Category: Support

#BipolarBrave

#BipolarBrave

Author: Rebecca Lombardo  Up until very recently, the last thing in the world I would call myself is brave. I’m still having difficulty accepting it some days. What I saw is what my Bipolar Disorder told me to see: me, curled up in a ball on my bed in tears, too...

University and Accessibility

University and Accessibility

By: Greg Walshaw I was finishing my first year of a Master’s program when things started to change. The first time I stayed up all night to work on a paper, I thought nothing of it: the paper had to get done, and this was the cost of getting it done. I remember...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

Combating Stigma With Compassion In South Africa

By Mamotladi Ivy Matloga My name is Ivy Matloga and I am a public servant and an author. My brother lives and copes with a mental illness. I just released a novel, a work of fiction, inspired by my brother’s illness and the observations I have made, as well as...

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....

Self-Stigma

Self-Stigma

by Kelly C. Kirby, MS, LPCC I oscillate between thinking of my bipolar disorder diagnosis as my enemy and my partner in life. When I reflect on this ideological difference, I wish I could blame external events or influential people for my shifting perspective;...

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...

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Love, Marriage, And Bipolar Q&A Series: Part 2 Of 4

Q: How do you support your partner when, in the midst of a hypomanic episode, they tell you that they want to end the relationship and move out on their own? How can you tell if that’s what they’re truly feeling, or if it’s a result of their episode? Beka: From a...

Finding Your Purpose And Giving Back

Finding Your Purpose And Giving Back

Finding purpose in a life with bipolar disorder and various other mental diseases is not easy. I had no aim in life. I was born, grew up under the shelter of my parents like every other normal kid, and then was suddenly pushed into the real world when my mother passed...

How I Built My Support System

How I Built My Support System

“Get a support system.” That seems to be the number one thing I have heard since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I would look at doctors and therapists and tell them I didn’t have anyone. What about family? No. Spouse? No. Friends? They wouldn’t understand. I...

Reclaiming Recovery After A Crisis

Reclaiming Recovery After A Crisis

It’s inevitable at times for something to happen that will shatter the beautiful recovery we’ve worked so hard to maintain. This is life. Reclaiming that recovery after a crisis will happen, but it may take some time. I recently had to deal with a few crises that...

#DearTeenageMe, Break The Sound Of Silence

#DearTeenageMe, Break The Sound Of Silence

Learn more about #DearTeenageMe at http://sayitforwardcampaign.org/ Do you remember the song “Sound of Silence”? The one we used to sing with Dad? Remember how we always thought it was about being quiet and not making any noise no matter what we were feeling?...

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

What I Wish I Knew Before I Was Diagnosed With Bipolar

I was born in the mid 1950’s when mental illness just wasn’t talked about. I wish that I could have had advice about the bipolar disorder I struggled with prior to my diagnosis. Perhaps it would have brought some ease to the fear I was experiencing. If my parents had...

Balancing Care For Others And Yourself

Balancing Care For Others And Yourself

One part of being a mental health advocate that I pride myself on is being a walking pamphlet of resources for people struggling with mental health and being able to help them help themselves. As a student on Binghamton University’s campus, I am well known among my...

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...

You Are a Rock Star

You Are a Rock Star

Hey! Hey you! Yeah, I’m talking to you over there. The one with bipolar disorder. The one that constantly looks down on themselves and wishes they were someone else. The one that wonders what happened in their life to deserve this wretched beast of an illness. I’m...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Supporting One Another Following the Orlando Tragedy

Supporting One Another Following the Orlando Tragedy

International Bipolar Foundation expresses our profound sorrow after the tragic shooting at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday. While we do not yet know whether the shooter suffered from mental illness, the impact to the mental health of victims and their families as...

Celebrating Mental Health Milestones

Celebrating Mental Health Milestones

I recently planned my Drug Treatment Court Graduation. In July I will successfully graduate; the courtroom will be full of my guests and other participants. Each member of the seven panel treatment team — including the judge — will take time to give me accolades,...

Helping A Loved One When They’re Not Doing Well

Helping A Loved One When They’re Not Doing Well

I recently watched as a friend deteriorated as a result of a new medication. She was having an adverse reaction to it and within days was manic. Everyone else saw a happy-go-lucky her, while I saw the irritation building in her, as well as her frustration as she tried...

To My Friend, On The Other Side Of A Suicide Attempt

To My Friend, On The Other Side Of A Suicide Attempt

Dear, dear friend, I want to say that I’m glad that you did not succeed. Life without you would be a very dull place indeed. You have made it. You are still breathing. Your heart is beating and you have been given a second chance. There are many things I would...

Support in the Workplace

Support in the Workplace

I’m a teacher so a good, supportive environment is essential to my success in the classroom. This is doubly so for anyone with a mental illness. Support for a person with a mental illness diagnosis is crucial for their success in the workplace and they CAN be...

Warning Signs

Warning Signs

It’s so important with a mental illness to be vigilant of errant emotions because it could be a warning sign of the start of an episode. This has happened only a few times since I’ve been stable on medication.  The first time was during the summer a couple of...

I am not bipolar. I am a superhero!

I am not bipolar. I am a superhero!

I have a secret.  I am a superhero. In some ways we all are superheroes.  I can hear the critics now, “Bipolar disorder is a curse.  Only suffering comes from a disease like that.”  Bah, I say.  Bah.  Life is what you make it.  Bad...

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Couples Counseling: What’s It All About and Should You Go?

Valentine’s Day is all about the romantic, idealistic side of love. While it can be fun and meaningful to celebrate your relationship with your spouse or partner (if you have one), the reality is that relationships can be hard. The Hollywood, happily-ever-after ideal...

Bipolar Disorder: Defeating The Suicide Statistics

Bipolar Disorder: Defeating The Suicide Statistics

Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder was one of the most traumatic events of my life. The illness presented itself in my teens and at the time I was unaware of the possibility that my experiences had a diagnosis and that things could get better. By the time I began...

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

What If He Won’t Commit to Regular Counseling

“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband...

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