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Caregiver

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...
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“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband and daughters would be better off without me.  I left my home and began...
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What Love Means Now

January 29, 2016
My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely different than I ever thought possible. It is not trivial. It is not selfish. It...
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I have only been hospitalised for mania once (you can read about my experience here). My memory of that time is hazy and distorted by the manic lenses I was wearing but to say that it was dramatic is putting it lightly. I had just turned 23, was newly diagnosed with bipolar (I had been diagnosed with bipolar type II less than 6 months before but...
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Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself) have experienced a manic episode, then you know mania is not some passive, quiet,...
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Human beings are social animals. We live in communities and in addition to our basic needs of clothing, shelter and food, we need strong bonds, of belongingness to go through the motions of life through good and bad times. In the case of a serious health issue affecting someone, the role of the family or caregiver needs no introduction. We need...
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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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