How to Prevent Manic Spending

How to Prevent Manic Spending

By: Sam Bowman Mania is challenging to deal with on its own. Add impulsive spending to those manic episodes, and you’ve got an additional layer of difficulty to overcome. Grounding yourself after an episode and finding out you’ve spent all of your savings on trinkets...
Her Orange Crayon

Her Orange Crayon

The orange crayon made the setting sun possible as he held on to the string taking him upwards attached to the rays attached to the orange balloon that was made possible by the birth of creativity, outside the lines as the string swayed as chaos ensued as the orange...
AROUND THE SUN: TRIP 28

AROUND THE SUN: TRIP 28

Dear 16-Year-Old Sophia, You will have made it. You will have made it with flying colors and will be proud to represent the rainbow flag. You will have made it with your dream of being a unique, talented, and published poet come true with your book three masterpieces!...
No One Should Endure This

No One Should Endure This

By: Margaret Fitzgerald I was a moody, undiagnosed, anxious bipolar child that self-soothed with food. I was always ten pounds overweight, and my parents catastrophized it. So many weight loss tactics were tried. One diet included eating only carbs until noon and then...
Navigating the Work World as a Person With Bipolar Disorder

Navigating the Work World as a Person With Bipolar Disorder

By: Sam Bowman Living with bipolar disorder can negatively impact many areas of life. It can be especially problematic, however, when you’re trying to hold down a traditional job or expand your professional network. However, as long as you’re willing to put in the...
Why Seeking Help for Bipolar Disorder Can Be a Sign of Strength

Why Seeking Help for Bipolar Disorder Can Be a Sign of Strength

Bipolar disorder can strike anyone, regardless of gender, race, education, or class, from pre-teens into our sixties. It is an equal opportunity disorder and can, at its worst, destroy lives and health, marriages and families, careers, friendships, finances, and more....
Diving into Bipolar

Diving into Bipolar

By: Melinda Goedeke Spying on a lobster the size of my leg while gently swaying back and forth 70 ft. below the sea is both exhilarating and meditative for me. I even secretly like the anxiety of knowing that with each breath my oxygen is depleting. I swim swiftly...
Lithium and Dialysis, Part VII

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VII

By Natalia A. Beiser Please note: These are Natalia’s experiences with Lithium and Dialysis. Not every patient will share the same experiences. I have now been on dialysis for one year and two months. The psychiatrist and I have had the Lithium dosage at a level that...
My Bipolar Life: Recovery

My Bipolar Life: Recovery

Actors, Institutions, and Networks My recovery could not happen without myriad actors, institutions, and networks among those actors and institutions. When I wasn’t enough, my family saved me. When family wasn’t enough, friends helped out. When friends did all they...
You Are Not Bipolar

You Are Not Bipolar

By: Chris Chambers   It can feel like Bipolar Disorder alters who we are. After all, it changes thinking, emotions and behavior. We typically view who a person is based on those qualities. Believe it or not, our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are not who we...
Glow Sticks

Glow Sticks

She is asking me to wish upon something I cannot see, to believe in there is another side and a way out, but light pollution and pollution of light; yearning for my eyes to ignite with the sheer amount of power from the hands waving the countless neon glow sticks (at...
Beyond The Beyond

Beyond The Beyond

By: Sophia Falco He resurfaced as I was drowning at the park, dragging me down further on such a pristine day: children running about, playing hide -and-seek, laughing, groomed dogs barking, chasing muddy tennis balls and some not muddy yet I tried to seek refuge away...
My Bipolar Life: Depression and Psychosis

My Bipolar Life: Depression and Psychosis

Screen print art is used with permission of Conor Martin   Part III of V: dealing with depression and psychosis After resigning from command of NDU, I spiraled then crashed into a depression that was increasingly characterized by diminished energy, hopelessness,...
If My Family had Known, So Much would have Been Different

If My Family had Known, So Much would have Been Different

By Margaret Fitzgerald After my initial manic episode at eighteen, my friends were making purchases for their dorm rooms and packing up for far away colleges. I was chronically depressed, which often happens after coming down from a manic episode. Friends were saying...
Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

