Category: Consumer

Why Keeping A Positive Attitude Matters In Spite Of Depression

Why Keeping A Positive Attitude Matters In Spite Of Depression

It is frustrating to live with depression. I get it. I walk to the beat of humming depression almost every day. It is even more frustrating to take a handful of medications that still do not eliminate my symptoms entirely. What helps me feel better is that I try very...

Reading And Writing As My Therapy For Bipolar Disorder

Reading And Writing As My Therapy For Bipolar Disorder

Art, music, modelling, and crafts – these are just some examples of activities that people with bipolar disorder have been using as personal therapy. I enjoy all of these creative outlets, but there are two things in particular that I have been doing to keep...

Coping With Bipolar Spending

Coping With Bipolar Spending

Impulsivity is a common symptom of mania, and it can present itself in different ways depending on the person. I tend to talk excessively or start new, often costly projects. I make a lot of poor decisions because I am not thinking clearly. My thoughts race, leaping...

7 Things Only People With Bipolar Will Understand

7 Things Only People With Bipolar Will Understand

1. Explaining to people that there is a difference between “moody” and “bipolar”  I had told a colleague that I have bipolar and she laughed. When she saw that I wasn’t laughing with her, she asked me if I was serious with my claim. This is very common for me....

Noise Sensitivity During Mania

Noise Sensitivity During Mania

Loud noises bother me to the point of rage during certain moods. If I am near switching moods to mania, the noise will send me into mania quicker and launch a case of full-blown rage. I also think the constant assault on my ears can trigger an episode of mania even if...

Facing Trials By Embracing Optimism

Facing Trials By Embracing Optimism

These past few years have been a season of waiting and stress for our family. My husband has struggled to find a permanent job, which has left us with no real sense of where we will settle down and start to build a life. The uncertainty of the situation has produced...

Balancing Care For Others And Yourself

Balancing Care For Others And Yourself

One part of being a mental health advocate that I pride myself on is being a walking pamphlet of resources for people struggling with mental health and being able to help them help themselves. As a student on Binghamton University’s campus, I am well known among my...

Facing The Truth

Facing The Truth

Her blinders have been removed click here She has taken her gloves off and removed her coat She sits in stillness with peaceful knowing Knowing from the soul Inspired by the spirit   The storm came along with no warning It whirled and twirled devastation Leaving...

judgMENTAL

judgMENTAL

Above: mixed media on canvas by Zaeli Eliza“You’re making mental illness as if it’s a big deal!” “You talk too much about it. You’re glamorizing your illness!” “You don’t need medication. It’s all in your head.” “Think positive. Toughen...

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

If you walked into my house right now, this is what you would see: dishes piling up, laundry in piles waiting to be folded, a dirty floor and me in bed.It’s happening again. I’m having another manic episode. This one, though, is different. Maybe it’s the empty house...

My Thoughts as a Person With Bipolar

My Thoughts as a Person With Bipolar

Having been diagnosed as a manic depressive in 2009, I have had my roller coaster ride on this illness. My brain starts to function in such a manner that no one could ever understand or fathom the swings in my moods and behavior. As a person with bipolar disorder...

SOS: Saving Your Sinking Ship

SOS: Saving Your Sinking Ship

Imagine you’re sailing on a ship full speed ahead to your next destination with naught a care in the world. All of a sudden, the ship springs a leak. It’s a small leak, so you patch it and continue to sail on. You don’t go much further before that small leak turns...

A Journey Through Mania and Back

A Journey Through Mania and Back

My name is Nicole, but most people call me Nic. Mostly because it’s easier and faster to say, but also because Australians are fond of a nickname.I have bipolar disorder Type 1 and am presently recovering from another lengthy manic episode. I could try and put a...

The Working Wounded: Bipolar Disorder on the Job

The Working Wounded: Bipolar Disorder on the Job

This Labor Day has brought back a gloomy memory. “You’ve failed at everything you’ve ever done, Daddy, and you’ve been sick all of my life.” Those stinging words came from my then 27-year-old son.  He regretted saying that to me and apologized the next day. My...

Dealing with Anger

Dealing with Anger

I have learned over time how to express anger. It’s taken me a while to figure this out. For the longest time I have thought that expressing anger meant that there was going to be an aggressive confrontation, which scares me. I am afraid of all forms of confrontation;...

Bipolar Warrior vs. Bipolar Sufferer

Bipolar Warrior vs. Bipolar Sufferer

I am an avid Instagram user. I love taking photographs of everything, whether it’s my meals, my outfits (aka #ootd – outfit of the day), my travels or my outings. Just in case you’re not familiar with the app, on Instagram, the user can include a brief bio at...

