Category: Family

I Was Told I Shouldn’t Have Children, and I Listened…

I Was Told I Shouldn’t Have Children, and I Listened…

Author: Natalia Beiser Like most girls, I dreamed of being a mother. Planned were baby names, thoughts of how I would parent and nurture a child, and the locality where I wanted to do so. As a teenager, I was a sought out babysitter. My fantasy was of a family of five...

Why I Won’t Hide My Diagnosis From My Little Sister

Why I Won’t Hide My Diagnosis From My Little Sister

Author: Violette Kay I used to feel a lot of pressure to be discreet about my bipolar disorder. When asked what my plans were for the day, I wouldn’t mention therapy appointments if that’s what was on the agenda. I wouldn’t take my medication in front of people. I...

The Importance of #bipolarbrave for Families

The Importance of #bipolarbrave for Families

Author: RaeAnn Collins Wikipedia defines brave as: “ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.” It is an act of bravery to tell others about this disorder. I have had Bipolar Disorder 1 for about 37 years now. Back in my early days, the stigma of...

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...

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...

Last Christmas And The People Who Made It Okay

Last Christmas And The People Who Made It Okay

By Allison Clemmons Hatch One of the most difficult seasons for many is upon us. Those of us who celebrate Christmas, not just those of us who grapple with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, have a tough time maintaining any sort of cheerful disposition, for a...

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...

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...

Parenting With Mental Illness: Part 1

Parenting With Mental Illness: Part 1

By: Michelle Vasiliu In 2015, my first picture book, My Happy Sad Mummy, was published. My Happy Sad Mummy is a Picture Book for 3-8 year olds. It is a story that portrays the emotional response of a young girl living with a mother who has bipolar disorder. The book...

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...

Who Can Get Through To You?

Who Can Get Through To You?

By Jen Teh In a recent conversation with a good friend, we talked about a mutual friend who appeared to be showing signs of bipolar disorder but who was quite closed to the possibility of a problem. The conversation meandered to what it was like when I was first...

My 7 Year Old Has Bipolar – Now What?

My 7 Year Old Has Bipolar – Now What?

By: Farida Raj “My son needs help. He has bipolar disorder. Bipolar! How can a seven year old child have bipolar?” I, a Remedial Educator, was sitting with a parent who had recently relocated from Canada to Hyderabad, India. A pediatric psychiatrist had diagnosed her...

Dr. Heaton’s Message Of Hope

Dr. Heaton’s Message Of Hope

My only brother received a gift two days after his birthday, and ten days before Christmas. It was a gift that every person who suffers from mental illness wants. He carried a cross throughout his life called bipolar disorder. Many people – including me, our...

Three Concentric Circles

Three Concentric Circles

By: Karen Meadows In retrospect, during my daughter’s battle with mental illness, I wasted a lot of energy worrying about things I couldn’t control. When I learned about a framework called Three Concentric Circles at work, I realized this was a powerful approach I...

Inspired To Stabilize

Inspired To Stabilize

Inspired to Stabilize By: Kryss Jobes So, this year I want to make changes in how I live my life. For the past few years, I have told myself I will do this, but it never lasts. It is all too easy to get distracted and put off important tasks, or to miss one day and...

No Time For You

No Time For You

Living with mental illness is hard enough without outside interference, but no one can avoid the outside interference of everyday life. Whether you work full time, go to school, have hectic family lives, or any combination of these things; they all add more weight to...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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?...

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...

Coming Out After 25 Years With Bipolar: Who Am I Anyway?

Coming Out After 25 Years With Bipolar: Who Am I Anyway?

I’m not who I say I am. That’s because my family would prefer I not use my given name. Many of them don’t believe in bipolar disorder. They think my difficulties were created by using street stimulants during my halcyon Hollywood years, struggling to stay...

My Symbol of Hope

My Symbol of Hope

For many months, I have been suffering from suicidal ideations. I was completely honest with my psychiatrist, my family and friends who support me. I told them that it was not something I wanted to act on, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. For more than...

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...

Happy Birthday to a Brilliant Father From Your #1 Fan

Happy Birthday to a Brilliant Father From Your #1 Fan

Dear Dad,  On your birthday, and on every day, you should know how appreciated and loved you are. I am your daughter that was shy, was afraid of strangers, had separation anxiety from Mom (from what I hear), and was afraid of my own shadow. I played it safe...

Family: My Circle of Support

Family: My Circle of Support

A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don’t have access to acceptable support or even a partial support...

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...

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...

What My Parents Need To Know About Me

What My Parents Need To Know About Me

I do not say much about my parents. There is nothing to be said about my folks outside my therapy sessions. Out of a need for privacy I usually keep my family members out of any advice I give on this blog. This Christmas I decided not to visit my parents in their new...

