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Parenting and Bipolar Disorder

Parenting and Bipolar Disorder

Caring for a child comes with many responsibilities. Being emotionally and mentally stable is essential when teaching a little human the ropes to this complex life. It requires immense amounts of patience…

Identifying and Processing Bipolar Emotions

Identifying and Processing Bipolar Emotions

Before I committed myself to understanding the underlining emotions characteristic of bipolar, I’d often osilate between extreme irritability, and a kind of manic frenzy jumping from one task…

My 5 Positives of Bipolar

My 5 Positives of Bipolar

Many years after my initial diagnosis, a simple question popped in my head that would fundamentally change the way I look at my mental illness. I asked, “What would happen if I embraced bipolar instead of constantly looking at it as something I had to deal with?” …

Welcoming Mania After Depression? My Experience

Welcoming Mania After Depression? My Experience

To understand the appeal of Hypomania/mania, you must understand the dread of depression. Bipolar depression is much more than occasional bouts of the blues. It can feel as though you are stuck in the deepest parts of your brain while your body moves through the world on autopilot…

The Nails (and Medals) of a World Champion Brazilian swimmer

The Nails (and Medals) of a World Champion Brazilian swimmer

Felipe abandoned training, got out of the pool and went to the shower. His head didn’t stop. Thoughts were racing. The restless mind. Inattention harmed the strokes. Irritability disrupted his rhythm of breathing. How can you balance the intense training of a professional athlete…

Disclosing Bipolar Disorder

Disclosing Bipolar Disorder

I am extremely lucky. On the day that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I knew I had at least 5 calls to make, receiving nothing but empathy and support on the other end of the phone. Beyond that though…

The Complexity and Potentials of Recovery

The Complexity and Potentials of Recovery

Recovery is not linear. Recovery is not easy. Recovery is the only option. There are so many stages and variables in the journey of recovery from bipolar illness that it is vital for the person on this road to take one day at a time. In serious bipolar depression…

The “Little Things” Before Symptoms

The “Little Things” Before Symptoms

It’s the Little Things. Big shifts in our lives can derail us from progress in managing bipolar, but it’s crucial we often look at the little things as well that may cause our symptoms to take over. Are we ignoring the need to eat food or so overwhelmed by the idea that we start skipping meals?

Finding Hope Through Challenges

Finding Hope Through Challenges

I wanted to start by saying, this road isn’t easy. I forced myself into thinking it would be fine and I would be fine, but many times I’m not…

Sleep’s Effect on Bipolar Disorder

Sleep’s Effect on Bipolar Disorder

Author: Sam Bowman

The sleep-wake cycle is an important factor in overall health. The quality of sleep you are getting impacts several areas of your health, including heart function, circulation, metabolism, respiratory system, and immune system…

Bipolar and Cultivating Community

Bipolar and Cultivating Community

Author: Matthew Palmieri

After my initial diagnosis in 2014, like many, I felt deep shame. There was this nagging and persistent feeling that bipolar had put me behind somehow. That I had done something wrong to end up here and this was going to be…

Managing Anxiety with Schizoaffective Disorder

Managing Anxiety with Schizoaffective Disorder

Author: Liz Colvin

Being a caregiver is a huge responsibility. My adult daughter has survived the rigorous battle of finding the right medication for schizoaffective disorder with her medical provider. However, while managing the mental illness itself, one has to…

The History of Lithium: Who Ate the First Oyster?

The History of Lithium: Who Ate the First Oyster?

Author: Thiago Lopes Genaro

In the 1970s, at an FDA meeting, Gerald Klerman, at the time a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University’s medical school, advocated the use of lithium in episodes of mania, in bipolar disorder. He was then…

Handling Professional Conflicts With Bipolar Disorder

Handling Professional Conflicts With Bipolar Disorder

Author: Sam Bowman

Experiencing a professional conflict is never enjoyable. However, it is bound to happen from time to time. A staggering 85% of people experience workplace conflict to some degree. As someone…

Finding Comfort in Discomfort: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bipolar Disorder

Finding Comfort in Discomfort: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bipolar Disorder

Author: Thiago Lopes Genaro

In his book Breathe – a life in flow, Rickson Gracie, one of the biggest names in Jiu Jitsu and one of those responsible for bringing the sport to the United States, narrates a curious scene from his adolescence. Rickson tells of being involved, one afternoon, in a fight…

The Best of Intentions

The Best of Intentions

Author: Elizabeth Horner

Bipolar Disorder is a tricky illness, even when we think we have it mastered. Fine-tuning our medications, ensuring consistent sleep, eating well, therapy, and balancing stability at work and in our personal lives can feel like carefully setting up a complex Domino course and then praying that everything falls in its place. However, even with the best intensions…

