Category: Bipolar Disorder

What 2022 Taught Me

What 2022 Taught Me

This trajectory of trauma hit its peak in January 2022. An ill-informed rocket ship that took flight against my will, needing so many prescribed pills this was not a thrill and I didn’t try to kill myself yet myself went missing because this body would shake and shake...

Is An Emotional Support Animal Right for You?

Is An Emotional Support Animal Right for You?

By: Sam Bowman Emotional support animals (ESAs) are more popular than ever. As of 2019, the National Service Animal Registry had nearly 200,000 support and service animals listed — up from just 2,400 in 2011. While some animals are used to help people with...

Weathering Bipolar

Weathering Bipolar

by Melinda Goedeke A woman and her child sit tightly together in their stranded car hoping and praying help is on its way. Snowflake after snowflake rapidly envelopes the car until it cannot move at all. Nearly out of gas, the car remains off, and they snuggle trying...

The Special Hell of Winter

The Special Hell of Winter

For anyone who has suffered depression in the winter months, I feel you.   A few years ago, before I recognized the pattern of my depressive episodes, I sunk deep into a pit of despair every January. It was like clockwork.   First, I’d be hypomanic–eager and...

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...

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...

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...

Katie

Katie

Describe something you are proud of in your journey in managing mental illness, could be a moment, an overall victory, etc. I’m Katie H. from central Maine and here is my story of living with Bipolar 1 disorder. I was first diagnosed in 2018 when I was hospitalized...

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...

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...

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...

Racing

Racing

Author: Mallory Bockelman   When I race, I’m MetaMal. Meta meaning more, above, and beyond The race begins easy. Less sleep, more thoughts and energy. Beginning slowly but always building Becoming a force of ideas never ending   This race is not your...

How I (Mis)managed my Bipolar Disorder During my Pregnancies

How I (Mis)managed my Bipolar Disorder During my Pregnancies

Author: Cassandra Stout Trigger Warning: This post contains a discussions 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 go to...

Beyond The Beyond

The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned

Author: Angela McCrimmon   Anyone who shares a diagnosis of Bipolar, regardless of what “type” resides in your brain, is going to share a lot of similar traits and experiences. For example, our high and low moods are way more extreme than those...

Sharing My Story

Sharing My Story

Author: Courtney As a child, I was always very hyper and recognized that I was different from many of my peers. It wasn’t until the first couple years of high school that I started suffering from depression. I did not recognize that what I was feeling...

#Bipolar Together

#Bipolar Together

Author: Sharnisha Stokes   #BipolarTogether is a hashtag that’s been needed and will continue to be. To provide hope in times where none can be found. Resources when coping mechanisms that are detrimental have been exhausted. Education for those caring for...

The Two Very Different Sides of Me

The Two Very Different Sides of Me

Author: Ambika Paul   Mania is your favorite song on repeat, an explosion of energy that brews in your mind with saturated ideas all coming at you in a single shot. Gradually consuming your whole body. Mania always feels like a creative journey for me but also...

How Writing Helps Me Feel Less Alone in my Mental Health Journey

How Writing Helps Me Feel Less Alone in my Mental Health Journey

Author: Ann Marie Elpa Like many others, when I first heard the word, ‘bipolar’, I associated it with rapid mood swings and instability. I didn’t have a proper understanding of what the disorder encompassed as someone who grew up in a household that seldom discussed...

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Author: Ashley Sievewright This years theme of Bipolar Together for World Bipolar Day reminds me of when i was first inspired to talk about my mental health after watching the television documentary Stephen Fry – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive back in...

Just Being There

Just Being There

Author: Jessie Bucci   Feeling alone and even misunderstood can be one of the hardest realities of experiencing a mental illness, and living with Bipolar disorder. I remember driving somewhere with a friend and passing a psychiatric facility which prompted her to...

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