Our Blog

I Gotta Feeling

Every time I hear “I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSD4vsh1zDA ) I am instantly energized.  It brings me back to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver which I was fortunate to go to.  I went to some events and heard this song...

An audience with Kay Redfield Jamison

Last week I attended a talk at the Wellcome Collection. For non-Londoners, the Collection houses the phenomenal range of medical objects gathered from around the world by Sir Henry Wellcome in the late 19th and early 20th century. It also plays host to relevant events...

Splitting the Holidays

Splitting the Holidays

When you go through a divorce it is inevitable that you will split everything.  That includes time with your children if you have them.  Every other weekend isn’t that bad.  It was in the beginning.  Believe me, it took a while for me to get used...

Bittersweet Holiday Treats: How Sugar affects your Mood

Bittersweet Holiday Treats: How Sugar affects your Mood

I don’t know about you, but this time of year is always tough for me. I am sure many of you can relate to a seasonal pattern for highs and lows – bright, sunny, energetic spring and summer almost always brings about the same in me, and so why wouldn't dull, dreary...

What Do You Have to Say?

As a writing teacher, I often get the question, “What should I write about?” My response is always, “Write about having nothing to write about.” Believe it or not, most of the time, these students end up with something they actually wanted to say and just couldn't get...

Honesty

Being Bipolar and trying to lead a normal life has a lot to do with honesty. I have to try very hard sometimes to come across as a regular person, but as long as I follow a few simple rules, I find I can accomplish it, and then once I break down some of the barriers...

Pets and Bipolar Disorder

Do you have pets? I do. I have two. One is a feisty little lovebird with a big attitude. His name is Chicklet. This picture is of my other pet. Her name is Maggie. She is my 8 month old puppy. I got her when she was 14 weeks old. She’s wonderful, cute, the new love of...

Stigma Stops Here

I was having a smoothie with a good friend from high school. She found me on facebook. I have not seen her since I graduated in 1998. We decided to get together at a coffee shop to have smoothies. Her name is Janet and she works at Shurr High school in Montebello. She...

A Healthier You: Mental Illness, Medication, and Weight loss

I had given up that I would ever be a size 7 again. I was more like a size 16 and 18. I had gained 60lbs as a side of effect of medication. Well, it did increase my appetite and given that I’m an emotional eater, I solely blamed my weight gain problems on medication....

Dear Dr Third Eye aka Dr I don’t want your drama!

Dear Dr Third Eye aka Dr I don’t want your drama!

Dear Dr Third Eye aka Dr I don’t want your drama!Albert Einstein once remarked that ‘insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. I have often thought of the aptness of this quote, as I perpetually visited psychiatrists. The...

Can Bipolar be Eliminated?

I often have wondered to myself about the possibility of Bipolar Disorder being eliminated, cured, completely dealt with and stricken from the record. After living with the illness for most of my 41 years I have little faith this will happen in my lifetime, but it...

What’s it like to be a rapid cycler?

What’s it like to be a rapid cycler?

I will attempt to try to describe it the best way I can. When I am cycling and in a low mood, I become angry as it appears to arrive out of nowhere. One moment I am feeling fine, then boom without any warning it rears its ugly head. I imagine it as a super villain who...

Please welcome our new blogger, Christine!

Please welcome our new blogger, Christine!

Christine resides in Houston, Texas where she was born and raised. She is employed full time as a Senior Human Resource representative and has worked at the same company for 13 years. She was an accountant for most of her career, but decided she needed a change of...

One Step Forward; Two Steps Back

One Step Forward; Two Steps Back

This year has been particularly difficult for me. When depression hit, it hit hard. When it rains, it pours ? as they say. Right as I thought I was pulling myself through, I hit rock bottom. With sinus infections and chronic migraines all year, it's no wonder that...

My Journey

It has taken me a long time to get where I am. It has been 34 years if you take into account my whole life, 18 if you start from my first venture into the world of psychiatry. More than half my life, just to be here. But here is a great place and was worth the...

