Category: Support

Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

By: Sam Bowman Struggling With Time, Energy, and Relationships The most prominent symptoms of bipolar disorder are the highs and lows you can feel at any given time. Going through episodes of mania and depression can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical...

3 Tips for Traveling with a Mental Illness

3 Tips for Traveling with a Mental Illness

By: Cassandra Stout It seems everyone and their mother is traveling these days. And that includes those of us with mental illnesses. For those of us living with mental health conditions, especially bipolar disorder, breaking from our usual routine can have disastrous...

Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

Signs: Everywhere and Nowhere

by Melinda Goedeke I’m often asked whether or not I saw the signs. What I hear in that question is blame and responsibility; assignment of fault. I didn’t see the signs because there weren’t many to see; I saw Laura – my delightful, radiant, and complicated...

How Bipolar Disorder Derailed My Life, and How I Fought Back

How Bipolar Disorder Derailed My Life, and How I Fought Back

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) I am a 65-year-old husband, father, grandfather, combat veteran, and a proud, thankful bipolar survivor, thriver, and warrior. A qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer and strategist, I commanded soldiers in...

How to Ensure You Never Run out of Meds Again

How to Ensure You Never Run out of Meds Again

Author: Cassandra Stout Running out of meds is the worst. If you’re regularly taking medication and you run out of pills and stop suddenly, this is terrible for your body and your mind. If you’re bipolar, you may end up tripping into a mood episode that...

How Writing Helps Me Feel Less Alone in my Mental Health Journey

How Writing Helps Me Feel Less Alone in my Mental Health Journey

Author: Ann Marie Elpa Like many others, when I first heard the word, ‘bipolar’, I associated it with rapid mood swings and instability. I didn’t have a proper understanding of what the disorder encompassed as someone who grew up in a household that seldom discussed...

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Understanding I’m Not Alone

Author: Ashley Sievewright This years theme of Bipolar Together for World Bipolar Day reminds me of when i was first inspired to talk about my mental health after watching the television documentary Stephen Fry – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive back in...

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...

Connecting to What Heals Me

Connecting to What Heals Me

Author: Neil McCarthy   Living with bipolar disorder often means I keep a layer of separation between others and me.   Some close friends and family might know details of my illness, but not even my eight-year-old daughter knows why I spend 15 minutes every...

World Bipolar Day: Here’s Some of What I’ve Learned…

World Bipolar Day: Here’s Some of What I’ve Learned…

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired)   World Bipolar Day is on 30 March. This is a day to focus on a serious mental/brain illness that afflicts 60 million people worldwide; and even more because statistics for children are not counted...

We Are Awesome!

We Are Awesome!

Author: Jeffrey Johanishing   That’s right! You’re darn tootin’. We are, I am and you certainly are, Awesome! Why? Well, I’ll explain.   I sincerely believe that people with bipolar disorder are extremely impressive, inspire great admiration and, truly,...

Why Write a Wellness Plan

Why Write a Wellness Plan

Author: Christina Chambers Writing down a wellness plan upped my Bipolar Disorder management game exponentially. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type I in 2008. I had rapid cycling, so I had at least four episodes each year for twelve years before even...

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...

Hearts

Hearts

Author: Sophia Falco   The shaking of the hands                          the shaking of the arms                                       the shaking of the body                           my hands               my arms my body               but all                  ...

Chasing Mental Wellness During Winter

Chasing Mental Wellness During Winter

Author: Claire Gault For many people with bipolar around the world (and even those without), winter can bring shifts in moods. As someone who lives in Michigan, I definitely notice a change in my energy levels when the winter months arrive. I take special care to...

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...

Dream Hunting

Dream Hunting

Author: Claire Gault   Esmé Weijun Wang, one of my favorite mental wellness advocates, has a workshop called “Dream Hunting with Limitations.” To me, that title encapsulates everything I’ve been wanting to do since my diagnosis four years ago: actualize what I...

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...

To Climb an Endless Mountain

To Climb an Endless Mountain

Author: Trevor Simonson   For years I’ve been fighting. Climbing this beast of a mountain called bipolar disorder. I’ve scaled steep cliff faces and walked through blinding storms. I’ve been buried by avalanches and I’ve fallen into crevasses. But through it all...

