Category: Tips and Advice

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

I sat in a chair at a psychiatrist’s office and am asked questions that provoke me to describe both my depressive and hypomanic states. It was painful yet enlightening. When I am depressed I am stupid, lazy and useless. When I am depressed I am weak,...

Health

Health

It’s January and this is the month that we hear all about health. We start seeing more health and diet topics in magazines and healthy food goes on sale more. I don’t mean to sound like Mrs. Goody-Goody, but I love all this. That’s because I used to...

Creative Minds Want To Know

Creative Minds Want To Know

Much has been written and said about a potential link between the hypomanias of Bipolar Disorder and creativity.  Last month’s Webinar, Igniting The Creative Fire: The Neurobiology Of Creativity In Bipolar Disorder With Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan, explored the link...

A Different Take on Exercise, and Why I Want You To Join Me!

A Different Take on Exercise, and Why I Want You To Join Me!

Long before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar one disorder, I led an active life.  After college graduation, I became an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer and I worked in a family-owned gym  My duties included greeting members and...

Rescued by a Dog

Rescued by a Dog

I own a psychiatric service dog. He’s similar to a dog that would assist a blind person, but he’s trained differently. He’s not a therapy or emotional assistance dog, he’s a certified service dog and is allowed anywhere that a dog for the blind would be allowed to...

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...

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...

Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis

“Population-based studies have documented that among all patients with major psychiatric disorders, those with bipolar disorder have the highest prevalence of comorbid substance abuse and dependence” (Tohen, et. al 1998, Pg. 133).My substance abuse came long before my...

15 Seconds of Uninterrupted Positive Thought

15 Seconds of Uninterrupted Positive Thought

I am fortunate to be mentally stable and manage my bipolar disorder well.  That being said I sometimes have a tendency to not always have a positive mindset throughout my day.  At times negative things that people say or do bother me and I’m not able to let...

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),...

Six Simple Things You Can Do

Six Simple Things You Can Do

Be HopefulHope is crucial for recovery, and there is good reason to be hopeful when it comes to mental health challenges.  The vast majority of us who get appropriate treatment and support get significantly better.  This is good news, but it is also not news...

Hobby

Hobby

Do you have a hobby? I don’t know if you do, but if you don’t, then you might want to think about getting one. When I first told a good friend of mine that I have bipolar disorder, she recommended that I find a good hobby. She was right! I’ll...

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...

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Therapy and Becoming Who I’m Meant to Be

Talk therapy is a big part of my treatment plan.  I can’t go without it.  I know medication is a necessity for me, but I need my therapist.  I need cognitive behavioral techniques, and I need coping skills.  It’s a struggle for me to simply...

Hinges of Marriage

Hinges of Marriage

“We don’t have anything in common” my friend lamented, “sometimes I wonder why we even stay together.” As I listened I absently glanced at our white patio doors with it’s 3 hinges. “Well” I shared with sudden inspiration “it only takes three hinges to hold a door...

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

‘Sometimes I just want to crawl under a rock. It seems as if that is the safest place; the hardness of the rock will protect me from what I don’t want to face and I don’t need to exert energy into doing anything anyone asks of me. I can escape to the darkness this...

Mantra and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

I read a study once that stated the incidence of obsessive-compulsive disorder was 10-fold greater in bipolar patients than the general population (see more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/bipolar-disorder/anxious-bipolar-patient#sthash.RRY1nBjh.dpuf). This made...

Just Don’t It

Just Don’t It

As I’m sure you noticed, I’m using a grammatically incorrect title, but I couldn’t resist.  (May my seventh grade English grammar teacher forgive me!)  During the 1980’s a trendy Nike ad campaign caught the world’s attention with the tagline...

Dullness

Dullness

I want to talk to you all about something that I experienced very intensely when I first started taking medication. What happened was I felt a very strong dull feeling inside. I was no longer feeling the lows, but I was also no longer feeling the highs either. So, I...

Running is My Therapy

Running is My Therapy

I woke up on Thursday, September 4th and the torture struck instantly. My head filled up like a water balloon, except it wasn’t water I was filled with, it was disturbing, bizarre, negative and pesky thoughts. I recognized immediately from waking up I was...

Triggers

Triggers

Although I was officially diagnosed in March 2009 with Bipolar I disorder and began treatment, I am confident in saying that my bipolar episodes started well before that time.  If I could guess somewhat accurately, I would say it all started somewhere around the...