Suicide Awareness Day

Suicide Awareness Day

DISCLOSURESTOP and read the following clearly. This article may be troubling to somebody thinking about suicide. This article is about personal and factual experiences regarding suicide. Please do not read if you are in a dark place and feeling suicidal. Suicide...

Can I Advocate from the Shadows or Is That Hypocrisy?

Can I Advocate from the Shadows or Is That Hypocrisy?

As some of you may know, my 21 year old bipolar son was incarcerated last March during a manic episode where he did something that was, in his words “very stupid.” He was in the midst of denying his illness and he was running with the wrong crowd, and self-medicating...

Sometimes it seems like I am the only one fighting for my child

Sometimes it seems like I am the only one fighting for my child

My daughter is 11 yrs old. We’ll call her Bug. Bug was diagnosed bipolar when she was 7. It has been a long, difficult road of ups and downs since then. We went through three schools before anyone would listen to me enough to give her an I.E.P. Finally at the end of...

Once upon a Dream

‘Waking up is hard to do’I have always had a rather constant, endless even array of dreams. Whereas as some people have the odd dream now and again or some confess to never dreaming, I have always had dreams that are complex, graphic in their imagery and...

NORMAL—A look at Darren Stein’s Art Work

This week I wanted to highlight an artist who both creates art and has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. While searching the Internet I came across Darren Stein, an Australian artist and poet. Although Stein was previously diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress...

I Look In The Mirror

I Look In The Mirror

Every morning I wake up and I look in the mirrorSometimes I know who I see and that is meOther times it is a stranger staring back at me.Where did the years go?When did my life become medication, therapy, support groups, and doctor’s appointments?Will I ever be who I...

The Give and the Take – Mental Health Group Support

Recently, I went to my first mental health support group meeting. I must admit I was nervous. What would people talk about? What would people think of me? Would I have to talk? If so, what would I say? Though I've never been afraid to speak my mind, this was...

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...

Remission – Is it a Good Thing?

Remission – Is it a Good Thing?

I think one of the less talked about aspects of Bipolar Disorder is what happens when one is stable. I mean we hear lots about both the depression side and the mania/hypomania side. But ,what about life as a stable person? Some call it remission. No depression and no...

What Goes on in my Head

Whilst away on holiday recently I became aware of the near-constant narrative that goes on in my head about food, weight, and appearance. This is my attempt at faithfully capturing the narrative in order to explore my eating issues which are, I am told, subclinical,...

Racing, Obsessive & Grandiose Thoughts

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder eleven years ago. Over the years, I have become familiar with my symptoms and I’m actually good at recognizing them for what they are (which is a good thing) and addressing them. One of the main issues I have always had are my...

Story Tradition

What is it about stories of past episodes in our life. We all love to tell them. The amazing thing is we retell and retell the same stories to our family and friends as if they constituted a fresh audience every time.My in-laws are well into their seventies and,...

Mental Health Stigma: My Story (Article 4 in the Stigma Series)

I get stigma on a very regular basis. This in turn severely limits, or even extinguishes, the support that I need. I’ve learned most people are not even aware when they’ve said something hurtful, damaging, or founded solely on falsehoods. People assume there is enough...

It’s just a day in my life

I can hear movement in the house as I lie in bed, trying to convince my mind and body that it is time to get up. The front door opening and closing as my partner leaves to take his regular walk across to the local newsagents, music coming from my daughter’s room, her...

Running Bipolar—The Effort to Chase Away Darkness and Manage Mania

I don't like running. To be honest, I began running out of vanity. My ten year high school reunion was coming up and I refused to look as if I'd just bore two children when I walked through that ballroom door so I started running. Walking just took too long. Since...

A Song About Lithium

Today I am focusing on Evanescence’s song Lithium. Lithium is a drug sometimes associated with bipolar disorder since it has been fairly successful in helping stabilize manic and depressive episodes. Lithium was first used to treat mania in 1970. Kay Jamison wrote...