Facing a Psychiatric Hospitalization

Facing a Psychiatric Hospitalization

I was sitting in my psychiatrist’s office recently in a large, oversized chair staring at the slightly crooked pictures on the wall. A boat. A beach. African figures. I could hear the ticking of the clock as I scanned the piles of books and patient records underneath,...

Finding Your Strengths

Finding Your Strengths

Recently, on an Australian website called the Black Dog Institute (very helpful, search it up), I registered for a program called the 6 Week Bite Back Challenge to help individuals find gratitude and happiness. One of the weeks tested strengths and virtues. It is a...

The Guilt I Felt When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

The Guilt I Felt When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

I have bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD and OCD. It’s not easy living with me sometimes, especially if I forget to take my meds. I also have a history of drug and alcohol abuse. I am 41 years old, and I have spent most of the first 40 years stretching my body and mind...

Pushed to The Brink

Pushed to The Brink

When I wrote about my bipolar disorder, anxiety and PTSD, I thought it was the hardest thing I did. But now I realise that what I’m writing about today is the hardest thing I have ever done. The only reason this has taken me so long is the same reason why I kept quiet...

Parenting Made Interesting

Parenting Made Interesting

For parents taking care of a child who has autism, life is an everyday challenge. Sometimes, it’s good. Other times, not so much. But what if you’re a single parent? What if you’re a single parent who has bipolar disorder? What would it be like then?...

Explore Your Options For Affordable Psychiatric Care

Explore Your Options For Affordable Psychiatric Care

My first instinct when realizing I needed psychiatric help because I was having a breakdown, was to call my company’s EAP (Employee’s Assistance Program). I was lost and they advertised at work that this program could help with many different things, one of them being...

You Are a Rock Star

You Are a Rock Star

Hey! Hey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you over there. The one with bipolar disorder. The one that constantly looks down on themselves and wishes they were someone else. The one that wonders what happened in their life to deserve this wretched beast of an illness. I’m...

What I Didn’t Realise About Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

What I Didn’t Realise About Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Recently I gave a keynote presentation at the Victorian Collaborative Mental Health Nursing Conference in Australia. It was amazing and inspirational to see the great work so many mental health nurses are doing. The title of my keynote was ‘World Changing’. This title...

More Than Meds

More Than Meds

Bipolar disorder is a complex and difficult condition. Even after getting stabilized, we still have to work so hard to keep things going in the right direction. For me, medication is necessary, but the best advice I ever received was from a psychiatrist and it had...

Family History and Bipolar Disorder

Family History and Bipolar Disorder

Greetings all! I am a new blogger here as of this month, and I’m really excited to begin the process of opening up a great door: the door of honest discussion about bipolar disorder. There are so many facets to this condition. I thought I would start off...

How I Saved My Life

How I Saved My Life

I roll over to the edge of my bed and start searching for my pills: white pill, purple pill and a couple of other pills my psychiatrist said I needed. I’m not ready to get out of bed, but I know I can’t miss another day at work. By the time I’m in...

7 Things I Learned at the Psych Ward

7 Things I Learned at the Psych Ward

Does the title of this blog scare you? Does it make you laugh? Does it make you cry? Make you shudder? It might do one or all of those things. Most people never want to admit they have been to a psychiatric hospital. I can’t say I would have ever dreamed I...

Words Matter

Words Matter

I am now beginning to realize something that never occurred to me before: I “have” bipolar disorder. If you had asked me a couple of weeks ago, I would have told you that I “am” bipolar. What a difference one word makes. I “have” bipolar. Over my life, I...

The 4 Spiritual Traps of Bipolar Disorder

The 4 Spiritual Traps of Bipolar Disorder

I want to start by saying that this list of spiritual traps accompanying bipolar disorder is no scientific article. Rather, it is a list of my own experiences and those of my clients searching for ways to integrate spiritual wisdom gleaned during times of madness...

5 Rules for Facebooking When You Have Bipolar

5 Rules for Facebooking When You Have Bipolar

Although I sometimes wax nostalgic about bygone days when screens did not dominate my life and my attention was not as divided as often as it seems to be lately, the fact is I think a healthy social media community can be a great asset to persons suffering from mental...

How Cats Help Treat My Depression

How Cats Help Treat My Depression

My father didn’t believe our neighbor when he told us that our dog Ace was “taking care of a cat” in his insulated dog house outside, which was located a short distance from an almost five-foot tall woodpile in our back yard. One cold, April morning in 2003, Dad went...

