Our Blog

Inner-healing, Spirituality and Self-love

New Years is a time for a new beginning and a fresh start. It is a time to let go of the pain from our past and focus on today, now, and the future. I have a lot of pain from my past, depression, fear, psychosis, anxiety, emotional eating, and low self-esteem. 2013 is...

The End

We’ve finally made it to the end of the year.First of all, I want to congratulate you for making it through one more year.Glad you are alive.Glad you’ve made it through 2012.Having bipolar disorder… you really don’t know when you will just snap.Snap and just do what...

Opportunities, Resolutions, & Wellness in the New Year

As a New Year, 2013, is just days away there are two things that immediately pop into my mind. First is reflection of the past year and how I would like next year to be different. Second, it starts raining weight loss commercials on the television. For me, having...

Dining Out

Being bipolar we have a tendency to indulge. We indulge in shopping, adventures, hobbies, friends, worries, cares, causes and even eating out. Sometimes we eat out at very nice places. Often, we just eat anywhere. We swipe that card and then load up on what will...

Health and Wellness in the New Year

For me, 2012 has been a year of great success, immense loss, incredible opportunity and continual change. I accomplished things that I once doubted I could, lost people and things that I had expected to have for years to come, was presented with chances to do things...

The Mayans May Be On To Something!

The Mayans made a prediction about tomorrow 12.21.12. They claim this will be the "end of time". This is being interpreted as being the end of the world, or perhaps the end of the world as we know it. My question is, is this really a bad thing? Think about it. Imagine...

Untreated Mental Illness

An untreated mental illness can be difficult for not only the person who is suffering from the illness but also for the people who come into contact with the person, most commonly the people closest to the person. On the rare occasion a mental illness that a person is...

Happy New Year to Everyone!

Happy New Year to Everyone! I hope everyone had a good Christmas. If not I hope you made it through. This month we are suppose to talk about Heath. When I think of Health the first thing I think of is of course Mental Health. Probably the first thing to do to be...

On Motherhood & Mental Illness

 On Motherhood"You're a really good mother. Your son is very lucky to have such an attentive mom."These words were said to me yesterday by a pediatrician. Because I've been sick for most of my son's life, I feel insecure about the mother that I am most of the...

Health Tips and Resolutions for the New Year

I’m going easy on myself in the New Year because it will be the first of many in which I have admitted and will responsibly addressed my disorder. So here’s what I’ve decided to focus on: • TIP: Improve my diet by eating the colors of the rainbow. Remember that...

Sometimes the house is dirtier

Six days stuck to my bed resulted in a 4-hour wait for a med-check at Urgent Psychiatric Care (UPC) in downtown Phoenix. I resumed the same idiocy of pretending I was sick instead of admitting I was in a downturn. In my defense, at least it only took 6 days for me to...

Rejuvenate

This past year my world was filled with quite a few life altering events. Last January I was put on short-term disability at my job because of my bipolar disorder. While trying to get better, I struggled a lot with the decision of leaving my husband, who was in St....

Ups and Downs of 2012

Ups and Downs of 2012

2012 had been a rough year for me physically and mentally. I was in the hospital for psychiatric evaluation at least four times. I had a couple of endoscopes, a hospitalization for my back and even a couple of back procedures including a radio frequency ablation on my...

A Mixed Episode

A mixed episode…my latest road-trip from one pole to the other…with road foodFor extra fun these last three days--I've been experiencing symptoms of a mixed episode. I am wildly rosy and ready to take charge...and simultaneously weeping uncontrollably. And unable to...

Mental Illness & Addiction

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few months after turning 18 years old in 2003. While that seems so long ago, one would think 10 years is enough time to figure out how to perfectly manage my illness and life. The truth of the matter is, I am still learning and...

My Letter to You

Some of us are so far from what we imagined our lives would be like; Some have exactly what they pictured; Some are trying to do everything they can to escape the constant reminder that we failed to meet our childhood expectations and dreams of adulthood. No matter...