But the little beast is still with me

I recently had cause to look back at the first ever blog post I wrote about my mental health. It’s called A Tale of Two Beasts, and it’s an exploration of the interplay between the feelings of anxiety and depression I was struggling with in April 2011. I wrote it just...

Smile It Helps

Let me first start by saying I am writing this blog from the John Hopkins Psychiatric Unit, in Baltimore, Maryland. They allow the patients to have their, IPAD, cell phone, and laptop. I decided to submit this blog because daily I find that even those individuals who...

A Little About Hope

I’m often asked what gave me HOPE through my darkest years and what gets me through rough patches today. There are several key techniques and practices that have helped me throughout the years, and I’m not hesitant to implement them today when I need them. Aside from...

Hypomanic Project Spending

I can always tell when I am dealing with renovation construction while in a hypomanic mood. It costs money, lots of it. My landscaping job started at $5000+-. Add a walkway and entrance pad of hand laid stone on a whim. $12,000+- total. Add an irrigation system...

A Conversation with Dr Black-Boot’s

“I shall be with you in a moment Henrietta”. Dr Black-Boot’s walks past, forced smile; giving others around her the impression, she is hurrying. I am not convinced.She enters a room to the right hand side of the waiting area, the small, claustrophobic duty room. I can...

Waiting Out The Storm: A Lesson From My Puppy

On a day filled with thunderstorms and torrential rains, we sit in the bedroom. Clementine, my 11 month old puppy, is curled in a ball at my feet. The television news warns viewers this storm could produce hail and possibly tornado activity. Stay inside! Take cover!...

Who am I

Each of us finds strength in our own way. There are many different ways, reasons, places and/or people to get our inspiration from. Sometimes it’s faith, sometimes it’s music. Maybe you find your solace in nature. I find my comfort in my faith. But it hasn’t always...

The Lone Tree- Part 2

Scott Inside Out’s last post about the lone tree (http://www.scottinsideout.com/2013/05/the-lone-tree-part-1/) focused on support. When I look at lone trees I also see that of choosing to live and really fighting for it. Trees that are located in areas with high...

How to Help Your Teenager With Learning Difficulties

We all know that the teen years are difficult. From growing pains to deciding their personal identity, it is easy to say that teens have a lot on their plate. However, teens with learning disorders have that times ten. Most parents notice the struggle happening, but...

Shame

I was introduced to a song the other day that hit home, and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. The song (with some lyrics below) touches on something that is not discussed in detail SHAME.I cannot begin to tell you even 17 years after my Bipolar diagnosis...

The Lone Tree- Part 1

Growing up, I would often notice lone trees by themselves while on roadtrips. I remember asking my parents how the tree survived on its own with no other trees around. And I remember feeling sorry for the tree! Kind of strange, I know, however kids come up with the...

I AM NOT BIPOLAR!

How we define ourselves is perhaps far more important than we wish to believe and has far-reaching consequences.Many of us naturally define ourselves by our gender, religion or ethnicity, by social class, occupation or educational attainments. Others find the roles...

Embracing Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder has been such a shameful and an incredibly misunderstood place for me. Full of false guilt, embarrassment and regret. Confusion, anger and sadness. And plenty of hurt. Until three weeks ago, it’s been my dark little secret for almost eleven years.I...

Keep On Trying

Ten years ago a dear friend of mine gave me a little book during my very first hospital stay called Keep on Trying which is centered around a kitten. I have been reminded of that book in many different ways over the last year through two dear friends. It has inspired...

It Gets Better

 I’ve been thinking a lot about my adolescence lately. This is partly because I’m continuing to delve into my past as I work on my memoir, and partly because both my children are now at ages at which I was battling bipolar pretty much single-handedly. It’s also...

Life before… Life After….and then After More

I was sitting around the other day thinking about how long it has been since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 18 and all that has happened since then. It’s quite interesting because I seem to remember my first inpatient stay still so vividly, but I...