Carrying the Weight

Carrying the Weight

Prior to my diagnosis and starting my treatment, I spent countless hours each day stuck in a cycle of worry and panic. I would ruminate, the worst moments of my life and every single mistake I’ve ever made surfacing in my mind and stuck in an infinite replay....

Burnt

Burnt

I have recently experienced a mental health burnout.Normally, when I say that I mean I’m tired of dealing with my own mental health, but not this time. This time I am just jaded regarding the blogging I do.Just over two years ago I went public with my condition on...

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

If you walked into my house right now, this is what you would see: dishes piling up, laundry in piles waiting to be folded, a dirty floor and me in bed.It’s happening again. I’m having another manic episode. This one, though, is different. Maybe it’s the empty house...

30 Things Not To Say To Those With Bipolar Disorder

30 Things Not To Say To Those With Bipolar Disorder

I always enjoy reading “listicles” about “what not to say” and “what to say” to someone with a mental illness. I read them and nod my head in agreement, as I can relate all too well. There are sayings or comments that may seem helpful, but aren’t in reality because...

Life in the Cycle of Anxiety

Life in the Cycle of Anxiety

Have you ever been so afraid of tripping that you couldn’t take a flight of stairs, even though something like that would never happen? This is the stage setting for my anxiety disorder. I have written about my bipolar disorder a lot of times, but my...

Meds, Memory Loss and My Support System

Meds, Memory Loss and My Support System

Approximately three years ago I started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. At first it was little things, like putting my glasses in a desk drawer instead of on my nightstand like I normally would. That was just the beginning. It progressed rapidly. Within...

Inside the Mind of Someone with Social Anxiety

Inside the Mind of Someone with Social Anxiety

I have been dealing with social anxiety since around the time I was diagnosed with Bipolar. That’s 8 long years dealing with both Bipolar and social anxiety. I used to keep myself at arms-length from people for fear of being rejected, since my social anxiety causes...

Why You Should Watch “Silver Linings Playbook”

Why You Should Watch “Silver Linings Playbook”

One of my favorite movies is Silver Linings Playbook.  It is the first mainstream movie I’ve ever seen that accurately depicts the specific symptoms that each character has.  It goes into great detail about delusions, manic episodes, depression and all...

Some Days, I Want To Get Off The Ride

Some Days, I Want To Get Off The Ride

Some days, I want to get off the ride. Some days, I just want to be “normal.” I don’t want to deal with unpleasant side effects of medications. I don’t want to endure my lows or spiral out of control during my highs. I don’t want to be crazy. I don’t want to fall...

Support For Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

Support For Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

Suicide is a permanent solution to what, with the proper help, could be a short-term situation. It needn’t be permanent. Seek the help and support you need.When I attempted suicide, I caught my support system off guard, including my doctors and psychiatric...

Bipolar Disorder: My Story and My Passions

Bipolar Disorder: My Story and My Passions

Hey guys! If you haven’t noticed, this is excitingly my first blog post for IBPF. I just thought that maybe before jumping into all the big issues, you might want to know a little about me and my relations with bipolar disorder. And I totally understand! Whenever I...

10 Lessons From 10 Years of Living With Bipolar

10 Lessons From 10 Years of Living With Bipolar

I can hardly believe that it has been 10 years since I received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I wish I could go back and tell my terrified teenage self that though life would sometimes be a roller coaster of ups and downs, a very bright future full of hope and joy...

Practicing Gratitude and Curiosity With Bipolar

Practicing Gratitude and Curiosity With Bipolar

Coping with the side effects of bipolar is often a matter of trial and error. What works one day, sometimes doesn’t work the next. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for ways to get through the day that can connect me with the world while also...

judgMENTAL (Filipino)

judgMENTAL (Filipino)

This article is available in English here. “Ginagawa mo namang malaking bagay yang sakit mo sa utak!” “Puro yang sakit mo na lang lagi sinasabi mo. Masyado mong ginagawang glamoroso!” “Hindi mo naman kailangan ng gamot eh. Nasa utak mo lang yan!” “Maging postibo...

judgMENTAL

judgMENTAL

Above: mixed media on canvas by Zaeli Eliza“You’re making mental illness as if it’s a big deal!” “You talk too much about it. You’re glamorizing your illness!” “You don’t need medication. It’s all in your head.” “Think positive. Toughen...

Monitoring and Managing Emotions

Monitoring and Managing Emotions

Managing emotions is something that comes along with many mental health diagnoses, especially bipolar disorder. It’s always one emotion or another and every one of them is usually to the extreme. Some of the emotions I deal with include anger, depression,...

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