Category: Coping Strategies

Penpaling for Mental Health 

Penpaling for Mental Health 

Author: Claire Gault Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder can be more susceptible to loneliness, as our condition feels isolating from the world around us. With the government issuing restrictions on socializing, loneliness can be intensified more than ever before,...

Finding My Purpose

Finding My Purpose

Author: Kim Barnett I was diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder more than 17 years ago, in my early 20’s, and have suffered a lot of trauma from my various episodes. These traumatic episodes have inflicted damaging emotional and psychological scars. I’m learning now that...

A Letter to the Lonely

A Letter to the Lonely

Author: Trevor Simonson Are you experiencing feelings of loneliness? Do you feel forgotten, like you are falling through the cracks? Are you missing somebody? This letter goes out to you. This is for those who live with bipolar disorder. This is for the caregivers....

Bipolar Disorder and Coping During COVID-19

Bipolar Disorder and Coping During COVID-19

Author: Stanley Clark The COVID-19 pandemic still causes fear and uncertainty worldwide. Although the lockdown measures may help slow the disease’s spread, it may also cause greater mental stress. People with bipolar disorder may have a more challenging time coping...

Gratitude

Gratitude

Author: Nikta Niazi Lately, more than any other time, I felt attacked by my obsessive thoughts and my critical inner voice. At nights, I can’t go to sleep. I spend hours reassessing the past, things I’ve done, decisions I’d made, all the memories I had with those who...

Showing Gratitude

Showing Gratitude

Author: Alexis Crase Having a support system when you have a mental illness is essential, but leaning on others can often mean feeling burdensome, or worrying about burning others out. Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to help alleviate these feelings, as well as...

Are There Others?

Are There Others?

Author: Melissa Anderson I’ve been stable for nearly a year. There was a time when I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to say that. Stability. And for a whole year! Wow! I can hardly believe it. It feels good, I must say. It was just before Thanksgiving...

A Bipolar Story

A Bipolar Story

Author: Elizabeth Horner I debated on whether or not to share my story for a very long time. I’d swing back and forth like a pendulum; feeling like I should just own who I am and throw myself out there one day and then revert back to the very private person I usually...

The Mask

The Mask

Author: Melissa Anderson I started waking up at 2:00 AM. By 4:30, I was completely awake, unable to will my eyes closed anymore. The day before, I began noticing the beginning signs of the excess energy, so it was no surprise to me that I had difficulty sleeping. It...

5 common misconceptions about bipolar and how to dismantle them

5 common misconceptions about bipolar and how to dismantle them

Author: Madeleine Russell Stigma around bipolar disorder can be gradual and subtle, but with very harmful effects. Bipolar affects 1 in 50 Australians and tends to run in families. Stigma is a well-known driver of poor health outcomes, yet continues to permeate...

How Bipolar Disorder Has Prepared Me for Unpredictability

How Bipolar Disorder Has Prepared Me for Unpredictability

Author: Christina Chambers Lately, I have noticed a pattern emerging and re-emerging. It weaves itself through my life like vines climbing a lattice. That pattern is chaos. There is a consistent inconsistency, predictable unpredictability, and almost an order to the...

Ignorance Is Not Bliss: The Importance of Screening

Ignorance Is Not Bliss: The Importance of Screening

Author: Willa Goodfellow I didn’t want to find out I had bipolar disorder. I was on a plane. The person in the seat next to me saw the Journal of American Psychiatry in my lap. He was curious, he said, because he was a doctor and worked on a psych ward. Why was I...

Comforting Affirmations for Bipolar Disorder

Comforting Affirmations for Bipolar Disorder

Author: Rebecca James The bipolar mind is often a chaotic place. It can be scary, lonely, sad, or wild. In the center of it, we all need some moments of peace. I’ve found that affirmations, or easy, reassuring sentences, help me navigate the bipolar mind. Here are a...

The Bipolar Creative Genius

The Bipolar Creative Genius

Author: Jasper James “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness” – Aristotle It has long been said that those with bipolar disorder are more creative than average. Famous bipolar individuals of the past include Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, and...

