Category: Depression

Small Victories

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...

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....

October 21st: National Check Your Meds Day

October 21st: National Check Your Meds Day

By: Cassandra Stout Medication interactions are serious business. You could take two medications which counteract each other, which could make you sick enough to end up in the emergency room, or even die. October 21st is National Check Your Meds Day in the US. Making...

Where’s My Lasagna?

Where’s My Lasagna?

By: Natalia Beiser When one is undergoing mental health treatment, it often feels as if no one cares. It is rare that one will receive a greeting card or flowers, nor a covered dish when arriving home from the hospital. In my experience, most are standoffish....

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...

My Childhood with Bipolar Disorder

My Childhood with Bipolar Disorder

By: Natalia Beiser My mother knew at an early age that I suffered from depression. What she did not know was what to do about it. My remembrance of the 1970’s is that no one discussed mental health unless an acquaintance went to the state hospital. Then it was...

Managing Postpartum Depression

Managing Postpartum Depression

By: Liz Wilson My children were born 6 years apart. My son and daughter are two very different children with two very different mothers; who happened to be in the same body. That is largely because of my changing attitude toward education and self-advocacy. Thomas was...

Bipolar Depression vs. Situational Depression

Bipolar Depression vs. Situational Depression

By: Allan G. Cooper If you have 2 broken legs, climbing a hill would be extremely difficult. Even if you were a motivated person with an exceptional level of discipline, the physical damage to your legs would prevent you from making any progress. Bipolar Depressive...

Lay Our Burden Down

Lay Our Burden Down

By: Jayson Blair When I first went to a therapist office, a little more than 15 years ago, there was an intake form that included a long list of conditions under a question about family medical history. Diabetes? Check. Heart disease? Check. Auto-immune diseases?...

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...

Letter To An Old Friend

Letter To An Old Friend

By: Natalia Beiser Dear Chad, In the early 1990’s, we were such good friends. Outside of my family, I have never cherished anyone more. You supported me through a chilling hypomania and a catastrophic mania. You watched me deteriorate during medication trials and...

International Day Of Persons With Disability

International Day Of Persons With Disability

By: Liz Wilson “International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. It has been celebrated with varying degrees of success around the planet. The observance of the Day aims to promote an...

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...

Wife, Mother, And Survivor

Wife, Mother, And Survivor

By: Tosha Maaks I am a lucky suicide survivor. In 2008 I tried to end my life after a hard day at my job. I came home, and I said good-bye to my children, and I climbed into bed to snuggle with my middle child and say my good-byes to him. My husband knew something...

Why Suicide Prevention Week Matters To Me

Why Suicide Prevention Week Matters To Me

By: Christine Saenz I am three-time suicide attempt survivor; I know first hand what it is like to be in that dark place of feeling hopeless. Battling a mental illness can be an exhausting and lonely place. Mental illness can bully your mind into believing that you...

“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,...

Finding Solace In Art Therapy

By: Emily McGuigan “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” ~ Edward Hopper As an artist with Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), I have primarily used drawing and painting to help me cope with and explain...

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...

A Step Back From The Edge

By: Nic Fleming It has been almost 8 months since my last blog. It is hard to believe how much time has passed. I literally could not write- or read for that matter. So yes, I have been exceptionally unwell but I would like to share some aspects of my experience over...

A Day in the Life of Depression

A Day in the Life of Depression

In my last blog post ‘A Day in the Life of Hypomania,’ I posted a journal entry highlighting what it’s like to be hypomanic. In contrast, this blog post is a journal entry I wrote following that episode when I was moderately depressed. 6/6/2015. WINTER I wake up late...

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....

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...

#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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

The Blahs

The Blahs

Here’s a post I didn’t think I’d ever write! I have been on what is considered to be the best mood stabilizer for over a year, and my mood symptoms have been totally under control. No ups, no downs. I have also been taken off the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor...

Tips on Minimizing The Damage of Emotional Eating

Tips on Minimizing The Damage of Emotional Eating

Most people can say that they’ve been emotional eaters before, whether it’s crying over Chinese food after a breakup or eating too much cake on your 20th birthday. Even I can’t lie and say that my hand was not in a box of Cheez-Its just before I started writing this....

