Category: Personal Story

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...

The First Time

The First Time

Author: Sophia Falco   the world was fake, merely a blue green marble that started to crack, the lines ran too deep the same day it rolled off the kitchen table after the argument that this marble was more than just a marble also a representation of the ocean and...

The Road to Healing

The Road to Healing

Author: Ambika Paul The road to healing has been like walking on a tightrope with no flashlight or map; and I don’t know if there’s an actual finish point. From my experiences with Bipolar disorder, I’ve learnt to not suffocate myself with expectations of what...

Racing

Racing

Author: Mallory Bockelman   When I race, I’m MetaMal. Meta meaning more, above, and beyond The race begins easy. Less sleep, more thoughts and energy. Beginning slowly but always building Becoming a force of ideas never ending   This race is not your...

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...

Therapizing

Therapizing

Author: Melinda Goedeke Dedicated, thanks and praise to my therapist.   I used to have a stabbing searing pain in my right shoulder. You couldn’t tell by looking at me as I winced silently until I simply could not.  At that point, I sought medical help and now go...

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...

Sharing My Story

Sharing My Story

Author: Courtney As a child, I was always very hyper and recognized that I was different from many of my peers. It wasn’t until the first couple years of high school that I started suffering from depression. I did not recognize that what I was feeling...

Not a Surprise

Not a Surprise

Author: Claire Gault   I didn’t recognize my ableism until I began meeting others who have mental illness, like myself—all people that didn’t fit my perception of “that kind” of person. Through movies and television, I’ve grown to build a stereotype of what...

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...

The Two Very Different Sides of Me

The Two Very Different Sides of Me

Author: Ambika Paul   Mania is your favorite song on repeat, an explosion of energy that brews in your mind with saturated ideas all coming at you in a single shot. Gradually consuming your whole body. Mania always feels like a creative journey for me but also...

Just Being There

Just Being There

Author: Jessie Bucci   Feeling alone and even misunderstood can be one of the hardest realities of experiencing a mental illness, and living with Bipolar disorder. I remember driving somewhere with a friend and passing a psychiatric facility which prompted her to...

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...

Remembering Tom on World Bipolar Day

Remembering Tom on World Bipolar Day

Author: Kim Joy Barnett   In my early 20’s, almost 20 years ago, I was nearing the end of my 5 year college journey to obtain my Bachelors Degree in Sociology at Cal State University, Northridge. What should have taken me 4 years to complete, according to my...

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...

“Aren’t All Women Bipolar?”

“Aren’t All Women Bipolar?”

Author: Dayna J. Of course all women are not bipolar, but this writing prompt (in honor of International Women’s Day) asking how my experience as a woman has affected my mental health really made me think. Perhaps this disorder is easier for women. As a woman I...

Why I No Longer Feel Alone

Why I No Longer Feel Alone

Author: Ana Gimber In a 2022 survey, respondents reported that living with Bipolar l Disorder can be a difficult and isolating experience that impacts many aspects of their lives. Approximately four of five respondents (81%) agreed** that they felt like no one...

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...

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...

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...

I See You

I See You

Author: Melinda Goedeke I have two children. One is low key, mild-mannered, and has a half tooth. The other is high-key, wild-mannered and has a double tooth. Both are brilliant, beautiful and better than me, but one is living, and one is dead. Laura died from bipolar...

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...

Dealing with Major Depression and Psychosis

Dealing with Major Depression and Psychosis

Author: Major General Gregg F. Martin, PhD, US Army Retired I gradually spiraled then crashed into depression after my resignation from the National Defense University (NDU.) My depression was increasingly characterized by diminished energy, hopelessness, anxiety and...

New Year, New Me, New Ways to Manage My Bipolar Disorder

New Year, New Me, New Ways to Manage My Bipolar Disorder

Author: Cassandra Stout   I used to look at the new year, especially the month of January, with trepidation.   When I was but a young college student dating my then-boyfriend–and now husband of several years–I had not yet been diagnosed with bipolar 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...