How do I stop the slide?

Someone commented on the Scott Inside Out facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/scottinsideout2) a while ago that they’d like to know how to “stop the slide”. This is an excellent question! It refers the ability to stop from getting depressed when things are going...

Writing Angry

I don’t know about you but I have a serious problem, writing Angry. Doesn’t sound that bad right? Well for someone like me, a professed writer (blogger), it can be. It can put your life/career/hobby on hold for an extended amount of time. It can cause writers block....

What Mental Health Mean to Me

What Mental Health Mean to Me

Mental Health is hard to pin down. People with depression, anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and such aren't always as open as people with physical illnesses. For one reason, they don't feel as comfortable talking about their illness because of the treatment they...

Mother’s Day Tears

Mother’s Day Tears

I have the handprints in a frame. I have the popsicle jewelry box. I even have the photo calendar. What I don't have is my older son. But I can't have him. Not this year. For those of you who haven't been following my story, the short version is that my bipolar...

Blessing of Blind Spots

When a spouse, family member or friend points out something that you said or did wrong that you were not aware of, or a habit that does not serve you well (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201301/10-tools-change-hurtful-habits), how do you feel?...

Black Eye

Even though I was diagnosed as bipolar in the year 2000, it was something that I felt too embarrassed to talk about until fairly recently. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve been comfortable telling people besides family about my bipolar diagnosis. In my...

How do I drag myself out of the mud?

 On the Scott Inside Out - Natural Mental wellness facebook page last week, I asked what tips people would like to learn about in terms of bipolar disorder. And also what would give them the most value. Someone responded by wanting to know how "to get going...

ECT Treatments for Medication Resistant Depression

I have Bipolar Disorder 1 with medication resistant depression. At one point, I was taking up to five different medications just to control my Bipolar Disorder. It was horrible. I’d take a medication for a few months, then have to have the dosage increased or even...

Almost at the finish line

I apologize for my lack of posts for the past month. My professors have a tendency to pack all the exams at the beginning of the month and then I lose track of the times I need to submit entries in. On the brighter side, I am four weeks away from graduation.May...

Voltaire

 The most courageous decision you make each day is the decision to be in a good mood.I simply could not sleep last night. I tried, as we so often find ourselves doing, endeavouring to master and victoriously conquer the alluring and devilish seductress of sweet...

I Petcha I’ll Make You Feel Better

I Petcha I’ll Make You Feel Better

I have four cats. They are like my kids. I wake up every morning and go find each one and kiss them, after of course I kiss my husband! I grew up with dogs, and went through pets that taught responsibility, these were the guinea pigs, rabbits, and fish. Although...

A Mother’s Nightmare

I had been expecting the call. Finally, two and a half weeks ago it came. Not that I wanted it to come, but it didn't surprise me. Over the last couple years, I've expected it. And dreaded it too.When I first heard the news, I was remarkably calm. All business. What...

Happy Pills

Happy pills, I’ve got those happy pills…Recently I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Philippa Willetts, a blogger and tweeter who has just launched a new podcast called Converge. Philippa plans to use podcasts to look at various forms of activism and, as a...

Mental Illness Stigma: Myth vs. Fact (Article 1 in Stigma series)

The hardest part of living with a mental illness is the stigma that is in the world today. This unfortunate attitude makes living with these health issues so much worse than it needs to be. It creates feelings of shame, inferiority, failure and brokenness for the...

How can you push the boulder today?

Last week I was invited to an event dedicated to human resources and mental health. The audience was composed of professionals with knowledge in the HR and employments law fields; I was invited as an “expert by experience” in the field of mental health. The event was...

Bipolar Emotions

I have found that I ran the range of emotions over time in my bipolar existence. Some of them occurred despite my bipolar illness and some were the cause of it.Of major concern to me was a fear or feeling of doom or dread that took over my psyche when I was depressed....

