Category: Support

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...

What Love Means Now

What Love Means Now

My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely...

Bell Let’s Talk 2016

Bell Let’s Talk 2016

International Bipolar Foundation is participating in the 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Initiative, which is taking place on January 27, 2016. How does it work? Bell Let’s Talk is a Canadian mental health initiative that encourages participants to have an open...

Prevention Strategies for 3 Types of Self Harm

Prevention Strategies for 3 Types of Self Harm

Trigger Warning. This article talks explicitly about self-harm and different types. If you feel as though you may be triggered but still want the tips, read with a supportive person present. We feel out of control and in control at the same time. We hurt...

How to Support a Loved One Dealing with Mania

How to Support a Loved One Dealing with Mania

Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself)...

Beauty Can Emerge

Beauty Can Emerge

The other day I noticed that a plant in my cactus garden began to grow something that looked like horns and then like green candy canes!  At first I thought I should pluck them out because they were weird looking.  I asked a friend what she thought I should...

Who Do You Support?

Who Do You Support?

In the past week I had an in-depth conversation about bipolar disorder with a friend of mine who knows very little about it. I appreciated her honesty and being open to learn about something that has been a big part of my life. One question that she asked me really...

What To Do If You Suspect Someone Has Bipolar

What To Do If You Suspect Someone Has Bipolar

Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition,...

Be The Village

Be The Village

Parenting isn’t easy. Anyone who’s ever parented, or has even just been parented well knows that. Don’t they say, “It takes a village to raise a child”? As if to say raising children well takes more than just one person, it takes a community, right?  Let’s...

Drop-In Peer Centers Part Two: History and Funding

Drop-In Peer Centers Part Two: History and Funding

Last month, I wrote about my drop in center, Rebel’s Drop In, which offers peer mentoring, art classes, outings, and other activities.  What would it take to start one?  What is peer mentoring?A peer is someone who has personal experience living with mental...

Lift Me Up File

Lift Me Up File

The purpose of this tool is to be reminded of good things that people have said about us.  When I’ve felt low in the past and taken a look through this file, it has helped to improve my mood.  This tool consists of both a physical file folder and a...

Thinking of Creating A Support Group?  You Can Do It! Part 1

Thinking of Creating A Support Group? You Can Do It! Part 1

During the past year I received wonderful online support from bipolar-themed social media contacts and bloggers.  As fulfilling as their encouragement was, I also craved real life support, connection and friendships with people diagnosed with bipolar...

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

One of the reasons I am glad that I moved to Florida is that it led me to a peer run drop in center near my house called Rebel’s Drop In. In my small county, Broward, between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, we have 5 of these centers. Peer run drop in centers average 5 per...

Group Therapy Provides Hope

Group Therapy Provides Hope

I recently joined a bipolar support group. My doctor and therapist have been encouraging me for months to join the group. They believed it would help me “normalize” some of my feelings by being around others who might have the same experiences. I put...

Why Recovery is Possible

Why Recovery is Possible

I recently read an article written by a person who is tired of people like me talking about recovery from psychiatric disorders.  She wanted us to “stop talking about recovery and start using a more useful and less stigmatizing word: hope.”  I am not sure...

Support

Support

As we go through our journey with our disorder, we need support. Whether it’s from family, friends, or a higher power, it is essential that we have someone that will always have our backs. We can’t do this alone. I’m forever grateful for my God,...

My Biggest Competitor

My Biggest Competitor

It’s no secret that I have struggled with bipolar disorder for several years. What may be less known is that I have also fought hard to overcome numerous setbacks and personal losses as a result of my illness. I don’t like that I have had to deal with an illness as...

Tis the Season to be Depressed

Tis the Season to be Depressed

It is that time of year again when we are supposed to be joyful, surrounded by friends and family, and have a generous heart.  Many of us though find this time of year to be depressing especially because we are supposed to be in the Holiday Spirit.  We are...

Life Preserver

Life Preserver

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate...

The Loss of Friends and the Actual Reality of It All

The Loss of Friends and the Actual Reality of It All

We all know someone or have gone through the experience of losing friends because of a mental illness. I don’t have many friends right now and I go day by day watching my two sisters, my Mom, my Dad, and even going into a store, I see girls laughing together and the...

It’s the Most Triggering Time of the Year

It’s the Most Triggering Time of the Year

Jumping off my balcony, abusing drugs, walking down the middle of a highway and neglecting meds. That’s how I use to ring in the New Year and wish my family a Merry Christmas. Since I’ve been diagnosed bipolar in 2011 I’ve found that once the Christmas season hits, I...

I Should Just Go

I Should Just Go

Often, there are times when we don’t want to do anything; nothing inspires, nothing motivates, nothing is uplifting. “It seems that the weight of the world is bearing down on me and I can’t possibly do anything about it-I should just go. It’s just one thing after...

Mental Illness and the Holidays

Mental Illness and the Holidays

Nine years ago this December, my mental illness erupted through the surface of my otherwise regular life. Work was a snowstorm of activity with the holidays approaching, and I remember feeling super stressed out trying to keep all my end-of-the-year meetings with my...

