Category: Medication

Expectations On and Off Track

Expectations On and Off Track

Author: Natalia A. Beiser Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I had so many plans.  Even while in junior high, I was seriously contemplating what courses I would take in high school so that I would be the best prepared for college.  I took courses at times...

What I Wish My Family Knew

What I Wish My Family Knew

Author: Margaret Fitzgerald   My family knew little about serious mental illness when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Hindsight is 20/20.  What follows are what would have best helped me be successful in life before and after my diagnoses.   Many...

Hope with an Accurate Diagnosis

Hope with an Accurate Diagnosis

Author: Ellie Chiorino In this article, to celebrate World Bipolar Day, my deepest hope is to make you feel less alone if you were ever misdiagnosed and/or have encountered an incapable psychiatric provider along the way. I see you. I hear you. Your experience is...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part V

Lithium and Dialysis, Part V

Author: Natalia A. Beiser Disclaimer: The experiences expressed herein are those of this writer. I appreciate the feedback that has been given to my other blogs on this topic, and I am writing now to address some of the questions and comments that were brought up but...

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...

Trial and Error

Trial and Error

Author: Valéry Brosseau It took me years to learn that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. I refused to be a burden on people or a drain on resources. I’ve now learned to fight this way of thinking and remember that I deserve support and I can reach...

Mental Wellness Is More Than Pills & Therapy

Mental Wellness Is More Than Pills & Therapy

Author: Kim Barnett When I was initially diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I in the early 2000’s, there was not much explained to me about managing the symptoms of the disorder, other than the psychiatrist prescribing me with a couple medications, that he hoped would...

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...

A Year and a Half Episode Free

A Year and a Half Episode Free

Author: Christina Chambers   I distinctly remember the moment my perspective on accepting Bipolar Disorder shifted. It was three years ago, in the midst of a severe depressive episode. I was seriously considering if giving up forever was the best option, which is...

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...

The New Improved Me

The New Improved Me

Author: Natalia A. Beiser Note: This article includes Natalia’s experiences of having taken antipsychotic medication, but individual experiences may differ and have different issues. If you have any questions about medications or treatment plans, please reach out to...

Researching the Numbers Behind My Lithium Experience

Researching the Numbers Behind My Lithium Experience

Author: Natalia A. Beiser Note: This article includes Natalia’s experiences of having taken Lithium Carbonate and undergoing dialysis, corroborated by online research found in the sources linked below.  Not everyone taking Lithium Carbonate, nor partaking in...

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...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part II

Lithium and Dialysis, Part II

Author: Natalia Beiser Please note: These are the experiences of this writer and do not reflect the outcomes of every patient taking Lithium Carbonate. I have taken Lithium Carbonate since I was twenty two years old. I am now approaching my fiftieth birthday and have...

Lithium and Dialysis

Lithium and Dialysis

Author: Natalia Beiser At the age of eighteen, I experienced my first full blown manic episode. I was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder at that time; it is not uncommon for bipolar patients to be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. In 1990, there were few treatment...

Hypomania and Anemia

Hypomania and Anemia

Author: Kim Barnett I have been struggling with Hypomania for over two months now, and I’m extremely irritated, frustrated and exhausted. For those who do not know, hypomania is defined as a mild form of mania, marked by elation and hyperactivity. Thank God, I’ve...

My Story

My Story

Author: Kim Barnett I was born in 1982 in a small city in Ventura County. I had two loving parents, two siblings, and we all lived in a nice house. We were one of the first black families to move into this predominantly white and Hispanic city. As a child this was a...

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis: Part 3

Reflecting Back on My Initial Diagnosis: Part 3

Author: Scott Walker When I returned to Japan, I was fortunate to be part time at work. At the time, I was a participant in the JET Programme through the Japanese government where I was able to work in the public-school system. I spent four days a week as an assistant...

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...

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...

My Catch-22 with Medication

My Catch-22 with Medication

By: Natalia Beiser Most days I feel grateful and blessed. I have a good life. I have friends and people that love me. I am employed part time, even with chronic mental illness. I have a home, and even two great cats. My car is almost paid off. I have much of the...

Finding The Correct Psychiatric Treatment

Finding The Correct Psychiatric Treatment

By: Carissa Martos For the first time in a decade, I’m on a new mental-health medication. This is a huge event for me, as I have navigated most of my life as someone with anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, and chronic pain with…close to nothing, chemically. I’ve been on daily...

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...

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...

My Pharmacy And Me

My Pharmacy And Me

By Janet Coburn You may think that your psychiatrist and your psychotherapist constitute your treatment team. You can add your caregiver, your bipolar friends, and your online groups and call them your support system. But there’s one person you’ve left...

I Moved Overseas When I Was Manic

I Moved Overseas When I Was Manic

By Megan Shultz I have Bipolar Disorder.  At the end of January 2016 I finished a course of 15 ECT treatments for a severe episode of depression.  A couple of weeks after I finished the ECT I started to become very angry and irritable. The mania was setting in. You...