When the Fog Lifts: Accepting Yourself

When the Fog Lifts: Accepting Yourself

Author: Matt Palmieri

One of the most challenging aspects of living with bipolar is the phase that follows an unfortunate period of heavily distorted thinking. No, I’m not the CEO anymore. Guess I can’t retire just yet…

Anger

Anger

Author: Paul English

I used to have anger in my teen years and 20s. I learned how to greatly diminish this through Buddhist teachers, from friends, and from personal mindfulness practice…

Workplace and Bipolar Disorder

Workplace and Bipolar Disorder

Author: Niki Castle

The stress of working in television.As kids, we were all asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I changed my mind so many times. From cardiologist to artist and then an architect…

The Reality of Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Brazil

The Reality of Bipolar Disorder Treatment in Brazil

Author: Thiago Lopes Genar

Recently I was reading the Indian guideline for treatment of bipolar disorder (BD). It is from 2017. When you are a psychiatrist specializing in bipolar disorder, you read guidelines from many places around the world we have the Indian guideline (2017)…

The Truth Behind the Lies

The Truth Behind the Lies

Author: Melinda Goedeke

I had a beautiful daughter who amazed the world with her laughter, intelligence, spunk and adventure. And she was a liar. She lied to her family, she lied to her friends, she lied to her employers and most painfully…

Raising Awareness About Bipolar Disorder Through Blogging

Raising Awareness About Bipolar Disorder Through Blogging

Author: Sam Bowman

If you’re familiar with the struggles of bipolar disorder, you want to raise awareness or help others who share your concerns, and you’re good with words and writing, then creating your own blog may be a way to do just that. The fact is…

The Intersections of Bipolar and Bisexual

The Intersections of Bipolar and Bisexual

Author: Lexie Manion

I am newly diagnosed with bipolar disorder as of 2019 and newly out as bisexual as of 2021. Interestingly enough though, these are two intricate parts of my identity that I have been familiar with my entire life – whether or not they have been…

African American Mental Health

African American Mental Health

Author: Niki Castle

Growing up in a biracial home, I became aware of the difference between white and black at an early age. My Irish mom received varied responses to her mixed-race kids…

Getting Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder as an Older Adult

Getting Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder as an Older Adult

Author: Sam Bowman

Getting diagnosed with bipolar disorder as an older adult can be challenging. Stigmas and misconceptions about the condition may be discouraging and lead to feelings of embarrassment or unease. However, bipolar disorder affects millions of older adults…

Breaking Free From the Cage of Productivity

Breaking Free From the Cage of Productivity

Author: D.O Vo

During my time in university, having to combat the suffocating experience of bipolar depression truly felt like I was drowning. I was trapped in this never-ending cycle of being unable to complete my school work because I struggled with motivating myself while also carrying severe guilt that I couldn’t find the fortitude to excel in my courses…

Asking For Help as a Man

Asking For Help as a Man

Author: Lee Formella

If you were raised anything like me, you were told to be strong, be a man, be tough, do everything yourself, provide for those around you and definitely, no matter the extremity of the circumstances, do not be a burden to those around you. I am not sure…

Bipolar is Not Your Fault

Bipolar is Not Your Fault

Author: Chris Chambers

It is my 15-year anniversary since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Looking back, I think one of the most painful parts of my journey was the underlying belief that bipolar disorder was my fault…

Unlocking My Potential

Unlocking My Potential

Author: Vasavi Kumar

Whether it’s losing myself in the vibrant colors of a painting, getting lost in the rhythm of a dance class, or finding my voice through acting and voiceover work, these pursuits have given me a sense of peace and purpose that has been invaluable in managing my symptoms…

My Story: Athletics and Bipolar Disorder

My Story: Athletics and Bipolar Disorder

Author: Niki Castle

At the same time, while I was transitioning to college, I began to experience a new pain. Something inside me felt “off”. I was able to stay up for days without sleep. I began to have racing thoughts and would see flashing lights when I would close my eyes at night…

Triggers

Triggers

Author: Melinda Goedeke

Unfortunately, like many, I have experienced trauma in my life. So much so that I often see life as just a series of traumatic events. Some wounds are bored so deeply that they are firmly lodged…

I Was Afraid to Take Meds

I Was Afraid to Take Meds

Author: Lianca Lyons

I was crying uncontrollably at work because I was mentally, physically, and emotionally EXHAUSTED. I would wake up in the middle of the night sending work texts and emails about things I had either forgotten about or needed to remember. My…

Living With Self-Stigma is Like Driving With the Brake On

Living With Self-Stigma is Like Driving With the Brake On

Author: Andrea Vassilev   Many people experience shame, embarrassment, and guilt surrounding their bipolar diagnosis. They feel as though they must be "one of those people" others are always talking about. They suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of...

