Category: Bipolar Disorder

#BipolarBrave, Today and Always

#BipolarBrave, Today and Always

Author: Violette Kay This World Bipolar Day, I look back at all the ways bipolar disorder has impacted my life, and the variety of these experiences is so vast I don’t know whether I should mourn or celebrate. Bipolar disorder has ruined my life a million times over,...

The Importance of #bipolarbrave for Families

The Importance of #bipolarbrave for Families

Author: RaeAnn Collins Wikipedia defines brave as: “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” It is an act of bravery to tell others about this disorder. I have had Bipolar Disorder 1 for about 37 years now. Back in my early days, the stigma of...

Standing Up to Low Expectations

Standing Up to Low Expectations

Author: George Hofmann One of the most difficult things about thriving with bipolar disorder is that people don’t expect very much of you. They expect your moods to be inconsistent, and they assume you can’t take care of yourself. I was recovering from a string of...

Hope

Hope

Author: Jacob Gorman This is a story of hope when it looks like there is none: When I was younger, I was a pretty happy go lucky kid. I made a lot of friends and I was pretty outgoing. Things were great for a long time. I had all kinds of plans for my future, and I...

I am Bipolar Brave

I am Bipolar Brave

Author: Carrie Cantwell When I was in high school, my dad was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He had always been like a pot of boiling water, lid vibrating, steam escaping, about to explode at any moment. He’d spend thousands of dollars on Rolex watches and high-end...

Talking about Bipolar is Bipolar Brave

Talking about Bipolar is Bipolar Brave

Author: Christina Chambers As we celebrate the approaching World Bipolar Day, March’s question is: “what makes you bipolar brave?” I think earlier on in my journey I would have had a hard time answering this question because I carried a lot of shame and a sense of...

#BipolarBrave

#BipolarBrave

Author: Rebecca Lombardo  Up until very recently, the last thing in the world I would call myself is brave. I’m still having difficulty accepting it some days. What I saw is what my Bipolar Disorder told me to see: me, curled up in a ball on my bed in tears, too...

Unashamed

Unashamed

Author: Claire Gault I am a server at a senior living center that is home to many interesting people. Among them are a distinguished former president of a university, a resident who claims to have been friends with Rob Zombie, and many eccentric war veterans. One of...

Being Bipolar Brave

Being Bipolar Brave

Author: Willa Goodfellow Oh, I thought I was already, bipolar brave. As a lesbian who came out in my early forties, I understood how this stigma thing works and also how this overcoming of stigma thing works, too. I wasn’t weird or scary. People liked me. When I came...

Mental Illness and the Workplace

Mental Illness and the Workplace

Author: Natalia Beiser   When I resigned my full time job in 2005 due to bipolar depression, I subsequently went on disability.  I spent countless years allowing my bipolar diagnosis to define how I should be treated in the workplace. Prior to going on disability, I...

Managing my Mental Health During COVID-19

Managing my Mental Health During COVID-19

Author: Aubrey Good In December I uprooted everything I had known in my adult life to move across the country to start fresh in a new location. By uprooting everything, I mean everything: my living situation, career, relationships, social activities, routine, weather…...

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis

Author: Scott Walker On January 1, 2000, I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital in New Zealand. My Mom, my brother and I had met in NZ to celebrate Christmas with relatives and bring in the new millennium. I was living in Japan at the time and hadn’t seen...

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Perfectly Hidden Depression

Author: Dr. Margaret Rutherford I’m honored to be asked to join you on March 18th, 2020 for a live video discussion of a syndrome I call “perfectly hidden depression.” I’ve written a new book, Perfectly Hidden Depression: How to Break Free from the Perfectionism that...

When Reckless Spending Doesn’t Seem All That Reckless

When Reckless Spending Doesn’t Seem All That Reckless

Author: Violette Kay My grandma’s neighbor was the first person with bipolar disorder that I ever met. I was a child- I didn’t really know what bipolar disorder was, much less that I would go on to learn that I had it too. My first encounters with the illness took...