Fear

Fear, something that affects everyone at some point in their lives. One of our first fears in life is usually the boogie-man in the closet as a child, or the monster under our beds. Some say, “A healthy dose of fear is a good thing.” I’m not sure where I stand on that...

My Wish for You

My wish for you today and every day after isTo know your true worthTo value yourselfTo treat yourself like you do othersTo be kind and gentle with yourself because you know you deserve itTo feel peace from your inner painTo know how strong you truly areTo understand...

Understanding the Ball of Yarn

Those of us with some form of Bipolar, understand how our minds work. Most of us are gifted with creativity that drives us, especially during manic times. But for those reading this who do not have Bipolar, the creative aspect of Bipolar may be a bit of a mystery....

Oh, how is my Bipolar I hear you ask?

As I recall somewhat hazily, nine months ago I decided to take a break from writing. Initially it was only going to be for a few short months. Just enough time to steady my increasingly chaotic moods, have some much needed time to myself and to enjoy more of my now...

To Tell or Not To Tell?

***The opinions below are mine personally and the experiences that I have had, everybody’s own situation is different***Originally, when I started writing my blog I created a pseudonym, Bipolar Betty. There are folks I have told about my mental illness and some I have...

Worry

Worry

Okay, I admit it. Worrying comes natural for me. In fact I will actually admit that at times I am addicted to worrying. As I progressed from parenthood to grandparenthood my worrying accelerated. When my babies laed cuddled in the warmth of blankets, I worried that...

This Is Me

I’m taking a page out of the bp Magazine for this month’s article. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with this publication or if you personally receive it. I have a subscription and when I get mine in the mail, I read it from cover to cover.One of the sections...

Would You Choose to Opt Out of Bipolar Disorder?

Would You Choose to Opt Out of Bipolar Disorder?

I’m writing a book about my life. In my research I watched a documentary called The Stephen Fry Story – The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (Click here for the documentary - 2 episodes of 1 hr. each). It’s a fascinating portrait of BPD. It can help those...

Friends-A Bipolar Perspective

Although I put family and my beloved spouse in a different place, I was just thinking of all my varied friendships so I thought I would comment on them and show how a bipolar lifestyle works in:Being a good Catholic boy, serving on the altar until eighteen, I looked...

Getting Past the “Put it Offs” and Back to Living

Does your life revolve around put it offs, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” “I’ll get to that next week.” Well for probably the past 8 months mine has. About 8 months ago I got out of my first relationship in over 5 ½ years. It had only lasted about 6 months. But it was a good...

Pregnancy and Mental Illness

This issue is close to heart. Mental illness/Bipolar vs. pregnancy. To conceive or not conceive? The odds of having a child also with a mental illness? What are the medication risks? Because of so many facts that go into these issues, and I could write for days, I...

You make it through this because you are me and I was you

Over the last 6 months I have been pondering a lot about coming of age in the mental health system. Many times I thought of how many different stages I went through and how I would have loved to know during each stage in my coming into adulthood and later that...

Valentine’s Day

A day of love.Flowers.Cake.Chocolate.But what does Valentine Day really signify?A day where you open your heart to someoneSomeone you admire.Someone you always wish the best for.Someone who has been there for you thin and thick.Why not this year, you open your hearts...

The Twists and Turns of Bipolar Disorder

Days are filled with ups and downs. At moments paralyzed from fear, anxiety and depressive negative thoughts. While at other times feeling driven and focused thanks to medication that appears to work for a few hours each day to pull me out of the darkness that I am...

How Forgiveness Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

How Forgiveness Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

This is the final article in, what’s turned out to be, a series on How Bipolar Disorder has Been Changed for Me. If you haven’t read the first three they are: 1. How Journaling has Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me 2. How Food has Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me 3. How...