DBT and My Experience

DBT and My Experience

Author: Subrina Singh   DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy)  founded by psychologist, Dr. Marsha Linehan of Stony Brook University, has recently gained a lot of popularity. It was Selena Gomez actually who brought light to DBT, discussing how greatly it had...

Acknowledging and Addressing Financial Barriers to Bipolar Treatment

Acknowledging and Addressing Financial Barriers to Bipolar Treatment

Author: Sam Bowman   Bipolar disorder is a challenging condition to live with. These challenges aren’t just because of the symptoms. It can affect all aspects of your life — personal or professional alike. This is why effective treatment is vital. However, there...

Bipolar – A Life Less Ordinary

Bipolar – A Life Less Ordinary

Bipolar disorder is a complex yet manageable condition. It is a condition that affects moods, emotions, and energies and can be challenging in many ways. A person with bipolar can lead a normal and healthy life but it takes work and knowledge to build up the skills needed to live and prosper with the condition. 

How Seeking Hobbies Can Help Manage Bipolar Disorder

How Seeking Hobbies Can Help Manage Bipolar Disorder

Certain hobbies and self-care strategies can make a profound difference in an individual’s ability to manage bipolar disorder. Incorporating these into life, even in small amounts, can really add up to make mood swings more manageable and interrupt life a bit less. Developing some of these strategies and incorporating hobbies can even make life more fun in general.  

Not Only Surviving, but Thriving

Not Only Surviving, but Thriving

I was a senior in high school in 1990 when I had my very first manic episode. I felt the silence and stares; people were so cold. They acted quiet and scared. I was alienated. The pain that I experienced has helped me to survive mental illness through many phases of life.

A Three-Headed Monster: Mental Illness, Stigma, and Suicide

A Three-Headed Monster: Mental Illness, Stigma, and Suicide

Suicide is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized of human experiences. We need a call to arms, not in the sense of weapons, but rather with people working together. Most suicides result from a combination of two things: a mental condition—

Navigating College with Bipolar Disorder

Navigating College with Bipolar Disorder

Being enrolled in college while having bipolar disorder can be a tough task. College is an exciting time for many, as it marks the beginning of a new chapter of life. However, when dealing with a mental illness this time period can be very stressful. The good news is a healthy, thriving, college life is achievable!

Your 12-month Self-care Calendar Plan

Your 12-month Self-care Calendar Plan

There’s something about a fresh start that creates the desire to tweak your life. And a new year is a fresh start. Why not resolve to practice more self-care each month in the coming year? Here’s my 12-month calendar of self-care tips to try. Most of them are habits you can build with a 30-day challenge. You don’t have to try all of these. But making a New Year’s resolution to practice more self-care is more easily done with a plan.

What 2022 Taught Me

What 2022 Taught Me

This trajectory of trauma hit its peak in January 2022. An ill-informed rocket ship that took flight against my will, needing so many prescribed pills this was not a thrill and I didn’t try to kill myself yet myself went missing because this body would shake and shake...

Is An Emotional Support Animal Right for You?

Is An Emotional Support Animal Right for You?

By: Sam Bowman Emotional support animals (ESAs) are more popular than ever. As of 2019, the National Service Animal Registry had nearly 200,000 support and service animals listed — up from just 2,400 in 2011. While some animals are used to help people with...

Weathering Bipolar

Weathering Bipolar

by Melinda Goedeke A woman and her child sit tightly together in their stranded car hoping and praying help is on its way. Snowflake after snowflake rapidly envelopes the car until it cannot move at all. Nearly out of gas, the car remains off, and they snuggle trying...

The Special Hell of Winter

The Special Hell of Winter

For anyone who has suffered depression in the winter months, I feel you.   A few years ago, before I recognized the pattern of my depressive episodes, I sunk deep into a pit of despair every January. It was like clockwork.   First, I’d be hypomanic–eager and...

How to Prevent Manic Spending

How to Prevent Manic Spending

Mania is challenging to deal with on its own. Add impulsive spending to those manic episodes, and you’ve got an additional layer of difficulty to overcome. Grounding yourself after an episode and finding out you’ve spent all of your savings on trinkets at a garage sale might just tip you into another bout with mania. Impulsive spending not only wrecks your financial stability but can hinder your ability to manage your bipolar disorder successfully. Instead of letting your next manic episode put you further into financial ruin, do the following to protect yourself and your money.