My Small Victories

My Small Victories

Author: Trevor Simonson Living with bipolar disorder can become very tiresome, especially when I am experiencing a depressive episode. Everything becomes difficult, even the menial tasks of everyday life. I do my best to keep a positive attitude even through the dark...

Navigating Work Relationships and Mental Illness

Navigating Work Relationships and Mental Illness

Author: Violette Kay There are many reasons one might choose not to disclose their mental illness at work such as the fear of being judged and seen as a liability or the fear of losing your job. But you might not want to disclose it because you feel it is on a...

Dating and Mental Illness: For Better or Worse

Dating and Mental Illness: For Better or Worse

Author: Eliora Mae Baker Dating is not always pretty, and love is hard at times. The difficulties of being in a relationship with someone diagnosed with bipolar disorder are many. Is a relationship with someone with bipolar completely out of the question?...

How Stigma In The African American Faith Community Has Impacted Me

How Stigma In The African American Faith Community Has Impacted Me

I have been a “church girl” all of my life and have been shaped by the traditions and cultural importance of the African American church community.  I grew up with a common belief that you can “pray away” illness, but there was a contrast in how physical illness and...

Hallucinations

Hallucinations

By: Greg Walshaw I first experienced psychosis as a child. I would see ghostly apparitions that would show up at night. Not believing in ghosts, I would try to convince myself that they were simply a visual effect from a streetlight, except that they would move around...

The Relief Of An Accurate Diagnosis

The Relief Of An Accurate Diagnosis

By: Natalia Beiser When I was eighteen, I was finishing the last semester of high school and attempting to concentrate on the scenes of a teenager: attending dances, performing in musicals and band, and picking out a prom dress. I knew that something was terribly...

An Alternative Christmas

An Alternative Christmas

By: Sophie Prosolek Christmas is a time of festive joy, of giving and receiving – ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, or so the song goes. But several years ago I decided to make a change to the way I celebrate Christmas – I decided to...

How Mental Illness Affects Police Shooting Fatalities

How Mental Illness Affects Police Shooting Fatalities

By: Cassandra Stout In 2015, the Washington Post conducted the first ongoing tally of officer-involved shooting deaths of the mentally ill. Nationwide, at least 25% of people who are shot and killed by police officers suffer from acute mental illness at the time of...

Holding on to Hope

Holding on to Hope

By: Thea Madeline Porter I grew up in a typical middle class neighborhood in southern California. During my childhood I enjoyed being creative, playing sports, taking Irish dancing, listening to music, watching movies and hanging out with friends and family. I was...

Vigilance

Vigilance

By: Malcolm Kerec A few weeks ago, I had a sharp reminder of how looking after my mental health is a constant battle and that staying well is not a set-and-forget task. After years of relative stability, it’s all too easy to take good mental health for granted....

The Weight Gain Roller Coaster

The Weight Gain Roller Coaster

By: Ivory Smith Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had a big meal only to feel hungry 2 hours later? Do you eat that 4th meal of the day at 3:00 am at night standing in the kitchen? Have you watched your clothes get tight and hope that it is because the dryer that...

October 21st: National Check Your Meds Day

October 21st: National Check Your Meds Day

By: Cassandra Stout Medication interactions are serious business. You could take two medications which counteract each other, which could make you sick enough to end up in the emergency room, or even die. October 21st is National Check Your Meds Day in the US. Making...

University and Accessibility

University and Accessibility

By: Greg Walshaw I was finishing my first year of a Master’s program when things started to change. The first time I stayed up all night to work on a paper, I thought nothing of it: the paper had to get done, and this was the cost of getting it done. I remember...

Where’s My Lasagna?

Where’s My Lasagna?

By: Natalia Beiser When one is undergoing mental health treatment, it often feels as if no one cares. It is rare that one will receive a greeting card or flowers, nor a covered dish when arriving home from the hospital. In my experience, most are standoffish....

