, ADHD...