Category: Consumer

Self-Stigma

Self-Stigma

by Kelly C. Kirby, MS, LPCC I oscillate between thinking of my bipolar disorder diagnosis as my enemy and my partner in life. When I reflect on this ideological difference, I wish I could blame external events or influential people for my shifting perspective;...

Mysterious Days With Bipolar Disorder

Mysterious Days With Bipolar Disorder

(This is my digital painting illustrating my psychosis during the year of 2009.) “I am going to rule the world. I am the queen of Rome. Everybody here on Earth will be destroyed by God and I will be the only one left…” After I gave birth, I became the queen of Rome...

Staying Afloat During Depression

Staying Afloat During Depression

I have tried to write this blog countless times over the course of the past few weeks, but the words would not come. Come to think of it, I’ve tried to do a lot of things over the past few weeks, until eventually I just gave up, sinking into my own private despair....

Learning To Be Present

Learning To Be Present

It’s been months since my last full scale manic episode. However, the road to today has been paved with mixed episodes, depression, and frustrating medication changes. Some days I despair that life is passing me by whilst I wrestle with the utter exhaustion of having...

Fear For How Divided My Country Has Become

Fear For How Divided My Country Has Become

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions in this blog are the author’s and do not represent those of International Bipolar Foundation. The 2016 US election has been stressful for many people, and our bloggers often write about stressful events in their lives and how they...

Bipolar Disorder And Work

Bipolar Disorder And Work

Help us win Healthline’s Best Health Blog of the Year! Vote for International Bipolar Foundation here.  Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the year 2009, I have struggled with coping, not only with my mood and personal life, but also with my...

Tips For Traveling Easier When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Tips For Traveling Easier When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Help us win Healthline’s Best Health Blog of the Year! Vote for International Bipolar Foundation here.  Traveling can be difficult for everyone, even more so for those that struggle with mental health conditions. Between packing, leaving your normal schedule,...

Questions About Bipolar My Friends Always Wanted To Ask

Questions About Bipolar My Friends Always Wanted To Ask

I have been very open about my diagnosis and journey to recovery and acceptance. I started my blog to chronicle the ups and downs that I experience during my journey. Recently my friends were open enough to ask me questions they have always wanted to know about living...

Up? Down? How About Both At Once?

Up? Down? How About Both At Once?

People who live with bipolar disorder grow used to – or at least familiar with – the cycle of manic highs and depressive lows. But what happens when the highs and lows come closer and closer together? What happens when they both occur at the same time? There are...

Diagnosis And Self-Identity

Diagnosis And Self-Identity

What does it mean to me, in terms of self-identity, to have a dual-diagnosis of bipolar type II disorder (classified as a “mood” disorder) and borderline personality disorder (classified as a “personality” disorder)? I looked up the (psychology) definition of the word...

Accepting My Bipolar Diagnosis

Accepting My Bipolar Diagnosis

A year and a half ago, I submitted myself to a series of psychological assessments. It wasn’t my first experience with the mental health field. I’d been to treatment facilities and therapy in the past because of anorexia. But I knew something was going on, something...

Dear Future Manic Self

Dear Future Manic Self

This is Part 5 in a 5-Part Series: “When the World is Too Bright: An Intensive View of Mania from On the Ground”  (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 here)  Dear Future Manic Krystal, Mania and you go together like peanut butter and jelly. After five...

Pet Therapy and Mania

Pet Therapy and Mania

This is Part 4 in a 5-Part Series: “When the World is Too Bright: An Intensive View of Mania from On the Ground” (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 5 here) I moved back home with my mother a few years ago for financial reasons. Now that I’m back in...

Mania #5: What, How, Why

Mania #5: What, How, Why

This is Part 1 in a 5-Part Series: “When the World is Too Bright: An Intensive View of Mania from On the Ground” (Read Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 here) This is my fifth mania in the nine years since I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder....

Bipolar Disorder And Financial Burden

Bipolar Disorder And Financial Burden

Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I have not only been feeling physically, emotionally, and mentally ill, but financially as well. The cost of medicine is sickening considering that I need to buy it for maintenance. I work as a teacher in the Philippines,...

Know Your Triggers

Know Your Triggers

Episodes can occur in patients with bipolar disorder for numerous reasons; sometimes episodes occur for no known reason at all. I have learned to pay attention to my triggers so I can try to stay ahead of my episodes; sometimes it’s helpful, sometimes it’s not. I also...

How It All Began

How It All Began

If I could tell myself anything when it all started, it would be the following: ‘Reach out to your parents and tell them what’s going on with you emotionally. Lean on your family for help. They will be very understanding and supportive; they only want what’s best for...

You’re Beautiful, What Do You Have To Be Depressed About?

You’re Beautiful, What Do You Have To Be Depressed About?

To the girl who told me I was beautiful, so what do I have to be depressed about? I remember one time that I shared a personal story about depression on my Facebook page. This was one girl’s comment on the story: “Please don’t share such things on Facebook. You...

Fatherhood With Bipolar Disorder

Fatherhood With Bipolar Disorder

There has been no greater motivation for my recovery than fatherhood. Alone, I could go for long stretches of mood dysregulation. Even married, I was afforded the opportunity to sleep excessively and spend large amounts of time devoted to my self-care. Such privileges...

What Is A Good Parent?

What Is A Good Parent?

Have you ever been out shopping and witnessed a child have one of those nuclear meltdown kind of tantrums? The parent is obviously embarrassed and frustrated and they must take action. They can reprimand the child, they can snatch them up by the arm and hurry away or...

Why Did I Have A Block On My Spirituality?

Why Did I Have A Block On My Spirituality?

“The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls…” – Thomas Merton To say that I grew up in a...

