Category: Personal Story

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

What Do You Mean It’s Forever?

What Do You Mean It’s Forever?

By: Laura Sanscartier I am 37 years old.  I have battled symptoms of bipolar disorder since I was a child, and was diagnosed when I was in my early 20s.  Essentially, I have endured and tried to “fix” this disease, even cure it, for 30 years. I have gone to many,...

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...

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...

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 2

By: Allison Strong When I first did intake for group dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), I sorta ‘flunked.’ Temporarily. It was determined that I’d been traumatized and I was transferred to their Trauma Resolution and Integration Program (T.R.I.P.) for individual...

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...

Redefining Success

Redefining Success

By: Megan Malfi Check out Redefining Success Part 2, here! For more vlogs from Megan Malfi, check out the playlist here.

How DBT Helps Me Deal With Bipolar Disorder

How DBT Helps Me Deal With Bipolar Disorder

By: Allison Strong A year ago, I wrote about Zen, Mindfulness and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT is an update on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy—both written by Marsha M Linehan, Ph D. Originally, DBT was strictly for the treatment of borderline personality...

What Happens If You Let Anxiety Get The Best Of You?

What Happens If You Let Anxiety Get The Best Of You?

By Melanie Luxenberg You don’t want anxiety to win, but let’s face it; sometimes it happens. I say don’t be hard on yourself when it does. Anxiety and bipolar disorder seem to really like each other- a lot. Or at least that’s what my experience has been. Anxiety...

Positively Changing My Own World

Positively Changing My Own World

By Allison Clemmons I have been very excited about sharing my recent remission story with the world. I have bipolar disorder, PTSD, and ADHD. I have struggled all of my life to some degree. Traumatic events involving my family a few years ago sent me into a tailspin,...

My Steps To Hope And Wellness

My Steps To Hope And Wellness

By Pieter Steyn I want to ask you, how are you? What heaviness are you carrying? What tears are you holding back? What pain and what fears are you keeping inside? People often ask you how you are and you reply “fine”, but you are not fine. They will never know that....

Finding My Purpose

Finding My Purpose

I’ve always been extremely hard on myself. I think those of us who struggle with depression frequently are. I know that I have a tendency to compare myself to others who don’t have to deal with mental illness. Are they more successful than I am? Do they have a better...

Journey to Recovery

Journey to Recovery

Like many people, my bipolar disorder was misdiagnosed for years. On average, people wait six years for a proper diagnosis. For me, it was decades. In hindsight, my new diagnosis made so much sense and explained so much of what I had been through over the years. It...

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...

EmmaLou

EmmaLou

Hi, I go by the name of EmmaLou. I live in the state of Virginia in the United States. I am a survivor of mental illness. I am 61 years old and although I was not diagnosed with bipolar until more recently, I know that I have been dealing with its symptoms for quite...

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...

judgMENTAL

judgMENTAL

Above: mixed media on canvas by Zaeli Eliza“You’re making mental illness as if it’s a big deal!” “You talk too much about it. You’re glamorizing your illness!” “You don’t need medication. It’s all in your head.” “Think positive. Toughen...

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

If you walked into my house right now, this is what you would see: dishes piling up, laundry in piles waiting to be folded, a dirty floor and me in bed.It’s happening again. I’m having another manic episode. This one, though, is different. Maybe it’s the empty house...

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...

A Journey Through Mania and Back

A Journey Through Mania and Back

My name is Nicole, but most people call me Nic. Mostly because it’s easier and faster to say, but also because Australians are fond of a nickname.I have bipolar disorder Type 1 and am presently recovering from another lengthy manic episode. I could try and put a...

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...

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...

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?...

Explore Your Options For Affordable Psychiatric Care

Explore Your Options For Affordable Psychiatric Care

My first instinct when realizing I needed psychiatric help because I was having a breakdown, was to call my company’s EAP (Employee’s Assistance Program). I was lost and they advertised at work that this program could help with many different things, one of them being...

What I Didn’t Realise About Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

What I Didn’t Realise About Being Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder

Recently I gave a keynote presentation at the Victorian Collaborative Mental Health Nursing Conference in Australia. It was amazing and inspirational to see the great work so many mental health nurses are doing. The title of my keynote was ‘World Changing’. This title...

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...

7 Things I Learned at the Psych Ward

7 Things I Learned at the Psych Ward

Does the title of this blog scare you? Does it make you laugh? Does it make you cry? Make you shudder? It might do one or all of those things. Most people never want to admit they have been to a psychiatric hospital. I can’t say I would have ever dreamed I...

Burnt

Burnt

I have recently experienced a mental health burnout.Normally, when I say that I mean I’m tired of dealing with my own mental health, but not this time. This time I am just jaded regarding the blogging I do.Just over two years ago I went public with my condition on...

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

Learning to Manage a Manic Mind

If you walked into my house right now, this is what you would see: dishes piling up, laundry in piles waiting to be folded, a dirty floor and me in bed.It’s happening again. I’m having another manic episode. This one, though, is different. Maybe it’s the empty house...

Life in the Cycle of Anxiety

Life in the Cycle of Anxiety

Have you ever been so afraid of tripping that you couldn’t take a flight of stairs, even though something like that would never happen? This is the stage setting for my anxiety disorder. I have written about my bipolar disorder a lot of times, but my...

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...

Inside the Mind of Someone with Social Anxiety

Inside the Mind of Someone with Social Anxiety

I have been dealing with social anxiety since around the time I was diagnosed with Bipolar. That’s 8 long years dealing with both Bipolar and social anxiety. I used to keep myself at arms-length from people for fear of being rejected, since my social anxiety causes...

Support For Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

Support For Suicidal Thoughts and Actions

Suicide is a permanent solution to what, with the proper help, could be a short-term situation. It needn’t be permanent. Seek the help and support you need.When I attempted suicide, I caught my support system off guard, including my doctors and psychiatric...

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