Mania and Psychosis

Mania and Psychosis

Author: Kim Barnett I have Bipolar I Disorder, which causes manic and depressive episodes cyclically. I’d like to share with you some of my experience with Bipolar Mania, in hopes to explain the difference between insomnia and a Manic Episode, and how this topic has...

Embracing Gratitude

Embracing Gratitude

Author: Sophia Falco I delve deep into the dreamland of my imagination. I embrace envisioning light flowing throughout my body, and soothing my mind edging out the darkness that has taken up residency for far too long. The beauty of the natural world speaks to me in...

Cheers!

Cheers!

Author: Melissa Anderson Can we just take a moment out of our busy lives to congratulate ourselves? Bipolar disorder can be a beast. We are either living with it or supporting someone who does, and that deserves some recognition. Every day that we get up and face the...

How Other People Can Support Me If I’m Feeling Suicidal

How Other People Can Support Me If I’m Feeling Suicidal

Author: Cassandra Stout Trigger warning: This post discusses 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 SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for...

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...

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...

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...

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…...

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...

An Alternative Christmas

An Alternative Christmas

By: Sophie Prosolek Christmas is a time of festive joy, of giving and receiving – ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, or so the song goes. But several years ago I decided to make a change to the way I celebrate Christmas – I decided to...

Holding on to Hope

Holding on to Hope

By: Thea Madeline Porter I grew up in a typical middle class neighborhood in southern California. During my childhood I enjoyed being creative, playing sports, taking Irish dancing, listening to music, watching movies and hanging out with friends and family. I was...

Vigilance

Vigilance

By: Malcolm Kerec A few weeks ago, I had a sharp reminder of how looking after my mental health is a constant battle and that staying well is not a set-and-forget task. After years of relative stability, it’s all too easy to take good mental health for granted....

The Weight Gain Roller Coaster

The Weight Gain Roller Coaster

By: Ivory Smith Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had a big meal only to feel hungry 2 hours later? Do you eat that 4th meal of the day at 3:00 am at night standing in the kitchen? Have you watched your clothes get tight and hope that it is because the dryer that...

Supporting a Friend in a Bipolar Depressive Episode

Supporting a Friend in a Bipolar Depressive Episode

By: Allan G. Cooper When I am experiencing a Depressive Episode it feels like I am walking in a dark haze of sadness and fatigue. My limbs feel like they are twice as heavy and it takes a tremendous amount of will power to complete the simplest of tasks. Social...

Accepting My Diagnosis

Accepting My Diagnosis

By: Sydney Batt I felt slightly relieved the day I was diagnosed with having bipolar disorder– it felt good to have an explanation for my actions, however the days to come were very difficult. I was very emotional the first couple months after my...

Hold On

Hold On

By: Laura Sanscartier (Trigger warning for sexual assault) There’s a song by Sarah MacLachlan called “Hold On”. The first line is “Hold on, hold on to yourself, for this is gonna hurt like hell.” I often think of it when it comes to hard...

Life After Psychosis

Life After Psychosis

By: Allan G. Cooper Do you know what it feels like to help NASA calculate the speed of light? Or, maybe you know what it’s like to find a formula that makes nuclear fusion possible. How about being the sole person responsible for averting a disaster that would...

The Power of Peer Support

The Power of Peer Support

By: Allan G. Cooper “Psychiatrists can tell you about the ocean by reading about it and seeing it in their practice but we know what it’s like to be in the water”. This is how my co-worker Ray explains peer support. We work for an agency called OBAD, the...

Managing School While Feeling Depressed or Manic

Managing School While Feeling Depressed or Manic

By: Sydney Batt Students living with Bipolar disorder have challenges not many people see or understand. Features of bipolar disorder make it tough to thrive in school, so it may feel like a lonely battle in the classroom. School stressors can contribute to triggering...