There’s Nothing Romantic About Mental Illnesses

There’s Nothing Romantic About Mental Illnesses

We have seen a lot of movies that put the spotlight on mental illness. Movies like “Girl, Interrupted,” “Prozac Nation,” “Rain man,” and very recently “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Infinite Polar Bear,” to...

An Open Letter to Bipolar Disorder

An Open Letter to Bipolar Disorder

Dear Bipolar, You have been my closest companion over the years. You found me in high school and refused to leave my side. You convinced everyone that I was always low and moody, making me lose friends in the process. You convinced me that I was less of a person...

Riding the Waves of Depression

Riding the Waves of Depression

Depression can swiftly overtake you like the tide rolling in, its current pulling you out to sea. It is like drowning, like suffocating beneath the surface as the world goes on above you. The water muffles sound and slows your movements. There is only darkness below,...

Dealing with the Loneliness of Mental Illness in India

Dealing with the Loneliness of Mental Illness in India

There’s a reason many of us have trouble sharing our personal battles with mental illness. The reason is the label our society has put on mental health; that anyone who visits a mental health specialist is “crazy,” or “insane.” Mental illness is...

Overcoming Fear With Understanding

Overcoming Fear With Understanding

After 11 years of suffering quietly, I resolved to speak out about something most of us decide is a secret to take to their early graves. For years, decades, lifetimes of silence makes the thing nonexistent to the world. The only reason for this silence is the fear of...

Divorce: Writing and My Recovery

Divorce: Writing and My Recovery

“I want a divorce.” The sentence I was afraid of was coming finally came from his mouth. It felt like a ton of bricks and an ache in my stomach. I felt like I was in a movie where the camera zooms out and shows you like an ant.Shortly after he moved out, I overdosed...

5 Things Bipolar II Disorder Has Taught Me

5 Things Bipolar II Disorder Has Taught Me

This year my psychiatrist changed my initial diagnosis of severe depression to Bipolar II Disorder. For a moment I felt like my world had stopped spinning. I felt lost and betrayed because I did not know what this new diagnosis meant for me. For days I lived in denial...

My Path to Mental Health Advocacy

My Path to Mental Health Advocacy

Until I was 16, I thought that my uncle had died of cancer rather than suicide. There was always a dark joke in the family that we have a history of mental illness in our lineage. There is the distant cousin who lived in a tiger cage because, well, he thought he was a...

Depressive Breakdowns: The Angry, The Weak and The Strong

Depressive Breakdowns: The Angry, The Weak and The Strong

Your buttocks are cold and aching because you’ve been pressing them for too long against those filthy concrete steps on the hallway, in front of the elevator. There are cigarette stumps and ashes all over the place, but that does not bother you in the least. You’re...

Faith and Prayer When Going Through Depression

Faith and Prayer When Going Through Depression

How do I pray, as someone who lives with bipolar disorder? In my younger years when I was fairly stabilized on medicine, the daily Scriptures were my prayer and my study, sometimes studying several hours with my commentaries and allowing the silence to foster the Holy...

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...

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...

What Love Means Now

What Love Means Now

My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely...

When Christmas Doesn’t Feel So Merry

When Christmas Doesn’t Feel So Merry

Lights, candy canes, Christmas trees, Santa, nutcrackers, snowmen, gingerbread men, cookies, cakes, pies, ham, turkey, wine, sparkling wine, stockings, gift boxes, Christmas carols, and garland…this list goes on. This brings “happy” times…right? Not for...

How “Christmas Vacation” Saves Me Every Year

How “Christmas Vacation” Saves Me Every Year

Have you seen the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”? Every year, our family settles in to watch it at least once between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s a huge tradition with us.  We’ve been quoting it for years. “Save the neck for me, Clark,” is a...

The Dog

The Dog

Creativity in bipolar disorder is more often than not associated with hypomania/mania instead of depression. However, I wrote this description of depression eighteen months ago while I was in hospital and psychotically depressed: My dog has returned to me. Not my...

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