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Hopping Off the Merry-Go-Round

Since I was diagnosed bipolar I’ve found myself in a constant cycle. I remain compliant with medications and avoid substances and I enjoy euphoria and life for that matter. However, the second I deviate from my prospective recovery regimen everything goes awry and I’m...

Caregiving Matters

Caregiving Matters

There are three things that I have begun to incorporate into my way of thinking as a caregiver. It started when I was in my early 20’s and began to lightly step onto the caregiving path for my aging grandmother. My parents long ago started something, (now defunct),...

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...

Getting Help

Getting Help

Getting help for my bipolar disorder was one of the hardest and best things I’ve done. I’m a pretty proud and independent person so opening up and making myself vulnerable was extremely daunting. I was in my third and final year of university when I knew...

When Stability Starts to Feel Like Boredom

When Stability Starts to Feel Like Boredom

A little backstory: I was diagnosed with bipolar type II disorder in January and started taking medication then. I am still on the original medication I started with, because it seems to work well for me, and have since added a second medication to the mix to help...

Out of the Dark

Out of the Dark

Mental Health Awareness Week occurred from October 5-11 and on October 11 I participated in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s ‘Out of the Darkness Walks’ in Northern California. I was planning to go alone because I had attempted to persuade...

Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

When I think of myself 10 years ago, I am embarrassed and quite frankly shocked at how judgmental I was towards others who were different than me.  Ten years ago my mood fluctuations became unmanageable and anxiety and depression left me paralyzed. I resisted as...

Guilt

Guilt

I’m here to talk to you about guilt. This is something that I felt for several years after I got help for my disorder. I couldn’t believe the things that I had said and done to both my husband and mother. I was beyond devastated. I was apologizing...

Coming Out of the Mental Health Closet at Work

Coming Out of the Mental Health Closet at Work

Hello, I’m Jessi.  I recently came out with my diagnosis at work on a large scale, by writing an article for our hospital bulletin. The response from friends, coworkers and strangers was so positive that it led me to find the confidence to start a blog about my...

My Experience With “I’m Here if You Need to Talk”

My Experience With “I’m Here if You Need to Talk”

As a woman with bipolar I disorder I have experienced many major depressive episodes. During those times I’ve not only relied heavily on family, but also on friends and church leaders. As a recipient of the compassionate phrase: “I’m here if you need to talk”, I want...

My Best Advice About Living with Bipolar Disorder

My Best Advice About Living with Bipolar Disorder

When I’m high, I can fly.  When I’m low, I sink into the deepest, darkest place.  I keep wishing I could change this.One of my medications in particular gets me through the day.  It’s actually supposed to help with anxiety, but it sort of has the...

Proud to Be Bipolar

Proud to Be Bipolar

Several women sat in straight rows at the church waiting for the meeting to begin.  My friend, Joann, introduced me, “We just had to ask Patricia to come and speak with us tonight because she is so experienced in depression.”  This brought a chuckle to the...

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

I had great aspirations to write a high-quality bipolar-themed blog post last weekend.  I envisioned typing a few paragraphs filled with a pearl of wisdom or two that I’ve learned since I started recovering from bipolar depression.It ain’t gonna happen....

Resilience

I at first didn’t even know how to spell the word, let alone understand the proper definition of it. But today, well today I made huge strides into my recovery. You see, the past two days have been rather rocky. No real particular reason why, perhaps too much...

Importance of Hospitalization

     I hope my readers are taking it day by day. Remember don’t ever let the light inside of you dim. This month’s topic I’m going to address is ”Why hospitalization is so important and what important and positive role does it play in a person’s...

Therapy: How to get the most out of it

Is this your first appointment with a new therapist? If this is the case, it will take a while for you to get to know the therapist and their style, as well as for them to get to know you. Therapy is useless if there’s not positive energy both ways.  Evaluate...

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

As I was sipping a hot cup of tea in a breezy evening, for the first time, I could feel the calmness in my soul as the wind touched my face. For so long, I had been struggling to feel this way. I had never felt this way. What was this calmness? I wondered. It was as...

I Have Bipolar Disorder

My name is Doreen. My psychiatrist says I have bipolar disorder. Some people say I don’t have bipolar disorder. Sometimes I believe them.I have had one full psychotic break, one manic episode with milder psychotic symptoms, and one short-lived manic...

My Bipolar Isn’t Severe Enough

When I got into advocacy work, public speaking, and blogging, I knew there would be people who disagreed with me and even disliked me altogether. I am familiar with pop culture references to “haters” and I know the comment section can be a difficult place to get...

Against the Odds

When I was in the beginning stages of being diagnosed bipolar most people wrote me off. They thought this girl’s out of school, she can’t keep a job and she certainly cannot contribute to society. I was a self-fulfilling prophecy in a sense I thought I was worthless...

THE FURRY ANTIDEPRESSANT

As of this writing, I will be welcoming a puppy into our home tonight. Our family is totally freaking out about our new addition in the best way possible! And now more than ever, I believe in “furry antidepressants”.  Please allow me to...

Bipolar Has Been A Blessing

I know many of you are scratching your heads and wondering if someone sane could actually make such a statement. But in my eyes, bipolar has been a blessing in many ways. I have learned a lot about myself and how to manage this illness well enough to be an author, a...

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