Depression- The Misunderstood Mood Disorder

Depression- The Misunderstood Mood Disorder

Below is a link to a Depression Quiz. You might want to take it then come back here for more information about Depression - The Misunderstood Mood Disorder.Depression Quiz"Depression is one of the most tragically misunderstood words in the English language. Why? The...

5150 to Meet Britney Spears

When I saw Britney Spears on the news on a gurney with paramedics, sirens blaring, a team of policemen, two helicopters, chaos, and a lot of paparazzi and she was placed on a 5150 my heart was breaking and tears filled my eyes. I said to myself, “Oh my God! Even a pop...

MY experience with ECT

As far as I am concerned , electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the most controversial treatment I have received. In 1991, I was hospitalized for six months. I am a very compliant patient suffering from rapid cycling bipolar disorder. If recommended by a doctor I am...

Conquest

In a week, I will begin my last semester as an undergraduate student.I am taking my last three classes to graduate with bachelors in chemistry.A degree that not only help me further my dreams of becoming a doctor, but the thoughts that I’ve conquered something.I have...

Approaching someone with Bipolar Disorder

I asked for topic suggestions on my Facebook page, and this one that came up. Someone asked, “How do you approach a person with bipolar disorder if you are non-bipolar”. I found this quite interesting. It makes me wonder, why would you approach a person with bipolar...

Health and the New Year

A person may set goals and resolutions for the New Year. It may be regarding a habit that they are trying to break. Sometimes it may be to make an improvement in physical well-being, such as healthier eating, weight loss, or exercise. Additionally, it may include...

A Swing in Time

In this new year, I am resolving to track my emotions better...Not because emotions are my enemy or anything like that. Maybe a better word to use is I want to appreciate the subtle changes in my emotions more.This is not a new thought of course, but it came to me...

2013: The Year of Intentions, Not Resolutions

In the United States, the New Year is traditionally a time to reflect upon aspects of self-improvement. Resolutions made as part of a commitment to a lifestyle change are often broken because they are not clearly defined and well-organized. According to a 2007 study,...

2013 2nd Place Essay Winner

By Deirdre Zoe Bipolar disorder is a brain illness that causes unusual fluctuations in a person’s mood (Weinreb, 2013). However, as Weinreb notes the mood fluctuations that bipolar sufferers experience are sometimes so severe that it can impact their work performance,...

It is Always a War

By Parag Kappor Bipolar disorder is a challenge faced by people around the world. The stigma has already ruined too many lives. A great passage from the novel Ender’s Game, perfectly describes the situation: There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will...

It is a NEW YEAR!

So, the New Year rolls around, and suddenly everyone’s talking about getting healthy. After living through another year of struggling to keep my moods stable, my side-effects manageable and my weight from spiraling, I have had to ask myself what “healthy” means to me...

Fresh and New

January... The month of new beginnings and fresh starts. The slate is wiped clean of all past doings and the hope for a better tomorrow is so thick you can slice it right out of the air and serve it for dinner! Then what? When the bloom of change begins to whither and...

The Word of the Year

Every year, instead of making a resolution, one of my good friends chooses a word to live by and grow with in the upcoming year. She inspired me to do the same.. . .Healthy [hel-thee] adjective: in good condition; a state of complete physical, mental, and social...

How Positive Thinking Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

How Positive Thinking Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

This is the third article in, what’s turned out to be, a series on How Bipolar Disorder has Been Changed for Me. If you haven’t read the first two they are:1. How Journaling has Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me2. How Food has Changed Bipolar Disorder for MeJournaling...

Flying Home with a Sinking Feeling

I'm so tearful. I'm embarrassed sitting here at the gate waiting for a plane that will take me away.I cannot even begin thinking, much less speaking, about returning to SO MUCH UNCERTAINTY...without eyes brimming and overflowing. People sitting around me must think...

Every Yin has its Yang!

While fishing through my old journals and day planners I came across something that I wrote on January 22nd of 2010:Every yin has its yang….literally!I just tested this theory out. I was looking for my coffee mug and was starting to become frustrated. I saw there was...

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