How To Start Seeing A Therapist

How To Start Seeing A Therapist

By: Cassandra Stout Seeing a therapist can be enormously helpful in sorting out issues you may have in your life. You can also develop coping skills in therapy to deal with serious problems, or just the less-serious issues of everyday life. But how do you start...

Supporting a Friend in a Bipolar Depressive Episode

Supporting a Friend in a Bipolar Depressive Episode

By: Allan G. Cooper When I am experiencing a Depressive Episode it feels like I am walking in a dark haze of sadness and fatigue. My limbs feel like they are twice as heavy and it takes a tremendous amount of will power to complete the simplest of tasks. Social...

America the Ill – 9 Ways American Culture Promotes Mental Illness

America the Ill – 9 Ways American Culture Promotes Mental Illness

By: Sasha Kildare *The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of International Bipolar Foundation* Although there is still a long way to go, research has revealed...

Self-Discovery: Looking Back on My Diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder

Self-Discovery: Looking Back on My Diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder

By: Cassandra Stout Trigger warning: This post contains a brief mention of suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide, please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or refer to our list of International...

Where Are The Hidden Words?

Where Are The Hidden Words?

By: Sarah Fader I wrote a book with hidden words. You can read them, but I’ve been hiding how I feel from many people. It’s a book about level 37, cheese and donuts. I know that doesn’t make sense to you right now. These are words that I wish I could say to people I...

My Childhood with Bipolar Disorder

My Childhood with Bipolar Disorder

By: Natalia Beiser My mother knew at an early age that I suffered from depression. What she did not know was what to do about it. My remembrance of the 1970’s is that no one discussed mental health unless an acquaintance went to the state hospital. Then it was...

Hyde & Hyde…. no Jekkyll

Hyde & Hyde…. no Jekkyll

By: Laura Sanscartier From the time I was a little girl, I have always had horrible thoughts. Thoughts of hurting people, thoughts of people dying. Thoughts of car crashes and horrible accidents around the house. I always thought that I was just a strange person, and...

Managing Postpartum Depression

Managing Postpartum Depression

By: Liz Wilson My children were born 6 years apart. My son and daughter are two very different children with two very different mothers; who happened to be in the same body. That is largely because of my changing attitude toward education and self-advocacy. Thomas was...

Accepting My Diagnosis

Accepting My Diagnosis

By: Sydney Batt I felt slightly relieved the day I was diagnosed with having bipolar disorder– it felt good to have an explanation for my actions, however the days to come were very difficult. I was very emotional the first couple months after my...

Is It My Bipolar… Or Just Being a Jerk?

Is It My Bipolar… Or Just Being a Jerk?

By: Paul Carey (The short story of a bipolar professional and a personal jerk) Sometimes the line between bipolar and jerk isn’t as transparent as I’d like it to be. To be clear, they are not one in the same. Bipolar is a non-optional mental illness. Being a jerk is a...

My Catch-22 with Medication

My Catch-22 with Medication

By: Natalia Beiser Most days I feel grateful and blessed. I have a good life. I have friends and people that love me. I am employed part time, even with chronic mental illness. I have a home, and even two great cats. My car is almost paid off. I have much of the...

Ward 19 North

Ward 19 North

By: Sasha Kildare My biggest claim to fame is that I had the same dance teacher as JLo. Actually, I have an even bigger claim to fame. But it is not something that you brag about. At the age of 26, I was on my sixth college major, journalism. Summer vacation arrived....

Positive Impact of Therapy

Positive Impact of Therapy

By: Sydney Batt When I was younger, I had been to a few sessions of therapy but had never committed to it until three years ago, when I decided to take my mental health seriously. Going to therapy for the first time can be scary or awkward for some, and having to...

Hold On

Hold On

By: Laura Sanscartier (Trigger warning for sexual assault) There’s a song by Sarah MacLachlan called “Hold On”. The first line is “Hold on, hold on to yourself, for this is gonna hurt like hell.” I often think of it when it comes to hard...

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