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2012 3rd Place Essay Winner

By Muslim Hasan We have often heard about how advanced and superior the world will be in the future. Much has been talked, written and filmed on how better a place it would evolve to be then; advancements in technology, knowledge and everything in general would lead...

Movements Towards the Light for People with Bipolar

By Elga Theresia All of us have perceptions on seeing things. However, our perceptions are not always consistent with the reality. Finding characteristics distinguishing people from other member of society who we regard as ‘normal’, we often stigmatize them. Stigma is...

My World is Your World

By Genevieve Green I walk into class, my shield a thick blue binder filled with my countless ideas and thoughts; my nature in disorganized paper form.  Inside hide the pictures of relief- Cobain, Poe, Whitman, Twain. Others. Success stories. Reminders of what is...

My World

People used to just say I was weird or eclectic or something like that. No one had a clue what was going on, including myself. I was probably the least aware of what was going on in my head or in the real world. What is the real world anyway? Is my perception of...

Normal is not Normal

Four newly decorated walls and a grey floor. A bed with the headboard central to one wall upon which I sit. Next to me is a bedside cabinet with a book on it. To my left is a window. In the corner opposite me to my left is a wardrobe with a few of my clothes in and...

How to Eavesdrop on the Mood Disorder Conferences

If you’ve explored the International Bipolar Foundation website, you’ve noticed that we encourage those diagnosed with bipolar disorder or depression to explore—even study-- these disorders. Armed with knowledge, the informed patient feels far more empowered when it...

Calling the Cops on a Suicidal Loved One . . . An Admission

I called the cops on a distant relative once, after he told his mother and sister that he had nothing to live for, that he felt close to no one and that going to the desert to ride his ATV held no pleasure anymore. He went to the door, telling them they may never see...

Side effects or Chosen effect?

Recently I discovered that the medication I've been on since 2008 (Epilim) causes a side effect (cysts in ovary) that is somewhat worrisome given the results of a recent health screening (I have a few cysts that are a few cms in size) and my maternal family...

The Inevitable Christmas Post

This year, Christmas is going to be a low key affair. My children will be spending it with their dad (by tradition, we take turns). My step-daughters are both at overseas universities, and have decided that with Christmas holidays short and air fares high, they will...

Lucifer’s Delight!

Lucifer’s Delight!

The impending doom is upon me! I thought that perhaps he had forgotten about me, lost the mysterious, but essential keys to my Soul - whilst in his stupor, the jangling of metal against the greasy drain, its sound unwelcome to my ears, as he staggers about the endless...

Lucifer’s Delight!

Lucifer’s Delight!

The impending doom is upon me! I thought that perhaps he had forgotten about me, lost the mysterious, but essential keys to my Soul - whilst in his stupor, the jangling of metal against the greasy drain, its sound unwelcome to my ears, as he staggers about the endless...

Parentofabipolarchilditis

Not on the level of schizophrenia or DID by any means. He's not hearing voices and it's still him when these things happen but it's not really "him." It's almost like there are 2 versions of my son. That may be the whole point of this blog today but the title... well...

Better Than a Dead Cat

Mania is the key defining characteristic of Bipolar Disorder that makes it so very special and unique from all the other disorders out there, so it’s not shocking that I get asked to describe what it feels like quite often. Just the other day a well-meaning...

Keep Your Compliments to Yourself Please

Compliments … words most people adore. Words that make people blush. Words that make people feel good about themselves. Compliments are confidence boosters … mood lifters … reminders that we are awesome. Who wouldn’t want a compliment from time to time?Well, I’ll tell...

Initial Assessment

 A couple of weeks ago, I had an initial assessment with a psychologist from my Community Mental Health Team. The purpose of the session was to look at how talking therapies might be of benefit to me in helping me manage my bipolar disorder. We started by talking...

DUELING DUAL DIAGNOSIS

On March 5, 2005, I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by a staff psychiatrist in my first, and what I hope will be my last, mental hospital. This diagnosis was the beginning of my real life, a life of freedom I never knew existed. Of...

Book Shop

I always knew that there was something different about me, though for many years I wasn’t quite sure what it actually was. I knew the difference was to with my Brain, my faithful grey matter that appeared to operate at a different level to other people and in a...

The 12 Steps of Christmas

“My name is Sarah and I am a Holiday-holic”.Yes, I love the holidays. In fact, I probably love them too much. I am so emotionally over-invested that I sometimes get overwhelmed, creating a horrible disconnect between the fantasy and the reality.The truth is that I...