Against the Self But Not Self-Inflicted

Against the Self But Not Self-Inflicted

Author: Sophia Falco Call it an act of defiance against the self, but not self-inflicted more like by something opposite to a God. Darkness embezzled my words yet to be born. Each letter was stuck in no man’s land, and I was left staring at this sheet of blank paper....

Toxic Work Environment = Neurological Assault

Toxic Work Environment = Neurological Assault

Author: Sasha Kildare   What if every Monday through Friday you were trapped in a room for eight hours with only 10 minutes in which to escape it? Unfortunately, I got to experience this particular brand of misery.   I just left the worst job I have ever...

Sit Close to the Fire

Sit Close to the Fire

Author: Melinda Goedeke We don’t have bonfires. We have scorching, searing conflagrations that silently raise our internal boiling points until we are nearly cooked and charred.   We scoot back only an inch as we don’t really want to leave the warmth despite the fear...

How Much Honesty Is Too Much Honesty?

How Much Honesty Is Too Much Honesty?

Author: Maria Eva Jacobs My name is Maria Eva Jacobs and I have lived with Bipolar Disorder my entire adult life. I’m here to tell you, there is life after diagnosis! Though still on medication, I live today in remission and while that is not a perfect walk, it is...

Mental Illness in “Zillennials”

Mental Illness in “Zillennials”

Author: Savannah Spurlock Zillennials face a great stigma when it comes to mental health.  Society says it’s the way we were raised that led us to our ultimate downfall.  They say it’s the technology we use, the lack of education we received, and the work...

Resign or You’re Fired…

Resign or You’re Fired…

“Resign or you’re fired… You’ve done an amazing job, but you need to go get a mental health exam.” Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) It was mid-July 2014. I was 58 years old and after more than three decades in the Army, I was...

27th Trip Around the Sun

27th Trip Around the Sun

Author: Sophia Falco I’ve learned to hold on to my dreams even more tightly unlike that kid who witnessed his red balloon when that string slipped out of his grasp rise up up up into the blue sky—like how I will continue to rise from the depths of sorrow, and how I...

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...

To Keep Aflame

To Keep Aflame

Author: Sophia Falco There was no fire to pull out of that volcano like how there was no rabbit to pull out of that magician’s hat. “Where’s your fire at?”, she jokingly exclaimed. Instead of responding, I looked up and pointed, pretending that the airplane overhead...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part IV

Lithium and Dialysis, Part IV

Author: Natalia Beiser Note: These are my experiences of having taken Lithium Carbonate and undergoing dialysis.  Not everyone taking Lithium Carbonate, nor partaking in dialysis will run into these issues.   I have Diabetes Insipitus (DI), which some people...

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...

Being Bipolar & Learning to Live

Being Bipolar & Learning to Live

Author: Ben Davis I have Bipolar Type II. Receiving that diagnosis changed my mental health trajectory for the better. Although it’s a big part of who I am, it’s not all of who I am. I am more than my diagnosis, and so are you. While I recognize that my story is...

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,...

Bipolar Disorder in Men

Bipolar Disorder in Men

Author: John Budin As a psychiatrist living with bipolar disorder, I have been both a care receiver and a care giver. Over the span of my career, I have treated many men with bipolar disorder having the luxury of viewing them through the lens of being both a clinician...

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...

Lighting the Darkness

Lighting the Darkness

Author: Scott Walker On the last weekend of August this year, friends and I were doing an overnight hike on a small mountain here in Banff, Alberta, Canada. It fell within a day or so of a full moon. As the sun set the moon rose. It was so beautiful! With the cloud...

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...

My Experience With Behavioral Health Units

My Experience With Behavioral Health Units

Author: Kim Barnett I’ve had my share of stays in various Psych Wards over the past 17 years.  In California, where I live, they are now called Behavioral Health Units. The things I’ve experienced and the people I have come across in my stays have changed me, mostly...

High Hopes, Not High Expectations

High Hopes, Not High Expectations

Author: Claire At the beginning of my college career, my expectations for post grad life were through the roof. I was going to graduate early, balance a million extracurriculars, and somehow make time to travel the world. Without time to prepare, mania arrived without...

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