Her Orange Crayon

Her Orange Crayon

The orange crayon made the setting sun possible as he held on to the string taking him upwards attached to the rays attached to the orange balloon that was made possible by the birth of creativity, outside the lines as the string swayed as chaos ensued as the orange...

AROUND THE SUN: TRIP 28

AROUND THE SUN: TRIP 28

Dear 16-Year-Old Sophia, You will have made it. You will have made it with flying colors and will be proud to represent the rainbow flag. You will have made it with your dream of being a unique, talented, and published poet come true with your book three masterpieces!...

No One Should Endure This

No One Should Endure This

By: Margaret Fitzgerald I was a moody, undiagnosed, anxious bipolar child that self-soothed with food. I was always ten pounds overweight, and my parents catastrophized it. So many weight loss tactics were tried. One diet included eating only carbs until noon and then...

Navigating the Work World as a Person With Bipolar Disorder

Navigating the Work World as a Person With Bipolar Disorder

By: Sam Bowman Living with bipolar disorder can negatively impact many areas of life. It can be especially problematic, however, when you’re trying to hold down a traditional job or expand your professional network. However, as long as you’re willing to put in the...

Diving into Bipolar

Diving into Bipolar

By: Melinda Goedeke Spying on a lobster the size of my leg while gently swaying back and forth 70 ft. below the sea is both exhilarating and meditative for me. I even secretly like the anxiety of knowing that with each breath my oxygen is depleting. I swim swiftly...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VII

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VII

By Natalia A. Beiser Please note: These are Natalia’s experiences with Lithium and Dialysis. Not every patient will share the same experiences. I have now been on dialysis for one year and two months. The psychiatrist and I have had the Lithium dosage at a level that...

My Bipolar Life: Recovery

My Bipolar Life: Recovery

This post is Part 4 of a five-part series that tells of my successful service, mental health crisis, and recovery. The purpose is to raise understanding, build hope, and help abolish the stigma.

You Are Not Bipolar

You Are Not Bipolar

By: Chris Chambers   It can feel like Bipolar Disorder alters who we are. After all, it changes thinking, emotions and behavior. We typically view who a person is based on those qualities. Believe it or not, our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are not who we...

Glow Sticks

Glow Sticks

She is asking me to wish upon something I cannot see, to believe in there is another side and a way out, but light pollution and pollution of light; yearning for my eyes to ignite with the sheer amount of power from the hands waving the countless neon glow sticks (at...

Beyond The Beyond

Beyond The Beyond

By: Sophia Falco He resurfaced as I was drowning at the park, dragging me down further on such a pristine day: children running about, playing hide -and-seek, laughing, groomed dogs barking, chasing muddy tennis balls and some not muddy yet I tried to seek refuge away...

My Bipolar Life: Depression and Psychosis

My Bipolar Life: Depression and Psychosis

This 5-part blog series tells my story of service and success, followed by mental health crisis and recovery. The purpose is to raise understanding, build hope, and help abolish the stigma. In Part I, I discussed the onset of my bipolar disorder, surge into full-blown mania, removal from command, three medical misdiagnoses, and crash into depression and psychosis. Part II briefly described what bipolar disorder is, and then discussed my service and success, and how my hyperthymia and bipolar disorder helped me until they didn’t. In Part III, I will delve into how I dealt with depression and psychosis. Part IV will cover recovery and my ongoing journey of living successfully with bipolar disorder.

If My Family had Known, So Much would have Been Different

If My Family had Known, So Much would have Been Different

By Margaret Fitzgerald After my initial manic episode at eighteen, my friends were making purchases for their dorm rooms and packing up for far away colleges. I was chronically depressed, which often happens after coming down from a manic episode. Friends were saying...

Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

Managing the Challenges of Bipolar Parenting

Parenting is one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences you can go through. When you have bipolar disorder, however, those challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming. From dealing with your emotions and heightened anxiety to striking a balance between caring for your children and yourself, there are a host of obstacles that can get in your way.

While it’s a tough task, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Let’s cover some of the most common challenges you might face in bipolar parenting and how you can mitigate those struggles to find a better balance, allowing you to be the best parent you can be.

A Father’s Love

A Father’s Love

June 19, 2022 Dear Dad, This Father’s Day I want to celebrate your role in my life. Especially how you helped me through my bipolar diagnosis and functional recovery.   Three years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you shared some wisdom with me that...