Maintaining My Mental Illness Is A Lifestyle

Maintaining My Mental Illness Is A Lifestyle

By: Andrienne Kennedy If someone had asked me five years ago how do I manage a mental illness, I would have not been able to give an answer. For years, I was uneducated about mental illnesses or mental health all together. That changed back in 2014 when I was...

Working Toward Mental Wellness

Working Toward Mental Wellness

By: Tosha Maaks Remaining balanced when you live life with bipolar disorder isn’t some magical trick and it isn’t some tricky formula that only those who have super powers have figured out. However, stability I can say is a magical place to be after years of living in...

Navigating Communication During The Holidays

Navigating Communication During The Holidays

By: Courtney Davey, MA, LMFT The holidays are a wonderful time: family, friends, feelings of good will etc. However, these additions to your schedule also can create high levels of stress. Holiday movies are notorious for making gags out of the difficulties with...

How To Stress Less Even When The Holidays Are Hard

How To Stress Less Even When The Holidays Are Hard

By: Andrienne Kennedy This is the most wonderful time of the year! For many people the holidays signifies happiness, family and fun. But what about those who struggle when holiday time comes around? While the meaning of the holidays is beautiful, it can be a rough...

The Masks We Wear: Being Honest About Our Feelings

By: Conor Bezane I feel a lot of pressure. Pressure to take my meds and stay on them. Pressure to be a good son, brother, and uncle. Pressure to be a man. Pressure to conform and lead a healthy, happy life. It’s tough, but I’ve learned to maintain composure and grace...

Why I Stay

Why I Stay

By: Laura Sanscartier In the throes of my bipolar depression and psychosis, all I wanted to do was die. This has happened multiple times in my life. I have attempted suicide multiple times. I was sure that the only way to relieve the stress on my spouse and family was...

It’s Cool To Be Kind

It’s Cool To Be Kind

By: Andrienne Kennedy “As you get older, you will discover that you have two hands.  One for helping yourself, one for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn Last year was a pivotal year for me. I was 39, and really started thinking about my 40th birthday which would...

“Bipolar” Is The Wrong Word

“Bipolar” Is The Wrong Word

By: James Phelps, M.D. “Bipolar” is the wrong word. Worse than inaccurate — it’s directly misleading: 1. Depression is the main problem for most folks. Bipolar should be called “Depression Plus.” 2. Depression and manic symptoms frequently occur together,...

5 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Was Diagnosed

5 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Was Diagnosed

By: Danielle Workman I’ve said it in many other posts and even in my book, but the day I received my diagnosis and was told I had Bipolar Disorder, I truly felt alone. The days that followed, the feeling remained. The more I searched online and the more I dug, the...

New To Dual Diagnosis? – Five Critical Life Hacks

New To Dual Diagnosis? – Five Critical Life Hacks

By: Conor Bezane There are 5.7 million bipolar people in the US, and 60 percent of them are addicts, according to the Epidemiologic Catchment Area study. Co-occurring addiction is more common in bipolar people than in any other psychiatric group. We drink and use...

Finding Strength in my Story

Finding Strength in my Story

By: Danielle Workman The day I received my diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder, I felt so alone. I remember it vividly, because it was so incredibly painful. I didn’t know anyone with Bipolar Disorder I could talk to about it. The people I knew that had anxiety and...

My Thoughts On Stigma And Having A Bipolar Diagnosis

My Thoughts On Stigma And Having A Bipolar Diagnosis

By: Serena Goldsmith As a peer counselor, speaker, and mental health clinician, many people have shared with me that they feel stigmatized by having a mental health diagnosis and they feel reluctant to tell others about it. I felt that way too for many years after I...

Hiding In Plain Sight

By: Aubrey Good I am an intern at the International Bipolar Foundation. I spend a few hours a week at the office finding articles, writers, resources, etc. that I believe are beneficial to educating the public on bipolar disorder and also offer hope and understanding....

My Journey With DBT: Part 3

By: Allison Strong I’m in a year-long Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program.  Many people repeat the course. More than once! They say in their first year they felt more like passengers than patients because there’s so much material to cover.  I agree. Now that we’re...

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