Category: Consumer

He Loves Me, Bipolar or Not

He Loves Me, Bipolar or Not

Michael: I first saw Allison at an AA meeting that I had been attending for several years. She was (is) a beautiful, lively and animated woman who I decided I wanted to get to know better. Little did I know that after she accepted, and we went on our first date,...

What Recovery Means To Me

What Recovery Means To Me

We can live full, successful lives, even if we have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We cannot forget that recovery is possible, and that we have control over our own recovery. The first step in taking control of your recovery is defining what recovery means to...

When to disclose that you have bipolar disorder in a relationship?

When to disclose that you have bipolar disorder in a relationship?

As someone in recovery from both addiction and bipolar disorder, I often find it difficult to know when to share this part of my life with someone else. I recently ended a three-year relationship and began dating again. I try to be upfront about the addiction because...

10 Tips for Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

10 Tips for Your Next Doctor’s Appointment

This advice can help you better communicate with your doctor(s) to get the most out of your appointment. 1. Don’t miss appointments! Typically, a psychiatrist is usually booked up to three months in advance and primary care physicians are booked up to at...

Mental Health Awareness Q&A with David Susman, PhD

Mental Health Awareness Q&A with David Susman, PhD

The Canadian Mental Health Association first introduced Mental Health Week in 1951, and it has since become a yearly tradition. This year, Canada celebrated its 65th annual Mental Health Week from May 2, 2016 to May 8, 2016.  In the US, Mental Health Month takes...

Don’t Let Your Symptoms Define You

Don’t Let Your Symptoms Define You

If someone tells you that you are bad at math, especially if you have had a bad experience in a math class, that idea can percolate in your mind for years and eventually you will dread anything to do with math. You might avoid it so much that it limits your career or...

Support in the Workplace

Support in the Workplace

I’m a teacher so a good, supportive environment is essential to my success in the classroom. This is doubly so for anyone with a mental illness. Support for a person with a mental illness diagnosis is crucial for their success in the workplace and they CAN be...

5 Times You Should Call Your Doctor

5 Times You Should Call Your Doctor

I can’t count the number of times I’ve debated between calling my doctor and waiting it out. We argue that the doctor can’t help, that we just need time to adjust to medication or that it’s a waste of time. Here are five times when you should...

When You Have to Say Goodbye to Your Psychologist

When You Have to Say Goodbye to Your Psychologist

I sat in the cheery Student Life waiting room with brochures hanging from the walls. I had broken out into a cold sweat and was feeling fairly nauseated, ready to bolt. ‘What am I doing here? This is not me.’ I thought for the hundredth time. I reminded myself that I...

There Are Good Times

There Are Good Times

I realized today as I reread many of my blogs that I am often referring to times when I was depressed. I want you to know there are also many good times. Often when I think of good times, I think of exceptionally good times when I accomplished something like...

5 Things to Remember When You Cannot Work

5 Things to Remember When You Cannot Work

I have not worked since I left my job in 2013 due to my mental health. I have successfully gotten a couple of jobs since, but have not made it past the induction period before I’ve become unwell again. I just don’t seem to be able to deal with the stress that comes...

Lavender Blooms

Lavender Blooms

I still like the way lavender blooms, the way it smells, the way it lingers on my skin and saturates my face with a glow of happiness.. And so does she; my old self, the self that didn’t tear herself to pieces. I see her in my sleep, she stitches up my wounds...

I Wish You Knew How It Felt

I Wish You Knew How It Felt

Mania You wake up after only four hours asleep, but that’s ok, you feel fine. Today is going to be a great day, a productive day, one of the best days of your life. You get in the shower and sing every song you know, and keep singing as you dress up and do your...

The Form of Stigma You Might Not Be Thinking Of

The Form of Stigma You Might Not Be Thinking Of

Everyone I have ever talked to within the mental health community has an acute awareness of the social stigma of their condition. They could jeopardize their career, could lose their friendships, or even have their family torn away from them. We are all aware that...

What Do You Do When You Can’t Get To Sleep?

What Do You Do When You Can’t Get To Sleep?

Thankfully I normally get to sleep very quickly. However, about a month ago it took me a VERY long time to get to sleep. I had a bunch of ideas swirling in my head and my mind kept firing off new ones. They were exciting ideas about a variety of things: a fundraising...

When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

I remember what it was like hitting rock bottom. I hit it hard. I had checked myself into the psych ward twice and was dealing with a dull, achy feeling. Whoo boy, was that hard! Thankfully, I had and still have God, my husband, and mom on my side. I also found the...

Mania: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Mania: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I consider mania to be the forgotten orphan of the two poles of bipolar disorder – with depression being the most discussed. Depression gets all the attention, all the talk, all the focus and mania is left out in the cold. On the International Bipolar Foundation’s...

Warning Signs

Warning Signs

It’s so important with a mental illness to be vigilant of errant emotions because it could be a warning sign of the start of an episode. This has happened only a few times since I’ve been stable on medication.  The first time was during the summer a couple of...

My Bipolar Disorder is not your Excuse

My Bipolar Disorder is not your Excuse

I decided to be open about my bipolar disorder over two years ago. I expected that there would be some stigma, but what I didn’t expect or prepare for was the hidden stigma. The kind of stigma that isn’t immediately obvious until you reflect upon it. One of these...

I Am Much More Than That

I Am Much More Than That

When I facilitate groups, I ask people to say their name, something about themselves unrelated to their mental health disorder and, “And I’m more than that.” Inevitably, a person says something like, “Hi. I’m John. I’m bipolar, and I’m not much more than that.” I’m...

