Category: Bipolar Disorder

The Gift of Friendship

The Gift of Friendship

Author: Natalia Beiser I had a dear friend that could not understand my mood disorder; particularly the depression.  I tried diligently to explain it to her.  She could tell when I was down by the tone in my voice over the telephone. My friend was a senior citizen and...

Living with Comorbid Diagnosis’

Living with Comorbid Diagnosis’

Author: Lauren Meredith I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) when I was 21 years old. I was a senior in college.  I had testing problems and lo and behold it was due to testing anxiety which was also manifested in various other aspects of my life.  My...

The Stories of Men with Mental Illness

The Stories of Men with Mental Illness

Author: George Hofmann It seems that today a man with a mental illness in his middle age is without a voice. So many of the stories told about the struggle with an incoherent mind are from the point of view of the young and mostly female. For so many older men the...

Bipolar Disorder, Stigma and Suicide

Bipolar Disorder, Stigma and Suicide

Author: Valéry Brosseau  The gym smelled a bit like a warehouse would smell, but mostly like sweat. I came to this gym 5 times a week to practice Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but tonight I was not feeling it. I struggled through the warm up. My anxiety was making me irritable...

Newly Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder? Here’s My Advice…

Newly Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder? Here’s My Advice…

Author: Jessica Kaushik I was diagnosed in 2004 and have been largely living hospital-free for the last thirteen years. So, I do have a few coping strategies for living with Bipolar Disorder that I’d like to share with the newly diagnosed. …I wouldn’t say the list is...

The Intersection of Toxic Masculinity and Mental Illness

The Intersection of Toxic Masculinity and Mental Illness

Author: Zachary Burton The California hills were quickly turning to gold. Our weekends were filled with barbecues, swimming, and late nights around our fire pit. Life couldn’t be better. I certainly thought so, as I hurtled toward my PhD qualifying exams in the late...

Grandiosity vs Self-Love

Grandiosity vs Self-Love

Author: Violette Kay “Grandiosity”. That’s the word that convinced me I actually had bipolar disorder. The sleep disruptions, increased energy, racing thoughts and flight of ideas – not to mention the recurring depressive episodes – all these other textbook...

Rising Above While Living with Bipolar Disorder: A Dream Come True

Rising Above While Living with Bipolar Disorder: A Dream Come True

Author: Sophia Falco It has been a challenge living with bipolar disorder 1 for nearly a decade (diagnosed at age 16) yet I have risen above this to have made my dream come true—a college graduate that has excelled! I have achieved the Highest Honors in the Literature...

Coping With Psychosis

Coping With Psychosis

Author: Christina Chambers Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid when you awoke it was hard to believe it didn’t actually happen? You had that surreal feeling of not being certain what was a dream and what happened in your waking life. What about a dream where...

I Was Told I Shouldn’t Have Children, and I Listened…

I Was Told I Shouldn’t Have Children, and I Listened…

Author: Natalia Beiser Like most girls, I dreamed of being a mother. Planned were baby names, thoughts of how I would parent and nurture a child, and the locality where I wanted to do so. As a teenager, I was a sought out babysitter. My fantasy was of a family of five...

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis: Part 2

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis: Part 2

Author: Scott Walker A continuation from Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis… I ended up being in the psychiatric hospital for three weeks after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time I was in New Zealand visiting family and seeing my Mom and brother....

How I Learned To Prevent My Episodes

How I Learned To Prevent My Episodes

Author: Katie Barber When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder my therapist was optimistic. The disorder can be easily managed, I was told, with lifestyle changes and medication. Simple small changes to my life can make a big difference to my episodes and can...

What Mood Disorder Is It, Anyway?

What Mood Disorder Is It, Anyway?

Author: George Hofmann It takes a while to diagnose someone with bipolar disorder. In fact, the average delay between the first appearance of symptoms and a correct diagnosis is six years. I remember when I first recognized that something unusual was occurring in my...

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

By Allison Clemmons Hatch Recently there has been no shortage of advice regarding techniques for self-care in light of the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to not only our physical, but our mental health care as well.  And thank goodness for that! You have may have...

Releasing Resentment

Releasing Resentment

Author: Claire As someone living with bipolar 1 disorder, I sometimes feel resentful towards others that don’t share my struggles. The vast majority of people cannot truly comprehend mania, nor spend much time contemplating it. In daily experiences and in social...

Why I Won’t Hide My Diagnosis From My Little Sister

Why I Won’t Hide My Diagnosis From My Little Sister

Author: Violette Kay I used to feel a lot of pressure to be discreet about my bipolar disorder. When asked what my plans were for the day, I wouldn’t mention therapy appointments if that’s what was on the agenda. I wouldn’t take my medication in front of people. I...

Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health

Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health

Author: Caoimhe Mercer This month (May) is Mental Health Awareness Month 2020. There are many differences this year, however, due to the concerns surrounding Covid19. With the need for social distancing and isolation, people’s mental health will likely suffer as a...

Stress: Taming the Beast

Stress: Taming the Beast

A recent headline reads: Cortisol: Why the “Stress Hormone” is Public Enemy No. 1. But here’s an idea. Maybe we don’t want to eliminate stress from our lives. Here is a three-part alternative: Understand it. Manage it. Modulate it. Understand it. Definition: Stress is...

I Feel Less Shame Since COVID-19…

I Feel Less Shame Since COVID-19…

Author: Natalia Beiser I have always carried various degrees of shame over having bipolar I disorder and receiving income through Social Security Disability.  I worked really hard to shine in spite of my diagnosis. I obtained a bachelor’s degree and was very proud...

Bipolar Boxing Match

Bipolar Boxing Match

“Bipolar is like a Boxing match- and we’ve got to keep fighting.” My name is Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva for those unfamiliar with Irish names!) and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder six years ago aged 21, whilst studying for an MA in Modern History at University....

You Are Not Bipolar

You Are Not Bipolar

Author: George Hofmann How do you relate to bipolar disorder, and how do you describe yourself? Language can have a powerful influence over self-definition, revelation, and healing.  The way we describe ourselves and our condition speaks volumes about our outlook and...

What Do You Do When You’re Triggered?

What Do You Do When You’re Triggered?

In life, experiencing stress and tension is normal. But what happens when a certain thought becomes too overwhelming that it ends up taking over your entire headspace? As you walk through this journey, certain triggers are likely to happen every now and then. While...

How Poetry Frees Me From Suffering

How Poetry Frees Me From Suffering

Author: Sophia Falco Poetry is what grounds me. I believe in this realm of poetry that I have complete control which is ever so important for me as an individual affected by bipolar disorder for nearly a decade. I have control over my pen and paper (or my laptop and...

Channeling Feelings Through Art

Channeling Feelings Through Art

Author: Susann Brox Nilsen My mother, who is an artist, taught me early on to draw and to be creative. I drew and wrote stories my whole childhood, my imagination had no end. This gradually stopped during my teenage years though, and for many years I wasn’t...

#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: Part 2

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...

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