The Best Life of My Life

As I lay in my bed in the early stages of a cold I cry. For about a year I have been trying to gain the strength to stay awake and be in the mood to go to a club in the United States with my husband, as my husband is new to the states as of February. Now this may seem...

Regaining Stability

The latest that has been going on with me is the tumultuous depression that has spiked in my life due to our (my husband and myself) living situation. I am thirty-one years old. My husband is twenty-eight. We are living in the basement of my parents’ home. This...

How Food Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

How Food Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

Controlling our Bipolar Disorder is a full time job, even during the good times. We have meds, psychotherapy, and other standard treatments. However, have you considered food as a form of treatment? I've discovered there are certain foods that help me keep the Bipolar...

“FINALS! FINALS! GET YOUR FINALS HERE!”

Finals are the dreading exams we take at the end of each semester that not only covers four months worth of material in 50 questions, but covers a large sum of our overall grades. The intense pressure to do well on finals is a nightmare for any college student, but...

It’s that Time of Year

This is the time of year that we become reflective and think about all the reasons why we have become thankful.I know I do it. I see it all over the Internet on Facebook and Twitter. People posting why they are thankful. The Internet by-ways are practically flooded...

Bipolar Lullaby

Counting sheepChase the thoughtsAnd shutdown my racing mind.Counting the flock just doesn’t stopThose endless thoughts of mine.Enter baa baa black sheepIn a small prescription form.He comes in twos, but I make him fourWhen I crack him always in half,Or grind him up in...

Don’t just do something, sit there

Several weeks ago I saw my psychiatrist and admitted that I had been indulging in activities that I knew were bad for me, because they supported or nurtured my hypomania. My psychiatrist reminded me that I was playing with fire (since for my, hypomania can be a...

Thoughts from One to Another

Sometimes when I walk the world I wish you knew me.I also wish I knew me too.Only memories plague my mind.But, the memories don’t tell me who I am or whether I ever knew who I was.It’s just blank.I am more than I see.I am stronger than I think.I am more knowledgeable...

Relapse…can we really choose the path with which it takes?

Relapse…can we really choose the path with which it takes?

Relapse is both a fear and a loitering thought in the minds of many recovering from any illness or disease. I know for me personally, I always feared relapse of my bipolar disorder and my self-injury. The longer I went doing well; the fear joined the loitering thought...

Removing the Shrapnel

"Don't you dare, for one second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are."- Jo Blackwell-PrestonI knew there was a problem when this quote made me cry.. . .My friends and family knew I was bipolar. They knew I'd need help when I...

How Journaling Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

How Journaling Changed Bipolar Disorder for Me

In my first post I mentioned that there was a time when my mental health was in rapid decline. It was at this point when I realized that I had to change something before it was too late. But what? And, how? I didn’t know the answers. I needed some information....

Ignorance is Bliss; Or is it??

 In my personal experience, I have found that the absolute worst saying that has ever come about in the English language is “Ignorance is Bliss.” For, truly, what are you really saying about yourself? If you boil that saying down to the essence of what it really...

If I was Strong Enough to Pull Myself Up, You Can Do it Too!

There was a time when my mental health got to the point I had memory gaps. I was in a rapid decline and aware of it. I had a disabled boyfriend who took care of me, instead of the other way around. I didn’t trust doctors anymore. I knew if I didn’t pull myself up, no...

Hey Batter, Batter … Swing!

"No one knows about a swing better than someone who has Bipolar Disorder.Mood swings are the major part of my life. I’m either on my way up. Up. On my way down. Down. Or I’m “stable” waiting and not knowing if my next swing will be up or down.I’ve experienced some...

Journal Keeping, Lists, etc.

Those of us in this war on our disorder, facing each battling day with all the challenges we face can relate to what I'm about to say. Growing up my mom always prompted me to make a list of the things I need to do for each day. My grandmother always encouraged me to...

Grey’s Anatomy – Teaching Hospitals and Psych Wards

An average of ten million viewers tune into Grey’s Anatomy a week, and in a recent episode we saw a glimpse into what the producers and writers of this acclaimed series think about inpatient psych treatment.Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 Episode 2:“I said no more damn...