By: Sam Bowman Struggling With Time, Energy, and Relationships The most prominent symptoms of bipolar disorder are the highs and lows you can feel at any given time. Going through episodes of mania and depression can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical...
A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

June 19, 2022 Dear Dad, This Father’s Day I want to celebrate your role in my life. Especially how you helped me through my bipolar diagnosis and functional recovery.   Three years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you shared some wisdom with me that...
It Ain’t Easy – Meds and Bipolar Disorder

It Ain’t Easy – Meds and Bipolar Disorder

By Melinda Goedeke I laugh sarcastically every time I watch a commercial about medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Unkempt young men and women are shown in dark, depressing places with vacuous eyes and downtrodden faces until they take the miracle...
How Bipolar Disorder Helped Me (Until It Didn’t)

How Bipolar Disorder Helped Me (Until It Didn’t)

Formerly known as “manic depressive illness,” bipolar disorder is a term that, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), comprises a cluster of related disorders that are characterized by distinctive and extreme shifts, or...
The Big Reset Button

The Big Reset Button

By: Trevor Simonson If you are anything like me, you struggle for consistency. My life runs in peaks and valleys. So many valleys. A never-ending game flirting with progress, but always feeling like I am back at square one. Square one. It isn’t real. We are always...
My Bipolar Life: service and success, crisis, recovery, and new life

My Bipolar Life: service and success, crisis, recovery, and new life

Part I: “You’ve done an amazing job…Resign or you’re fired…You need to go get a mental health exam.” It was mid-July 2014. I was 58 years old and after more than three decades in the Army, I was a two-star general and President of the National Defense University...
How Co-morbidities Can Build Even More Strength

How Co-morbidities Can Build Even More Strength

By: Chris Chambers Lately, I’ve been writing solely about my Bipolar Disorder. In reality, Bipolar is only part of the picture for me. My nervous system is very challenged. In addition to Bipolar Disorder I am living with cPTSD, in recovery from eating disorder, and...
3 Tips for Traveling with a Mental Illness

3 Tips for Traveling with a Mental Illness

By: Cassandra Stout It seems everyone and their mother is traveling these days. And that includes those of us with mental illnesses. For those of us living with mental health conditions, especially bipolar disorder, breaking from our usual routine can have disastrous...
Complicated Simplicity

Complicated Simplicity

By: Christina Broderick My childhood was what I considered entirely normal. As a kid I had a great family, nice friends, performed well at school and participated in extra-curricular activities, becoming highly involved in sports during my teenage years. College began...
Conditional

Conditional

By: Neil Mccarthy The brief—but fictional—scenes in this piece show the bias with which people with bipolar (or any mental illness) can be treated. With some luck, maybe we can evolve into a new way of treating people who are already suffering. — The Director of the...
Conditional

Conditional

By: Neil Mccarthy The brief—but fictional—scenes in this piece show the bias with which people with bipolar (or any mental illness) can be treated. With some luck, maybe we can evolve into a new way of treating people who are already suffering. — The Director of...
Finding the Right Medication

Finding the Right Medication

Author: Christina Chambers The nervous system is so incredibly complex. I often think of it as the ocean of the body – we have really only just begun to uncover portions of what exists. The effect of psychiatric medications on the nervous system is no exception. It...
Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

by Melinda Goedeke I’m often asked whether or not I saw the signs. What I hear in that question is blame and responsibility; assignment of fault. I didn’t see the signs because there weren’t many to see; I saw Laura – my delightful, radiant, and complicated...
Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

by Melinda Goedeke I’m often asked whether or not I saw the signs. What I hear in that question is blame and responsibility; assignment of fault. I didn’t see the signs because there weren’t many to see; I saw Laura – my delightful, radiant, and complicated...
How Bipolar Disorder Derailed My Life, and How I Fought Back