My Emotions Are Not Me

My Emotions Are Not Me

Being in a relationship with someone is both rewarding and frightening. There have been times during my 9-month-old relationship that I wonder how he is able to handle the intensity of my emotions. I remember one night, after we took our night walk, I was sitting...

How Closely Do You Follow The News?

How Closely Do You Follow The News?

For a number of years I worked in the financial industry and HAD to closely follow the news to be well-informed.  Near the end of that time I started taking various self-improvement courses and started having different sessions with various non-traditional...

A Garden Full of Flowers

A Garden Full of Flowers

What is the one thing that you love? What is the one thing that you hate? ‘Thing’ has so many definitions and in a broad sense covers the spectrum of anything and everything – no matter how minute, ‘it’ holds great significance. There are positives and negatives...

Finding Work That Works When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Finding Work That Works When You Have Bipolar Disorder

I’m a psychotherapist who has worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor – that’s a specialist who helps people with disabilities, including bipolar disorder, find and keep meaningful work. I also have bipolar disorder myself, and have struggled over...

What Would I Say to Me?

What Would I Say to Me?

What would I say to the younger me about being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorder?  This picture was taken 13 years ago.  I was 28 and oh so manic, but had no idea.  This was pre-diagnosis.  I traveled to two continents, several...

Advice for the Newly Diagnosed

Advice for the Newly Diagnosed

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type II disorder on January 28, 2014 and I want to write my first blog post in this space about some of the things I wish I had known then. Here is what I wish someone would have sat down and told me on that Tuesday morning: It...

When Asked to Give Advice

When Asked to Give Advice

A few of my friends who know that I have been diagnosed with bipolar have come to ask for advice on how to help someone they know, someone who seems to be going off the rails. Recently an ex-colleague asked about how to engage a friend who has stopped taking his...

Terrific Tools: Peddling Prayer

Terrific Tools: Peddling Prayer

During my recovery from bipolar illness my therapist suggested that I increase my physical and spiritual health.  He said I should establish routines that could make daily prayer and exercise something I could look forward to (are you kidding me?) After many...

It Will Get Better

It Will Get Better

I hate myself right now. I hate myself every time I’m depressed.  I just started a new medication after gaining 9 pounds in a month on the previous med I tried, so I’m depressed about that on top of having general depression.  Since I’m starting over...

3 Bipolar Disorder Coping Mechanisms the World Needs

3 Bipolar Disorder Coping Mechanisms the World Needs

Every time someone suggests I read an article on having Bipolar, I discover that articles written or paraphrased by normal people always find a way to quip on how people with mental illness should adopt more normal activities in order to enjoy life. It is appalling...

Bipolar Yoga Teacher Teaches Bipolar Yoga Student How To Breathe

Bipolar Yoga Teacher Teaches Bipolar Yoga Student How To Breathe

I made a friend through The International Bipolar Foundation’s Facebook page this spring. I had posted a target-market question, wanting to know what people wanted, what they couldn’t find and what they hoped for in recovery. Andrea pleaded for a route to an...

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...

Mood Tracking During Therapy

Mood Tracking During Therapy

Therapists are useful in helping a consumer understand how one is feeling and thinking, this is also known as talk therapy. Many issues are discussed and it has been proven useful to help with stability and managing symptoms. But what do you do when you’re struggling...

Removing Obstacles: An Overview

Last month I gave a webinar for International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) entitled Removing Obstacles: A Naturopathic Perspective on Treatment. In that webinar I discussed the philosophy and therapeutic order of naturopathic medicine and gave some examples related...

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...

Mommy Has A Bug In Her Brain

Trying to explain Bipolar Disorder to a three year old and a five year old was one of the hardest things I have ever done. How was I going to put this into words that they could understand? Telling them that I was in the hospital because I was tired was more...

What is Medicare?

This is one of the hardest blog topics thus far. This topic of Medicare is so complicated and this topic could go on forever. I have summarized the information that I feel will help others understand the in’s and out’s of Medicare, which is very difficult for those in...

A Day At The Office

I’m racing out the door with my work bag slung over my shoulder, a glass of water in one hand, and my handful of morning medications in the other. Anti-depressant? Check. Mood stabilizer? Check. Adderall? Check. Anti-anxiety? Check. I gulp them down with the...

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