The Agony of Accuracy

My usual reaction when I hear that a film or a book has a bipolar character is to cringe. Bipolar is a condition that evokes interest, sometimes rather prurient interest, in others and I’m very much aware how much public attitudes towards bipolar are shaped by the...

You Are Not Alone

Never let another person's opinion of yourself be your view of yourself. Winston Churchill said, "We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls." No one can take that away from you. Don't be afraid to let your voice be heard. You are not alone....

When you do everything right, and things still seem wrong…

Bipolar’s an interesting diagnosis. It’s sometimes seen as enviably “cool” or “sexy” by people with more run of the mill diagnoses such as depression or anxiety. It’s serious, yet it’s nowhere near as stigmatising a diagnosis to receive as, say, schizophrenia. This is...

Support

This may not hit home with all of you, but it is whats on my mind lately. Often we hear in movies and hospital shows the common line, "science can only come so far, and then there's God." I don't know about the rest of you, but I put a lot of trust in God, especially...

Depression and the Plot of Your Life

Sometimes you’re not depressed, you’re just not happy. And given the world we live in with stress, and the realities of the plot of our lives, it’s hard to decipher the difference between chemical depression and self-inflicted depression.How do you know if you are...

Mental Illness and Dementia Link – Is there cause for concern?

I have Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Panic Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and a slew of other medical issues not related to psychology. However, I have become concerned about developing Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia as I grow...

I Love You, but I Hate Myself

I used to believe in the saying “you can’t really love someone until you love yourself”. I used to also believe in the idea “coping skills are productive if they help you deal with a life situation”. Well, at age 27, I can definitely say I don’t believe in either...

Remembering my first time…

I have a hard time truly disclosing to anyone how I am doing on the inside. Mood charts were very vague for me and the more I got used to the typical mood rating conversation, the easier it was to not disclose my thoughts and feelings, especially if I wasn’t directly...

What was going on when we were first diagnosed?

What was going on when you were first diagnosed? Do you remember your symptoms? Do you remember where you were and what happened? Why or how you ended up seeing a Doctor or Psychiatrist? Was your family involved? Or were you alone?I first noticed that I saw the robins...

Recovery- Is that word allowed?

Bipolar and Recovery. Two words that don’t normally go together in many circles. But, new research has determined that “recovery” is attainable for those with Bipolar and possibly other mental illnesses.What does it take? Is there a magic pill? Why haven’t we heard of...

Mental Illness Can Damage The Brain…

 “Mental Illness can damage the brain. You can't just wait for it to go away. The longer you wait to get treatment, the worse it will get and the greater chance that prescription drugs won't work.” That is a direct quote from a June 2012 Readers Digest article on...

Depression & Clothes

Depression & Clothes

I went to an all girls catholic high school, which means one thing: uniforms. I loved uniforms. I may have been the only person in my class who actually liked wearing the same shirt and skirt every day.On the weekends I was faced with my real clothes. I would go to...

The Importance of Strong Toes

The Importance of Strong Toes

My baby is almost a year old now and I’m still unstable. This statement confuses my family and friends because on the outside, I seem like myself again – I shower and wear make-up on a regular basis, my sense of humor is back and I’ve gone back to work. I’m...

Unsupervised Trips to Publix

Some people may not have the privilege of having a spouse like I do to balance my tendencies to over spend, particularly on gourmet cooking. I started a blog with a friend of mine called Dinner Bromantic. We get together weekly to make some delicious food. We have...

The Tipping Point

Last Tuesday, I was telling my friend Anna that generally speaking, I am quite self-aware when it comes to my bipolar moods. I have never been able to understand it when people say things like, “I was depressed, but I didn’t even know it”, because I am so acutely...

My freshman year of college… Can I have a redo please?

It is August, and around this time for the last 9 years, I think back to 2002 and getting ready to start my freshman year of college in a new state, new town, and not knowing a single soul. Little did I know how life changing or should I say life altering and an...