It Ain’t Easy – Meds and Bipolar Disorder

It Ain’t Easy – Meds and Bipolar Disorder

By Melinda Goedeke I laugh sarcastically every time I watch a commercial about medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Unkempt young men and women are shown in dark, depressing places with vacuous eyes and downtrodden faces until they take the miracle...

How Bipolar Disorder Helped Me (Until It Didn’t)

How Bipolar Disorder Helped Me (Until It Didn’t)

Part II of IV
This 4-part series of blogs tells the story of a general’s service and success, followed by mental health disaster and recovery, then new life. The purpose is to raise understanding, build hope, and help abolish the stigma.

The Big Reset Button

The Big Reset Button

By: Trevor Simonson If you are anything like me, you struggle for consistency. My life runs in peaks and valleys. So many valleys. A never-ending game flirting with progress, but always feeling like I am back at square one. Square one. It isn’t real. We are always...

How Co-morbidities Can Build Even More Strength

How Co-morbidities Can Build Even More Strength

By: Chris Chambers Lately, I’ve been writing solely about my Bipolar Disorder. In reality, Bipolar is only part of the picture for me. My nervous system is very challenged. In addition to Bipolar Disorder I am living with cPTSD, in recovery from eating disorder, and...

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...

Complicated Simplicity

Complicated Simplicity

By: Christina Broderick My childhood was what I considered entirely normal. As a kid I had a great family, nice friends, performed well at school and participated in extra-curricular activities, becoming highly involved in sports during my teenage years. College began...

Conditional

Conditional

By: Neil Mccarthy The brief—but fictional—scenes in this piece show the bias with which people with bipolar (or any mental illness) can be treated. With some luck, maybe we can evolve into a new way of treating people who are already suffering. — The Director of the...

Finding the Right Medication

Finding the Right Medication

Author: Christina Chambers The nervous system is so incredibly complex. I often think of it as the ocean of the body – we have really only just begun to uncover portions of what exists. The effect of psychiatric medications on the nervous system is no exception. It...

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 daughter...

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...

Haiku Train: Railways

Haiku Train: Railways

Author: Sophia Falco   existentialism may be the way live without street signs spelling out starlit sky does not equate to lit torches fire still seeing darkness energy to moon and back bursting with the blank possibilities verbalize rather not trip up tongue...

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VI

Lithium and Dialysis, Part VI

Author: Natalia A. Beiser I have been on dialysis since July 2021 and continue to take Lithium, which in some patients causes decreased kidney function. However, I continue to be prescribed Lithium because it is the only proven medicine to curb my personal experience...

Katie

Katie

Describe something you are proud of in your journey in managing mental illness, could be a moment, an overall victory, etc. I’m Katie H. from central Maine and here is my story of living with Bipolar 1 disorder. I was first diagnosed in 2018 when I was hospitalized...

Endurance

Endurance

Author: Catalina Bellizzi-Itiola Sometimes I look back at the timeline of my life’s volatile mood fluctuations, and it makes me worry about what on earth my future will look like. Will I hold a job? Will I have a child? Will I be able to survive more episodes? Even...

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 can devastate...

Lifestyle Alters Brain Chemistry Too

Lifestyle Alters Brain Chemistry Too

 Author: Christina Chambers I firmly believe lifestyle factors are just as important as medication for living well with Bipolar Disorder. Sunlight, alcohol or drugs, nutrition, social connection, nature, repetitive thoughts, meditation and exercise are just a few of...

Earn This!

Earn This!

Author: Gregg F. Martin, PhD, Major General, US Army (Retired) Written in honor of the service and sacrifice of the US Military for Memorial Day, 2022   In the epic World War Two film “Saving Private Ryan”, Army Captain and Ranger John Miller (Tom Hanks) lies...

I wish that my mother would have had a therapist

I wish that my mother would have had a therapist

Author: Margaret Fitzgerald I wish that my Mother would have sought out therapy when I was a child. I know that this may have been somewhat unheard of in the 1970s. In recent years, we have learned that my Mother experiences post-traumatic stress disorder. I have...

I Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

I Can Help Myself (You Can Too)

Author: Neil McCarthy   Life experiences, including a regular meditation practice, have shown me that all life predicaments and mental states will pass in time.  But more than just meditation has seen me through tough times; music has served as a constant,...

What I Wish My Family Knew

What I Wish My Family Knew

Author: Margaret Fitzgerald   My family knew little about serious mental illness when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Hindsight is 20/20.  What follows are what would have best helped me be successful in life before and after my diagnoses.   Many...

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