How Bipolar Disorder Derailed My Life, and How I Fought Back

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) I am a 65-year-old husband, father, grandfather, combat veteran, and a proud, thankful bipolar survivor, thriver, and warrior. A qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer and strategist, I commanded soldiers in...
Haiku Train: Railways

Haiku Train: Railways

Author: Sophia Falco   existentialism may be the way live without street signs spelling out starlit sky does not equate to lit torches fire still seeing darkness energy to moon and back bursting with the blank possibilities verbalize rather not trip up tongue...
Lithium and Dialysis, Part VI

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VI

Author: Natalia A. Beiser I have been on dialysis since July 2021 and continue to take Lithium, which in some patients causes decreased kidney function. However, I continue to be prescribed Lithium because it is the only proven medicine to curb my personal experience...
Johanna

Johanna

My healing journey: I did things and felt things that I didn’t understand before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In a nutshell, my diagnosis explained the reasons for my excessive spending and mood swings, why I feel like I’m constantly on a roller...
Endurance

Endurance

Author: Catalina Bellizzi-Itiola Sometimes I look back at the timeline of my life’s volatile mood fluctuations, and it makes me worry about what on earth my future will look like. Will I hold a job? Will I have a child? Will I be able to survive more episodes? Even...
Rosario

Rosario

Something I am Proud Of: After my first and only hospitalization, I learned to be more mindful of my moods, what causes me distress, and to look after myself. Before my hospitalization, I was a “moody,” and “dramatic” person, and of course I still can be those things,...
How to Ensure You Never Run out of Meds Again

How to Ensure You Never Run out of Meds Again

Author: Cassandra Stout Running out of meds is the worst. If you’re regularly taking medication and you run out of pills and stop suddenly, this is terrible for your body and your mind. If you’re bipolar, you may end up tripping into a mood episode that...
Lifestyle Alters Brain Chemistry Too

Lifestyle Alters Brain Chemistry Too

 Author: Christina Chambers I firmly believe lifestyle factors are just as important as medication for living well with Bipolar Disorder. Sunlight, alcohol or drugs, nutrition, social connection, nature, repetitive thoughts, meditation and exercise are just a few of...
Earn This!

Earn This!

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) Written in honor of the service and sacrifice of the US Military for Memorial Day, 2022   In the epic World War Two film “Saving Private Ryan”, Army Captain and Ranger John Miller (Tom Hanks) lies...
Lisa

Lisa

Something I am Proud Of: Despite my diagnosis of Bipolar I, and despite the highs and mostly lows I experience, I was able to earn a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology which included a 6-month practicum of therapist training in a psychiatric hospital. This...
I wish that my mother would have had a therapist

I wish that my mother would have had a therapist

Author: Margaret Fitzgerald I wish that my Mother would have sought out therapy when I was a child. I know that this may have been somewhat unheard of in the 1970s. In recent years, we have learned that my Mother experiences post-traumatic stress disorder. I have...
I Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

I Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

Author: Neil McCarthy   Life experiences, including a regular meditation practice, have shown me that all life predicaments and mental states will pass in time.  But more than just meditation has seen me through tough times; music has served as a constant,...
Fatima

Fatima

Something I am Proud Of: I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how I keep pushing on. When I was first diagnosed I was really scared and I didn’t understand my diagnosis. There was so much internalized stigma going on. It’s taken time and effort but I’m finally at a...
What I Wish My Family Knew

What I Wish My Family Knew

Author: Margaret Fitzgerald   My family knew little about serious mental illness when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Hindsight is 20/20.  What follows are what would have best helped me be successful in life before and after my diagnoses.   Many...
Simplifying and Communicating

Simplifying and Communicating

Author: Sarah Ross   I find strength to persevere through challenging times by simplifying tasks as much as possible and through communication. If I keep my thoughts to myself, I will just end up spiraling. Once I reflect my thoughts to someone I trust, I feel a...
The First Time

The First Time

Author: Sophia Falco   the world was fake, merely a blue green marble that started to crack, the lines ran too deep the same day it rolled off the kitchen table after the argument that this marble was more than just a marble also a representation of the ocean and...
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