Is a new beginning really possible?

In 2003, I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, a few months after my 18th birthday. I had many other diagnoses during the early years of my diagnosis including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and bulimia. In 2011, I...

Single Parent

 Being a parent is hard. Let’s face it, there is no instruction manual. Goodness knows we’re all going to make our share of mistakes. It’s just a part of life. As hard as parenting is, usually you have a partner to help you thru the tough times. It’s even harder...

Tacos!

I’ve never been suicidal but have certainly acted suicidal. It’s part of my disease. It’s kinda ridiculous when I break it down. My thought process is somewhat funny to me. I think to myself, I have wayyy to much to offer in this lifetime and so much to do so how can...

Why I Stopped Drinking

It's been 31 days since my last drink. Our doctors tell us not to drink. Even Lil' Wayne raps in his special guest appearance on the Weezer song "Can't Stop Partying" - "..party like tomorrow is my funeral, gotta stop mixing alcohol with pharmaceuticals." I tried...

Dreams

Dreams

This one is for any of you who have been hospitalized. Have any of you ever had the dream of being either back in the hospital or having the dream of family members threaten to admit you? This dream would occur for me more frequently when I drank alcohol. I steer...

Stigma

My family has always been very supportive and had my best interests in mind. Only my best friends know that I have bipolar disorder. When it comes to stigma, ever since I got out of the hospital in 9th grade I thought there was something wrong with me. My stepmom...

TO BE HONEST…LIES!

I just cancelled my appointment with my psychiatrist this week cause I just don’t feel like it. But I never feel like it, for the most part dread it, and the sad thing is after it’s done I feel great. Well, most of the time. To be honest, I haven’t always been that...

You’re Bipolar? Welcome to High School

I’ve always been open about being bipolar. Except at work. And now I know why.Last year I published a tell all book about my journey of manic depression and my experiences working in an inpatient psych ward in a county hospital in Los Angeles, CA. When the county...

Nocturnal?

I hate everything about mornings. Especially the waking up part. Also not a fan of birds chirping. Or sunshine. I’m not sure why I’m this way. I just tend to perk up at night, say around 7 p.m. That’s when I usually get a burst of energy and the desire to do...

Today I’m feeling better….

I went to my psychiatrist Friday for a follow-up from my initial visit a month ago. I’d had high hopes with the Wellbutrin/anxiety pill prescription combo. I felt better…happy…for a couple weeks. Then, depression set in. Like the can’t-get-out-of-bed variety. It...

The Side Effects of Side Effects

“I’d rather been skinny and crazy than fat and sane.”And that is no joke. We talk about side effects of our medications but what about the side effects we get from the side effects of your medication. I’m talking about fat. Yup. A woman’s favorite word to hate:F A...

Clarifications

On April 14th 2011, Catherine Zeta Jones came out to the world thatshe suffered from Bipolar II Disorder. Merely a year later, on June15, 2012, Jones made an appearance on ABC’s The View and Joy Beharinquired about her experience of Bipolar Disorder. Zeta...

Insomnia

Insomnia….oh that blasted, dreaded word but there you have it what’s keeping others, like me, awake at night. So what is insomnia, what does it mean exactly? In layman’s terms…. You can’t sleep. More officially it means….the difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep,...

New Psychiatrist

I saw a new psychiatrist recently. He is wonderful. Also, I’ve been officially diagnosed as bipolar II. I suspected as much, but never had specific confirmation. I’ve been feeling much better on my new medication, so I have hope. There are still a few side effects,...

What do you do all day?

I was the first of my friends to decide to start a family. I was only 22, and most people in my social circle were a long way from settling down, let alone having a baby. They tried to be supportive during the pregnancy and in the early days of parenthood, but I could...

The Five Point Plan

I have horrible taste in men, and it’s really getting old. I’m not gonna lie. I spent most of my twenties in a sudo manic high so lost a lot of years trying to find true love. I managed to scare off most of the men in New York and Los Angeles with my intensity which...