Ending the Stigma Starts Within

Ending the Stigma Starts Within

Author: Dayna J. When I first became ill with bipolar disorder I stopped talking with many of my friends and family. I also hid my diagnosis in the workplace. I isolated myself in embarrassment. I was filled with shame. I was grieving the person I thought I had lost...

Support Someone In The Crowd…

Support Someone In The Crowd…

Author: Serena Goldsmith, LCSW As someone who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder thirty years ago, I used to be someone in the crowd who did not know that there was hope for recovery. I wish that there had been an organization like International Bipolar Foundation...

Raindrops Resemble

Raindrops Resemble

Author: Sophia Falco These raindrops resemble teardrops that I believed were almost falling in slow motion, but with the blink of an eye, they hit the pavement despite—what once was 3-D now 2-D is now just an imprint on the sidewalk. A darker shade of gray than the...

A New Belief System

A New Belief System

Author: Melinda Goedeke I remember when my daughter was 22, and she started talking about wanting children some day.  This was cause for celebration as Laura often didn’t believe she had a future; her bipolar disorder caused her to live fast, talk fast and...

Feeling Sad in Winter

Feeling Sad in Winter

Mariko Hewer The other day, I looked out my living-room window around 7:30 p.m. and was surprised to see how dim it had gotten outside. The vibrant goldenrod of the late-afternoon sun had already deepened into the burnt sienna, indigo, and magenta glow of sunset, and...

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...

Bipolar Depression

Bipolar Depression

Author: Valéry Brosseau Bipolar depression is like an old faded blanket that’s worn out in just the right spots. The one I can’t bear to throw away. Once in a while it falls out of the closet and I pick it up, wrap myself in it and hide from the world. It’s...

Bipolar Disorder Book Recommendations

Bipolar Disorder Book Recommendations

Author: Claire Gault As someone with bipolar disorder, I have a fascination with reading about and researching the illness itself. I believe that the more information I learn, the better equipped I can be to manage the illness. My favorite way to learn is through...

Change Can Begin With You

Change Can Begin With You

Author: Natalia Beiser I became angry when overhearing someone saying that people with bipolar disorder should not receive disability accommodations because “…all that they need it to take a pill.” As most individuals with bipolar disorder know, it is not usually that...

We are All on the Ride

We are All on the Ride

Author: Melinda Goedeke Chaos is what I know; it is where I excel.  Keeping on the move ironically slows my racing thoughts and brings a loud silence to my brain.  Right now it seems chaos is the norm for many amidst this unpredictable pandemic that is careening down...

Bipolar Disorder is a B%!#*!

Bipolar Disorder is a B%!#*!

Author: Kitty Dedicated to all of those we have lost due to mental illness. I strive to endure because I know you are beside me. Surviving an abusive childhood left me with many mental obstacles but I can confidently say that for me personally, bipolar disorder was...

LBGTQI + Bipolar is… Complicated

LBGTQI + Bipolar is… Complicated

Author: Willa Goodfellow It goes back to Freud. You could call him a liberal for his day. He did not believe that homosexuality was a character flaw or degeneracy. He viewed it as a kind of arrested development. Does arrested development sound better than the later...

Minority Resources and Tools

Minority Resources and Tools

Resources from MHA   General www.mhanational.org/bipoc-mental-health www.mhanational.org/infographic-bipoc-mental-health www.mhanational.org/issues/healthcare-disparities-among-black-indigenous-and-people-color www.mhanational.org/bipoc-communities-and-covid-19...

A Statement of Solidarity

A Statement of Solidarity

The senseless acts of racism and violence that have unfolded over the last several weeks serve as a stark reminder of the devastation wrought by centuries of enslavement, bigotry and discrimination. These acts have been a deeply upsetting, unsettling and painful...

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

How and When It’s Time to Reach Out to a Professional

By Allison Clemmons Hatch Recently there has been no shortage of advice regarding techniques for self-care in light of the COVID-19 pandemic with regard to not only our physical, but our mental health care as well.  And thank goodness for that! You have may have...

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...

Bipolar Boxing Match

Bipolar Boxing Match

“Bipolar is like a Boxing match- and we’ve got to keep fighting.” My name is Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva for those unfamiliar with Irish names!) and I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder six years ago aged 21, whilst studying for an MA in Modern History at University....

#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...

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...

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