The Bipolar Roller Coaster

I have spent a lot of time talking about Bipolar Disorder and what it means to me and my son. I get asked a lot how he's doing or how his day was and my answer is usually never the same thing twice. It's hard to explain to people who aren't around it, who don't...

Medication, Communication and Emotion

When is a good time for my friends to ask about how I'm doing with my meds? Or whether I've been taking them constantly?I asked myself these questions recently because my colleagues know about my condition and they often ask me about my meds. While I appreciate...

Guilt Trip

Recently I have been watching a series of television programmes by Derren Brown on Channel 4 in the UK called ‘The Experiments’. Each episode has explored a facet of human nature: the first asked whether it was possible to hypnotise an individual into assassinating a...

A Letter to Amy Winehouse

For Amy and other women who carry chaos.If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.-Zora Neale Hurstonthis flame and flickerwas not meant to last this longwe were not meant to chase the sun this oftenuncertain, as we are, that the days...

Let’s Stop This Charade

I write a lot about Hollywood. Why? Well, I think it's because I love t.v. shows and movies, or maybe because I have friends and relatives living in L.A. and work in the entertainment industry. Or maybe it started because as a baby, I was exposed to movie projectors...

The Gift

I used to call it a curse and I hated myself for it. Having bipolar used to give me shame and stigma. However, what I didn’t know is that it would transform my life into abundance, strength and hope. I was only eighteen years old when I got diagnosed. That was...

What to do when you are suddenly confronted with news of death?

As someone with a bipolar diagnosis, I do feel very deeply and I used to wonder if that was the problem. I realize that it's okay to feel deeply and even to show the emotions (I mean, Jesus knew he was going to call Lazarus out from the tomb, but He still let Himself...

The Princess in the Tower

I’ve always loved fairytales. I was lucky that my parents supplied me with a lot of books when I was growing up. I had volumes of the classic stories collected by the Brothers’ Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson, but I was also given stories of Tzar’s palaces and...

Where’s My Doctor

I expect certain things from “my” psychiatrist. When I write “my” psychiatrist, I refer to the fact that I have paid for the services of a psychiatrist in private practice, and feel that I have purchased certain aspects of what is hopefully high quality health care....

A Story and a Starfish

Jake just turned 12. He lives with me full time and spends time with his dad on the weekends and most holidays. He was a very happy and easy baby and hit all of his developmental milestones early or on time. During his toddler years, we hit the terrible 2's and I...

Stigma

Stigma. One very important issue we, as a community, try to battle. It's the negative assumptions associated with bipolar and those who have been diagnosed with the illness. I personally have experienced instances where certain assumptions were made about me once I...

Bipolar Disorder and Weight Gain

I hear about this so much, people hate the weight gain side effects of medication. I will be honest with you, I hate it too. However, I have learned the hard way. The most impulsive and manic thing I have ever done is get liposuction after gaining 36lbs from...

Who’s the parent here? Raising kids when you have bipolar

“Are you a bit manic, Mum?” says my 11-year-old suspiciously. OK, so maybe I’m a little... bouncy, although only just elevated enough to be considered clinically hypomanic. But nothing escapes the scrutiny of my children these days.My last major episode was between...

Sadness Returns Quietly

So this sadness returns quietly. Always quietly. No great trumpeting or horn blast. No drum circle or full bodied gospel wail. No stunning metaphor or dazzling simile. There is only this throbbing and distant and empty and quiet. Always this white noise of rush and...

MANIA AND “HYPER-RELIGIOSITY”

Just this past week, I traveled with my wife and our seven-month old son to Winona, Minnesota, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Viroqua, Wisconsin to share my experiences of living with bipolar disorder with four different audiences. At the end of two of the presentations, I...

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 water and...

Is Bipolar Disorder the New Black?

Gosh I hope not. In the last few years, the headlines in newspapers and magazines have been flooded with reports of celebrities having bipolar disorder, criminals having bipolar disorder, even headlines of missing persons who have bipolar disorder. There was Britney...

You Need To Talk

When I woke up that morning in hospital, ten years ago, she stood there. The psychologist I started to see about three months prior to becoming manic for the first time. I went to see her, because deep inside myself it felt as if something was “not right”, but neither...

My Story

Putting baby locks on the kitchen cabinets to protect her toddler was one thing, but locking away the steak knives from her seven year old was not what Muffy Walker ever imagined would be necessary. Walker also never imagined she would need to use her skills as a...

About Me

I am not mean I am nice. I’m thankful for the things I have and do. I like myself so I don’t want to change. I am a lot like those around me. I have feelings, emotions too.Sometimes I might get angry, upset, surprised or excited. My emotions are built up inside of me....

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