Are you feeling the effect of side effects?

Are side effects getting you down? Almost every medication out there comes with some sort of side effect. As people with mental illness we take our share of medication on a routine basis so we are very well aware of all the different changes that can occur. With each...

The Ugliness of a Beautiful Disaster

They’re the new catch phrases, book titles, songs … They’re intriguing and explain so much with so little.Things like, “Hot Mess” or “Beautiful Disaster.” They’re contradictory yet perfectly possible in every way.Right?Can one be a “Hot Mess?”I guess so.It’s sticking...

When You’re a Stranger

‘People are strange, when you’re a stranger.Faces look ugly, when you’re alone...’So sang Jim Morrison in 1967 in his song about drug abuse and paranoia. Now, although the song is about paranoia and I have suffered seriously with it eight years ago that is not what...

Anxiety – Which Disorder is it, anyway?

It starts with a feeling of restlessness. I can’t sit still in one place too long. I try to listen to music. Read. Surf the Internet. Nothing catches my interest. The restlessness grows.Am I hungry?Am I thirsty?I try satiating both. Nothing helps.Now, I’m getting...

Pregnancy and Bipolar Disorder

To Be or Not To Be....THAT is the Question.......This year, I had several friends celebrating Mother's Day for the very first time with their newborns. I was so happy and excited for them; starting a family and moving into the next phase of their life. However, I...

Mental Health Month

 What a great idea, I thought. I’d write a blog for Mental Health week and especially for Mental Health blogging day, May 16, 2012.Then, I considered what I’d blog about. There are so many topics out there to learn more about and to give information.However, I...

Maybe It’s Just Me

Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (I really hate the name) has caused me to have an identity crisis. How much of this is the disorder, and how much of it is “just me,” my personality? How do I know the difference? Some of the side effects could just be personality...

Bipolar Motherhood: What it Means to be “Mom Enough”

They come in threes.1. I spun out over Time Magazine’s controversial article Are You Mom Enough? extolling the virtues of attachment parenting, AKA, baby-centered parenting, which includes breastfeeding well into toddler years, co-sleeping and a strong distain for...

Mental Health Awareness Month

I would like to say how happy I am to be blogging at the International Bipolar Foundation! Happy is a very interesting word because it indicates that you're in a good place...The International Bipolar Foundation IS such A GOOD place. Especially if you deal with what...

The other side of the desk.

I am one of those people who feels the need to make a difference. I hate to stand by and see others suffer. So it's no surprise that I tend to be drawn to the kind of jobs known as "the helping professions." Over the last 15 years, as well as bringing up two children,...

I can’t cry anymore

In the words of Sheryl Crow, I can’t cry anymore. At least, not for now. Please. I’m exhausted. Crying is draining, although it feels strangely good at the same time. Some of it has to do with “being a girl,” but more of it has to do with other stuff – medication...

Where to begin?

Well, first, I’d like to give a shout-out to Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara. I spent a better part of today crying, and no smudging, no running, nothing! So that was a bright, shiny, silver lining. Other than that…well, one silver lining per day is better than nothing,...

Where to begin?

Well, first, I’d like to give a shout-out to Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara. I spent a better part of today crying, and no smudging, no running, nothing! So that was a bright, shiny, silver lining. Other than that…well, one silver lining per day is better than nothing,...

Patience and Friendship

Patience means...Not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waitingI read this recently...and here are some thoughts I have on what I am waiting for...I read this recently...and here are some thoughts I have on what I am waiting for...1. I...

Bipolar Disorder and Dreaming

Everyone dreams right? We all have wishes of what could be or what we’d like or even whom. However, dreaming when we should be sleeping is something different. And for those of us with Bipolar Disorder, dreaming can become a minefield we maneuver in our sleeping...

Self-perpetuated Disappointment and the Queen of its Kingdom … Me!

 Self-perpetuated Disappointment and the Queen of its Kingdom … Me!There once was a girl who grew older every year. Each year her birthday snuck up behind her and screamed, “Boo!” then ran away. Each year she convinced herself she would punch that monster in the...