Easing Gift Giving Anxiety

Easing Gift Giving Anxiety

In my family, as odd as it is, we have a tradition of on holidays attempting to make one person cry with the most sincere gift. Birthdays and Christmas are the times we do this the most, mainly because those are the two biggest gift giving days. It’s an odd tradition...

Putting Meaning to the Holidays When Your Family Changes Over Time

Putting Meaning to the Holidays When Your Family Changes Over Time

It is that time of year again. The holidays. People often think that they should be a happy time of year, what with the music and the lights and the gatherings. But, actually, they can be a difficult time of the year for many people, and I don’t just mean people who...

Finding Your Place: The Greatest Gift for the Holidays

Finding Your Place: The Greatest Gift for the Holidays

I don’t know if it’s because I’m the middle child with a large age gap between both my older and younger siblings, but I’ve always struggled with my place in my family. My older siblings always had each other, they were two years apart and my younger siblings had each...

The Generation Watchers

The Generation Watchers

Growing up, I was the one who looked up to everyone: 5 siblings, my parents, tons of older cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I had idolized many of them. Now that I’m becoming an adult, despite 23 not being old (even though I feel it sometimes), I feel like...

She Sees Herself in Me

She Sees Herself in Me

I have Bipolar Disorder. That’s not unusual. I also have fibromyalgia. Having both of these diseases makes my life very hard to deal with sometimes, but somehow I always manage.  It takes a lot of endurance and I deal with a lot of pain, but I pull through...

Be The Village

Be The Village

Parenting isn’t easy. Anyone who’s ever parented, or has even just been parented well knows that. Don’t they say, “It takes a village to raise a child”? As if to say raising children well takes more than just one person, it takes a community, right?  Let’s...

He’s Not Crazy, He’s My Dadda!

He’s Not Crazy, He’s My Dadda!

Editor’s Note: This was orginally a book and has been converted to a blog. Each paragraph was a different page in the book. Dedication: This book is dedicated to my dad. My dad has a daily struggle with his mental illnesses. But, he pushes through it, and...

Can’t Turn Back Time

Can’t Turn Back Time

My kids are growing up. I know it’s inevitable, but I want time to stop. I know there are many parents that feel that way, but for me it’s heartbreaking. You see, I missed out on a lot of precious time with my kids while they were growing up. For the...

Stickers on the Floor: Productivity in the Home, Part I

Stickers on the Floor: Productivity in the Home, Part I

Last night after the kids went to bed, I was mopping frantically looking at these spots on the kitchen floor. Why won’t these come up? I set the mop to the side, maneuvered my way – slipping and sliding – to take a closer look. Yep. Stickers. My two kids...

Understanding Me

Understanding Me

How far can my loved ones understand me when it comes to my disorder?  Sometimes I think they get it, other times…not so much.  When I am manic, for example, no one takes my credit card and tells me to stay in the house and not do “outrageous things” like...

When Others Don’t Seem To Care

When Others Don’t Seem To Care

“YOU DON’T CARE!” I shouted this at my mother the other day… and it was hurtful on so many levels. Because when I calmed down and thought about it, she DID care… in many other ways. In the vein of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, I want to thank my...

When We Value Things Differently

When We Value Things Differently

In my last blog entry I wrote about the art of giving space and the example I gave was more about physical space. Since then I have had a think about a different type of giving space – giving others the space to value things differently. I think it helps me to choose...

How to Deal with A Negative Person

How to Deal with A Negative Person

My daughter was having challenges with her boss.  Despite her best efforts all she got was verbal and non-verbal criticism. “I don’t like that…you need to do it my way…you’re not good enough.” Although she is naturally a positive person, every time her boss came...

Bipolar Mother, Bipolar Son

Bipolar Mother, Bipolar Son

I dreamed of having a child throughout my formative years.  When asked what I would be when I grew up, I readily answered “A Mommy!”  I doted on baby dolls, babysat throughout my teen years and dressed every cat we ever owned up as a baby.  I deeply...

I’m Not a Victim, I’m a Survivor

Around Christmas I got into an argument with my ex-husband, no big surprise there.  Communication has never been our strongest asset.  Anyway during the argument he said some things that really upset me and have really stayed with me.  He said, “Quit...

I Choose Life

I Choose Life

I am just going to come out and say it.  I, Nanieve, am relieved that I can finally rip down the gaudy Christmas baubles, fold up the tree, and wipe the stupid but, expected cheerful grin off my face. To me, the festive season feels unbearably stressful....

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