Don’t Wait for Someone to Notice Your Symptoms

Don’t Wait for Someone to Notice Your Symptoms

There were a lot of warning signs that I had a mental illness, long before my first diagnosis. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. I would have massive mood swings and extremely violent temper tantrums that often resulted in the...

Talking Mental Health With Your Adult Child

Talking Mental Health With Your Adult Child

It’s difficult to know what to do when your adult child has the symptoms of a mental illness. We encourage our children to be independent and take care of themselves. But what do we do as a parent if our adult child is struggling with depression, anxiety...

I am not bipolar. I am a superhero!

I am not bipolar. I am a superhero!

I have a secret.  I am a superhero. In some ways we all are superheroes.  I can hear the critics now, “Bipolar disorder is a curse.  Only suffering comes from a disease like that.”  Bah, I say.  Bah.  Life is what you make it.  Bad...

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

I decided to start writing to help people like me but I didn’t really pursue it seriously until my sister passed away unexpectedly last year.  I needed to transfer my grief into something productive (that’s just my personality) and so here I am, writing a blog...

Being Healthy Both Mentally and Physically

Being Healthy Both Mentally and Physically

You probably hear all the time that if you eat right and exercise, you’ll feel better both mentally and physically. This can be challenging when we live in a world that thrives on junk food and unrealistic expectations on how people should look. So, is it even worth...

Technique for Studying During Depression

Technique for Studying During Depression

When there is a big storm that will knock out your power you prepare for it, right? Typically, you keep water, a flashlight, and some food that doesn’t require cooking because you might lose all power. To some extent, it’s the same when preparing for a low...

The Value of Questioning Your Emotions

The Value of Questioning Your Emotions

After living with bipolar for 8 years, I have noticed some thought patterns that I tend to have around when it comes to thinking about my emotions. Questioning one’s emotions is a useful tool in learning to manage them. As my psychologist and I have discussed,...

Someone Who Understands

Someone Who Understands

Jane and her fiance, Dana, each wrote about their relationship for our couples series. JaneWriting a blog set together is both an awesome and odd experience. I write without outlines, and pour everything out – much like I deal with my moods. My fiance Dana needed...

My Biggest Supporter

My Biggest Supporter

Lynn and her husband, Bill, each wrote about their relationship for our Couples Series. Lynn I do almost everything on my own and find it hard to let people help me. What I have learned with this illness is that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to...

Why I Am More Than My Diagnosis

Why I Am More Than My Diagnosis

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha There are a lot of scary statistics out there. Mortality rates. Higher risk for diabetes, metabolic conditions, earlier deaths. Adverse medication side...

World Bipolar Day 2016: Let’s Get #MoreThanADiagnosis Trending

World Bipolar Day 2016: Let’s Get #MoreThanADiagnosis Trending

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 is the 3rd annual World Bipolar Day. World Bipolar Day is celebrated annually on March 30, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who is believed to have had bipolar disorder. Why Do We Celebrate World Bipolar Day? World Bipolar Day is a...

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Stephanie’s husband, Don, wrote an accompanying blog to his post for our Couples Series. We recommend reading them together. Relationships are hard. Add to them the element of a mental illness and they become almost impossible. But I’ve learned a lot from...

Bipolar Disorder: The Third Person In My Marriage

Bipolar Disorder: The Third Person In My Marriage

Beka’s husband wrote an accompanying blog to this post for our Couples Series. We recommend reading the 2 posts together.  I previously wrote an article about how I found happiness, or actually contentedness. It was during my search that I said the most...

The Significance of an Understanding Partner

The Significance of an Understanding Partner

It was January 2013 when I started dating my first boyfriend, and it was under precarious circumstances. We had met five months earlier in a speech course during the first semester of my college career, and we sat next to each other on the first day. We casually...

Taking Out The Trash

Taking Out The Trash

Don’t let others’ negativity bring you down. Being diagnosed with and dealing with bipolar disorder on a daily basis is already a lot to handle. It’s hard enough to keep your moods in check and on an even level. It’s already difficult to have to take...

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal...

Incarceration and Hospitalization: Worlds Apart

Incarceration and Hospitalization: Worlds Apart

“Mentally ill persons increasingly receive care provided by correctional agencies. In 1959, nearly 559,000 mentally ill patients were housed in state mental hospitals (Lamb, 1998). A shift to “deinstitutionalize” mentally ill persons had, by the late...

Bipolar Disorder: Defeating The Suicide Statistics

Bipolar Disorder: Defeating The Suicide Statistics

Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was one of the most traumatic events of my life. The illness presented itself in my teens and at the time I was unaware of the possibility that my experiences had a diagnosis and that things could get better. By the time I began...

Learning to Live “Alone”

Learning to Live “Alone”

After my husband and I had been married for 16 years, his liver became damaged from Hepatitis B.  A year later he had a liver transplant which he survived for five and a half years.  At the end of that period, the Hepatitis destroyed his new liver and he...

My Manic Summer: Take 2

My Manic Summer: Take 2

It seems that my last blog post was somewhat prophetic. I am currently sitting on a bed, in a psychiatric hospital, recovering from my second psychotic manic episode. This episode evolved much like the last did, with me becoming so elevated that I lost insight...

How Do You Handle Setbacks?

How Do You Handle Setbacks?

Many people that I’ve met who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are very intelligent and creative individuals.  Sometimes those same people have very high expectations of themselves due to being smart.  Another potential tie-in for some is that when manic...

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband...

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