Tardive Dyskinesia: A Decade Later

Tardive Dyskinesia: A Decade Later

By: Allison Strong This is an update on an IBPF blog that I wrote a few years ago, “Move Over, Movement Disorder,” about my Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) and all the hoops I had to jump through to attain symptom control. I also did two TD videos you can view on our YouTube...

Trust In Your Medication Changes

Trust In Your Medication Changes

There are a large variety of medications to help treat bipolar disorder including mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-psychotics, just to name a few. Some people take only one medication or treatment, while others take multiple medication and treatments;...

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...

Meds, Memory Loss and My Support System

Meds, Memory Loss and My Support System

Approximately three years ago I started noticing that something wasn’t quite right. At first it was little things, like putting my glasses in a desk drawer instead of on my nightstand like I normally would. That was just the beginning. It progressed rapidly. Within...

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...

Waiting On Meds To Work

Waiting On Meds To Work

Medications can be an excellent form of treatment for bipolar disorder. There are multiple forms of medications including anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and anti-anxiety. For me, the most difficult aspect of taking medications is waiting for them...

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...

Honesty Between Patients and Psychiatrists

Honesty Between Patients and Psychiatrists

I was diagnosed over a decade ago. I was young, a teenager, lost with no clue what to do. My first psychiatrist, who I met at age 14, didn’t want to diagnose me when I was too young. He waited a couple years to officially diagnose me with bipolar 1 disorder; I respect...

Move Over Movement Disorder

Move Over Movement Disorder

Have you ever felt that you were the patient treatment wouldn’t help? After three years of searching for relief from Tardive Dyskinesia I was defeated. Out cold. Counted to ten. My saving grace was my husband because he would not let me give up. We were both up every...

My Experience Losing Weight On Bipolar Meds

My Experience Losing Weight On Bipolar Meds

I think it’s safe to say that many of us who have bipolar disorder struggle with weight gain. The main reason is that medications can affect our appetite. My medication makes me crave sweets like never before. A woman I met in my bipolar support group had just...

Starting Medication: The Dull Factor

In this video, Sarah talks about the dull feeling she had when she first starting taking medication. It eventually went away after she worked with her psychiatrist to adjust the medication to what works best for her. Read more of Sarah’s posts for IBPF here....

Taming My Mental Illness

Taming My Mental Illness

Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of...

What Tools Do You Use to Manage Bipolar?

What Tools Do You Use to Manage Bipolar?

What Tools Do You Consistently Use to Effectively Manage Your Bipolar Disorder? The intention of this post is to get people sharing what works for them.  And for those who are not as far along in their path to mental stability and wellness, it can serve as...

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What Goes Up Must Come Down

The first time I truly got depressed was when I was 20 years old and the guy I was involved with told me that although he really liked me, he was still in love (with his ex-girlfriend). It was downhill from there. Failed relationship after failed relationship. More...

Can Anxiety Be a Side Effect?

Can Anxiety Be a Side Effect?

Disclaimer: the purpose of this blog is not to discourage you from taking meds, but to be informed about the meds you take and to be open with your doctor about the side effects you experience. I haven’t always been full of self-confidence or high self-esteem....

Continuing Recovery

Continuing Recovery

“Hey, how are you?” Oh man. Yikes. Whoa. Here we go again. I pause and consider my options in response to this question. If you have bipolar or experience any other form of mental illness, you probably understand why this question can be so tricky to answer. Do I...

Medications: To have or not, that is the question!

Medications: To have or not, that is the question!

This is the million dollar question.  If you’re newly diagnosed, the idea of being on medication for the rest of your life can be terrifying.  If you’ve been on medications for years and now they have stopped working, the possibility of no...

May Cause Depression

May Cause Depression

May cause depression. Three of the scariest words I’ve ever read. May. Cause. Depression. As a person living with bipolar, moods are a central point when making decisions. If I take this job will I be happy? Will I be forced to give up free time and activities...

My Manic Summer

My Manic Summer

The summer of 2013/2014 was magnificent, exhilarating and glorious. It was also a manic summer. I had just come out of one of the darkest winters of my life, where I was hospitalised and everything had ground to a halt for months. Spring came around, and with it...

Getting Through a Major Medication Change

Getting Through a Major Medication Change

For many of us who have had bipolar disorder for several years, we may need to undergo a medication change for various reasons.  When you are taking medications over the long term, they may stop working as well as they did initially.  Or a new drug might...

Learning to Be Stable

Learning to Be Stable

What is ‘stable’? After 6 years of constant ups and downs I wouldn’t know what euthymia was like if it slapped me in the face. I was diagnosed with unipolar depression when I was 20 and up until 22 (when I was re-diagnosed with bipolar), I thought I had been...

That’s Not a Real Diagnosis

That’s Not a Real Diagnosis

“That’s not a real illness.” “I don’t believe in mental health.” “If you don’t need medication, you must not really have bipolar.” These are just a few of the long stream of comments from people in my life, the most recent being “You know, I don’t think you’re...

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