Super Structure

A few nights ago my wife and I were talking, as we have a want to do. It’s very rare that we will sit and watch TV together; we prefer to talk... and laugh. Anyway, as part of this conversation my wife asked, ‘Do you know what you bring to my life?’‘Trouble’ I...

Let’s Talk About Meds

DISCLAIMOR: The very nature of medication is controversial. I am not a doctor. I do not have MD after my name. I am merely a woman living with Bipolar 1 Disorder. This is my experience with medication. These are my truths. In no way, shape or form will I ever give...

Initial Diagnosis

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder roughly twelve years ago. I wasn't remotely surprised when the kindly psychiatrist told me, as I already had a good grasp of psychiatry and I had had a good idea of what was wrong with me since adolescence, I say ‘wrong’ in the...

Friendship Exhaustion?

Recently, I took a huge nose dive in the roller coaster I like to call, My Illness. I thought I had everything under control, but by “under control” I really meant “hidden under the surface festering and stockpiling for the perfect moment to burst and destroy.” Boy...

Can I tell you a secret?

Can I tell you a secret?Do you promise that you will not tell?I don't want to be stable!Depression has been following me around for a while now, following, lurking and scurrying behind me like a sewer rat, waiting until my defences are weakened, my fortress is...

The Sorry Little Girl Who Cried, “Sorry, I’m Bipolar!”

There she was, gathering her sheep. Five, Ten, Fifty … oh why not make it 100 sheep. No need to be lazy! Suddenly a few sheep began wandering off. The little girl stared at the remaining 93 sheep and thought to herself, “It’s only a few sheep; no one will notice I...

That Stinkin’ Barrel

Barrel: OK, who's next?Me: Me, me, me!Barrel: OK, get on in.Me: Oh goodie. Lucky me, I thought I'd have to wait awhile to take another ride.Barrel: Oh no. You've got an e-ticket. You can keep going and going and going...February started with a wrist surgery that ended...

Passed Judgement

Laid in a hospital bed with a foreboding sense of unreality is where I found myself four years ago on this particular Thursday in March. I hadn’t yet been taken onto a ward and was in a small side room in A & E. It was surprisingly quiet given that it was a busy...

Burst The Silence

Last week, The Institute of Mental Health in singapore started a campaign called Burst The Silence - to encourage people to talk about mental illness.It made me think of when and why we choose to share our stories, those of us who have been touched by "mental...

Gratitude

It's simply amazing what gratitude can do for you and how it can enrich one's life. I am personally thankful for all of the amazing opportunities in my life. Despite being diagnosed with bipolar I have accomplished many things in my life. I have managed a...

Getting Any Psychiatric Diagnosis

Getting any psychiatric diagnosis inevitably leads to a lot of questions. Once someone has been given a clinical label, it’s not surprising that they begin to wonder: why do I have this disorder? What’s the prognosis? What are the treatment options? What will my...

I will be ok, I am always ok

 I am scared. Truly, I am frightened by the thought of my disease. At times it completely surrounds every part of my being. The depths of my heart scream out for help, just looking for the right moment to let go. I am wondering if this will ever go away. Do I...

Bootstraps

I’m writing from deep inside the rabbit hole. It’s truly a miracle that I’m even writing this, but I have something I really need to say.Here goes.I had a humongous Ganglion Cyst (I know, right? ewww) removed from my wrist a week ago. No biggie, right? I went under...

Can You See (The Real Me)?

Although neither end of the bipolar spectrum is ultimately, particularly pleasant – especially for a loved one of a bipolar sufferer – if you were to ask my wife Julie which, if she had to choose, would she prefer to deal with she would un-equivocally state...

Winter Soul

Dedicated to the winters of my soul - because hibernation is as much a part of life as hyper-nation :)I used to fear the crashNow I know it can be more like a deeper diveSee different thingsOr see things differentlyFeel differentlyOr feel nothing at allJust because I...

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