Category: Coping Strategies

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...

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...

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...

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 Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

I Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

Author: Neil McCarthy   Life experiences, including a regular meditation practice, have shown me that all life predicaments and mental states will pass in time.  But more than just meditation has seen me through tough times; music has served as a constant,...

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...

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...

The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned, Part II

The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned, Part II

Author: Angela McCrimmon Read Part I here   In laying down my resilience, I found a new “normal”. I developed new routines and I learned what feels right for me in my body, mind and soul. 2021 was an awful year in many ways, but it was profound in the lessons it...

The Biggest Lesson I Ever Learned

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...

How To Stop Should-ing Yourself

How To Stop Should-ing Yourself

Author: Cassandra Stout   When you’re depressed, forget about thriving – you’re in survival mode. Which means you need to be especially gentle with yourself. If you’re telling yourself that you should get everything done on your impossibly...

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...

Connecting to What Heals Me

Connecting to What Heals Me

Author: Neil McCarthy   Living with bipolar disorder often means I keep a layer of separation between others and me.   Some close friends and family might know details of my illness, but not even my eight-year-old daughter knows why I spend 15 minutes every...

Why Write a Wellness Plan

Why Write a Wellness Plan

Author: Christina Chambers Writing down a wellness plan upped my Bipolar Disorder management game exponentially. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I in 2008. I had rapid cycling, so I had at least four episodes each year for twelve years before even...

The Fog

The Fog

Author: Trevor Simonson Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Some days they are all the same. Infiltrated by the fog. That haze that sets life in slow motion, leaves your thoughts in a jumble, and gives you that familiar blank stare. Some days you just can’t...

Warning Signs Are Key

Warning Signs Are Key

Author: Christina Chambers For many years, the first warning sign of impending mania that I could recognize was the repetitive thought that I could fly, a convincing feeling this thought was true, and strong urges to leap off balconies. Thankfully, I knew that I had...

Depressed Decision Making

Depressed Decision Making

Author: Dayna J.   In full disclosure it has been years since I struggled with aggressive depression. I was so depressed in 2007 that I attempted suicide. I have also fought off suicidal ideation, suicidal thoughts, for three decades.   The darkness can...

What To Expect After Surviving Psychosis

What To Expect After Surviving Psychosis

Author: Jeffrey Johanishing Please note: This blog is based upon and includes Jeffrey’s experiences with psychosis and recovery, and therefore, are informed by his own personal account and coping strategies. No two individuals have an identical experiences, so...

Chasing Mental Wellness During Winter

Chasing Mental Wellness During Winter

Author: Claire Gault For many people with bipolar around the world (and even those without), winter can bring shifts in moods. As someone who lives in Michigan, I definitely notice a change in my energy levels when the winter months arrive. I take special care to...

My Experiences with Mixed Mood States and How I Handle Them

My Experiences with Mixed Mood States and How I Handle Them

Author: Cassandra Stout If you have bipolar disorder, it’s likely you’ve experienced some symptoms of mania while you’ve suffered depression, or vice versa, and believe me: it’s miserable.   This awful set of feelings is colloquially...

Dream Hunting

Dream Hunting

Author: Claire Gault   Esmé Weijun Wang, one of my favorite mental wellness advocates, has a workshop called “Dream Hunting with Limitations.” To me, that title encapsulates everything I’ve been wanting to do since my diagnosis four years ago: actualize what I...

Resolving to make Morning – Me Time – a Priority

Resolving to make Morning – Me Time – a Priority

Author: Dayna J.  Living with bipolar disorder since 2006 has presented challenges to accomplishing New Year’s resolutions year after year. The fluctuations in my moods – especially crippling depressive episodes – puts a huge burden on the discipline it...

Nothing to be Ashamed Of

Nothing to be Ashamed Of

Author: Natalia A. Beiser “Bipolar is not a disability.  They can take a pill and be okay.  Those people just need to go out and get a job.” The ignorance displayed in the above sentence is unreeling to me.  That person does not know of the financial devastation of a...

6 Steps to Free Yourself from Ruminating and Negative Thinking

6 Steps to Free Yourself from Ruminating and Negative Thinking

Author: Allison Hatch Disclaimer: The experiences and techniques described in this blog are based off the authors’ personal experiences and successes. These tips may not work for everyone. If you are struggling with negative thoughts or have any questions, we...

My Creative Process of Bipolar

My Creative Process of Bipolar

Author: Yuval Dinary Some people’s need to create beauty is as fundamental as their need to eat. It’s an instinctual hunger for creation that carries great mysteries and awe along with it. The link between creativity and madness is one that’s been discussed since the...

Feeling Sad in Winter

Feeling Sad in Winter

Mariko Hewer The other day, I looked out my living-room window around 7:30 p.m. and was surprised to see how dim it had gotten outside. The vibrant goldenrod of the late-afternoon sun had already deepened into the burnt sienna, indigo, and magenta glow of sunset, and...

The Importance of Peer Support

The Importance of Peer Support

Author: Lisa MacDonald I was diagnosed as a young teen with a mental illness but I hid it from others. I was so ashamed and embarrassed about it. Even my best friends didn’t know how badly I was suffering. I didn’t realize this until much later, but...

Reflection

Reflection

Author: Aubrey Good I woke up this morning well before noon after going to bed well before midnight. I greeted my husband and baby, ate a well-balanced breakfast, and glanced at the headlines before shutting down the app and heading out the door for a run. As I ran,...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part III

Lithium and Dialysis, Part III

Author: Natalia A. Beiser My need for dialysis started largely because of long term Lithium use.  I began taking Lithium in 1994 at the age of twenty two and have what is described as lithium induced nephropathy. This means that I have small cysts all over my...