The Wooden Heart

The Wooden Heart

Our hearts are packed with medicine, our eyes are blinded of dismay and anguished distance between life itself and the voices in our minds that tell us not to try, not to live, not to survive. The doctors tattoo a label upon our head that feeds itself into our blood...

Reclaiming Recovery After A Crisis

Reclaiming Recovery After A Crisis

It’s inevitable at times for something to happen that will shatter the beautiful recovery we’ve worked so hard to maintain. This is life. Reclaiming that recovery after a crisis will happen, but it may take some time. I recently had to deal with a few crises that...

Let’s Talk Psychosis

Let’s Talk Psychosis

Why don’t we talk more about psychosis from bipolar disorder?  I am an avid reader. I read a ton of articles and blogs written by bipolar mental health advocates. What I’ve recently realized is that there is a lot written about mania and depression, but not much...

Running Free

Running Free

Pound! Pound! Pound! Her heart beat echoing throughout her body; she’s running to meet amends. Her arms sway quickly beside her knocking the leaves from the trees on the side of the path, they fall briefly from the tree, up into the air and onto the earth’s ground...

Wake-Up Call To Society

Wake-Up Call To Society

In the year 2009, I gave birth to my son. After this event in my life, my suffering began. I started to find it hard to sleep at night. I often would stay awake each night staring at the ceiling of my room. It lasted for about a week and I began to have hallucinations...

Into The Abyss

Into The Abyss

My name is Roger and I have Bipolar. This was written a week ago, just after the painting was completed. There are times when I am in the “high” of a mania and there are times when I am in the “low” of depression. This painting depicts that frightening time when I am...

Memory Loss And My Plan Of Action

Memory Loss And My Plan Of Action

I have no memory. Alright, I’m being a little tongue in cheek here. But, most days I really do feel like I have no memory. Who knows when it began. I’ve always had some memory retention issues growing up. It drove everyone around me batty. I can’t...

#DearTeenageMe, Tell Your Story

#DearTeenageMe, Tell Your Story

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/  My journey through bipolar disorder started genetically, but wasn’t kicked off symptomatically until the major traumatic event that could shatter any teenager’s life. My mother died suddenly of a...

#DearTeenageMe, Break The Sound Of Silence

#DearTeenageMe, Break The Sound Of Silence

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ Do you remember the song “Sound of Silence”? The one we used to sing with Dad? Remember how we always thought it was about being quiet and not making any noise no matter what we were feeling?...

#DearTeenageMe, Don’t Be Ashamed

#DearTeenageMe, Don’t Be Ashamed

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/  Dear scared Ros, I know you tried it again last night, like you try every week. You spend hours crying and pouring your emotions into your little black book hoping that someone will finally hear your...

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

I was born in the mid 1950’s when mental illness just wasn’t talked about. I wish that I could have had advice about the bipolar disorder I struggled with prior to my diagnosis. Perhaps it would have brought some ease to the fear I was experiencing. If my parents had...

#DearTeenageMe, This Is Not Your Fault

#DearTeenageMe, This Is Not Your Fault

If the teenage Sarah knew what 27 year old Sarah knows now, I believe this bipolar journey could have been a lot less painful.  But when I’m tempted to dwell on how much farther ahead I could be had I been more prepared to live life with a mental illness, I remind...

Do I Have To Take Meds Forever?

Do I Have To Take Meds Forever?

I can’t give you the answer you want, because the real answer is “Probably. You will most likely require psychotropic medication for the rest of your life.” (I’ll get to that “most likely” in a bit.) Personally, I don’t see...

Discerning Differences In Displays Of Love

Discerning Differences In Displays Of Love

My father was a man of very few words. The only exceptions were hilarious dad jokes and long conversations with my mother — conversations that looked so pretty that I wished to have some like them in my life. Since he didn’t talk much, I can’t start with a...

My Path To Acceptance

My Path To Acceptance

I keep hearing the word acceptance when it comes to living with bipolar. But what exactly does it mean to me? A doctor once told me acceptance means acknowledging a fact, but not necessarily being “ok” with it. I was uncertain so I looked it up. Acceptance is defined...

My Story For Suicide Prevention Month

My Story For Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month. This is my story of my suicide attempt on September 12, 2014. I have chosen to share this to raise awareness – it has never been told before. Blink. “One, two, three.” My limp body slid to the ER table. Blink. The bright light....

#DearTeenageMe, Don’t Wait To Get Help

#DearTeenageMe, Don’t Wait To Get Help

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/. I know junior high was rough, and high school is only going to be rougher. By now you’ve realized that you’re different from most of the other kids – they’ve told you so, but they...

#DearTeenageMe, Your Friends Will Support You

#DearTeenageMe, Your Friends Will Support You

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/. Remember freshman year of college at the Fall Health Fair? A man at a table handed you a piece of paper and asked you to take a depression screening; they were encouraging all incoming freshman to...

From My Bipolar Present To My Youth Of Yesteryear

From My Bipolar Present To My Youth Of Yesteryear

Dear Amy, I want you to know there will be times in your life when you will struggle with a mental illness called bipolar disorder. I know it sounds complicated, and the truth is, it is. It is complex because we are talking about your brain. However, if you learn...

Self-Image and Bipolar Disorder

Self-Image and Bipolar Disorder

From the time we can talk, people begin asking us what we want to be when we grow up. My answers were usually one of the following: ballerina, model, actress, doctor, nurse, painter, art therapist, occupational therapist, photographer, illustrator, writer. I wanted to...

Ready For Romance With Bipolar Disorder?

Ready For Romance With Bipolar Disorder?

Relationships are hard, with or without bipolar disorder, but adding bipolar disorder to the mix just makes it feel that much harder. Before either rushing into a relationship, or avoiding them altogether, you might find it useful to hear a bit of advice from someone...

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