Unlike Lightning

Unlike Lightning

Author: Sophia Falco I once wrote, sorrow strikes as lightning, but really the bright flash is nonexistent, but really strikes is an understatement. Darkness has permeated into my world like a heavy cloak that I am unable to shake off. If only sorrow really did strike...

Writing to Release Feelings

Writing to Release Feelings

Author: Sasha Kildare My manic episodes arose out of severe depression and were mixed episodes—euphoria and boundless energy interspersed with despair. Although I found myself bursting with ideas, they never led to anything. Today, I’m still bursting with ideas, but I...

I Am More Than My Bipolar Disorder

I Am More Than My Bipolar Disorder

Author: Lesly Garcia I want to remind others that there are millions of us with bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed in 2019, at the age of 22 when I had my first episode. I think part of me knew a long time ago that I was bipolar. But I didn’t know what bipolar disorder...

Tradeoffs I Have Made in Bipolar Recovery

Tradeoffs I Have Made in Bipolar Recovery

Author: Violette Kay It has been two years since my last major episode, and although I will always push back against the notions that mania/depression/suffering in general magically makes people creative and that taking medication (or any other steps towards...

Seasons and Cycles

Seasons and Cycles

Author: Maria Jacobs Hello, I’m Maria Eva Jacobs, and I have lived with Bipolar Disorder my entire adult life.  The dark details of my life-long struggle, include a dual diagnosis and symptoms of schizoaffective disorder such as persecutory delusions, paranoia,...

Hypersexuality in Mood Disorders: You’re My Little Secret

Hypersexuality in Mood Disorders: You’re My Little Secret

Author: Ivory Smith Causey Janet* a first year college student has just found out that she is pregnant. She had inclination that she might be was not for sure. She has no idea who the father is nor can remember the name of one of the potential fathers. She is...

Brokenness

Brokenness

Author: Sophia Falco I stole the wand of that magician to try to fix this embodiment of the feeling of brokenness. How can it be possible to embody something not whole? Unlike shards of glass that litters the ground, he hit his autographed baseball (the autographer...

Self Love & Lived Experience

Self Love & Lived Experience

Author: Grace Scarpello Oh, what I’d say to 24-year-old Grace now. I’d tell her that her body is perfectly fine and wonderful as it is. I’d tell her that movement makes her brain and heart feel better. I’d say that she doesn’t have to work three jobs to “make up” for...

The Adams Family: Triumphs and Groans

The Adams Family: Triumphs and Groans

Author: Curtis Hier Great success and great misery come with the bipolar life, and the Adamses had their share of both. John Adams is believed by many to have had bipolar II disorder. Thomas Jefferson described him as “sometime absolutely mad.” But Jefferson had a...

The Time is Now

The Time is Now

Author: Melinda Goedeke Every time I drive home, I have to decide exactly when to turn onto my street as that split second decision could be the difference between making it safely home or not.   My timing has to be perfect. I am sometimes forced (in my mind)  to cut...

Learning to Trust Instincts

Learning to Trust Instincts

Author: Stacey Isaacson Trust your gut. That’s what they say, right? But what if your gut sometimes leads you in the wrong direction? What if, in a spurt of creativity, you come up with a fantastic idea, only to find it less than fantastic when you carry it out in a...

The Power in Overcoming Self Stigma

The Power in Overcoming Self Stigma

Author: Emily Ellison “Please don’t be bipolar” I thought to myself as I sat in the waiting room for my first psychiatrist appointment. I feared this diagnosis. Having done my degree in psychology I understood bipolar clinically and I believed that this diagnosis...

How Carrie Mathison Changed my Life 

How Carrie Mathison Changed my Life 

Author: Stacey Isaacson It’s a recurrent theme in my life that I come late to popular tv shows. I had no idea why we were talking about couture choices in the town of Schitt’s Creek, how Don Draper smoked too much or what’s up with the girls in “Girls.” And I still...

Gratitude

Gratitude

Author: Angela McCrimmon I have often reflected on the question “If someone could completely cure me of bipolar disorder tomorrow, would I accept the treatment?” Anyone who is reading this in the middle of a depressive episode will believe with all their heart...

What I Wish Others Understood About Having Bipolar Disorder

What I Wish Others Understood About Having Bipolar Disorder

Author: Alexis Crase Nobody ever said having a mental illness is easy. But when people talk about mental health, they talk about just that – mental health. They focus on self-care and exclude the real-life aspects of having a mental illness like bipolar disorder, such...

Discrimination

Discrimination

Author: Elizabeth Horner When we think of discrimination, images such as being turned down for a job or even cruel remarks from an unknowing stranger may come into our minds, but oftentimes discrimination can land much closer to home.  Sometimes it is the people...

Weight, Diet, & Bipolar Disorder

Weight, Diet, & Bipolar Disorder

Author: Natalia Beiser It is my genetic propensity to be heavy. My fraternal grandparents both had notable weight problems, as do most of the persons on that side of the family. I learned early on, as my descendants likely did, that food not only sustains the body,...

Self-love & Mental Wellness

Self-love & Mental Wellness

Author: Nikta Niazi Imagine a watering can being empty while the garden, the plants and flowers life all depend on this can; but ridiculously the can is empty. It refuses to contain water inside and nourish the plants. Or the sun, getting dark and gloomy one day and...

Emotions Aren’t the Enemy

Emotions Aren’t the Enemy

Author: Stacey Isaacson When I was a kid, long before my bipolar II diagnosis, I was known to be emotional. Over-emotional, as it was termed. Many a time was I given the sage advice “don’t jump in with both feet,” as I was known to fall instantly into new friendships...

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