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Restarting When You Crash Hard

Restarting When You Crash Hard

In every one’s life there are moments when you feel like you will never be able to get up and live again. I had one of those moments in my life. During which I thought I was done with everyone. I had crashed hard. Harder than I ever did. It was a really bad time.It...

Mood Tracking During Therapy

Mood Tracking During Therapy

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

Paranoia

Dear friends,Have you ever felt like you just didn't know how to act in recovery? Were you worried about the actions you took may raise red flags to those around you? That pretty much sums up my entire year after my first hospitalization. Thankfully, I've only had two...

Bipolar Disorder Recovery – Don’t Forget Grief

Bipolar Disorder Recovery – Don’t Forget Grief

Life was moving along pretty well for me—that is until bipolar disorder found its way to my door.  From that point on things started to get very difficult.  At first I was hit with severe manic episodes only to fall down so low I found myself knocked down...

Yoga Helps Me to Connect the Dots

Yoga Helps Me to Connect the Dots

Yoga Helps Me to Connect the DotsLast month I pulled a muscle in my neck while reaching into the backseat at a stop light for a book my son had dropped and couldn’t reach. Well I couldn’t reach it either, apparently, injuring myself pretty badly. After dealing with...

The Prophet Elijah was Depressed

The Prophet Elijah was Depressed

Those of us who have a mental illness are sometimes told and also think that our mental illness is our fault because we lack faith.  This is not the case.  Mental illness is a biological disorder and can affect anyone.  Let me tell you a story found in...

Media and Mental Illness

            I recently read a blog post from the Huffington Post by a Ms. Natasha Tracy (1). Her post centered around a claim that portrayals of people with neurodiverse conditions in the media tends to focus on overly polarized...

The Dreads Arrival

Today, despite it being summer and my not having to rush my two girls to school, I woke up in a big 'ol funk.  At 5:00 a.m. our precocious Lucy, now a thirteen-week-old bundle of energy, acted as a canine alarm clock and woke me up.  She was raring to go on...

Four Reasons Why Yoga Makes Me Feel Better

Yoga makes me feel better! Here are some reasons why:1. Yoga helps me sleep better. Snooze. Boring. Boo. Who wants to talk about the importance of sleep at the very beginning of a blog? (Quick! Raise your hand!) Yoga, Restorative Yoga (passive, slow Yoga) in...

Putting First Things First

Information on the internet about bipolar disorder seems to be booming right now – that and everything else. Much of this information is coming from individuals like myself – moms that blog. There’s one problem with this: not only are moms inherently busy, but bipolar...

Putting First Things First

Information on the internet about bipolar disorder seems to be booming right now – that and everything else. Much of this information is coming from individuals like myself – moms that blog. There’s one problem with this: not only are moms inherently busy, but bipolar...

I am a Doer

I am a doer. I don’t like to sit around and watch things get done. I like to jump in with both feet and try my hardest to help out. This gets me in trouble sometimes as I end up with too much on my plate, but it’s just the way I am.Three years ago when I was diagnosed...

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

I had great aspirations to write a high-quality bipolar-themed blog post last weekend.  I envisioned typing a few paragraphs filled with a pearl of wisdom or two that I’ve learned since I started recovering from bipolar depression.It ain't gonna happen....

Resilience

I at first didn't even know how to spell the word, let alone understand the proper definition of it. But today, well today I made huge strides into my recovery. You see, the past two days have been rather rocky. No real particular reason why, perhaps too much caffeine...

Importance of Hospitalization

     I hope my readers are taking it day by day. Remember don’t ever let the light inside of you dim. This month’s topic I’m going to address is ”Why hospitalization is so important and what important and positive role does it play in a person’s...

Glove

Glove

When I was five years old, my father suffered a bipolar breakdown and was sent to a psychiatric institution. It started him on a long descent from top IBM salesman to homeless on the streets of Brooklyn some 20 years later. Our relationship followed a similar...

Removing Obstacles: An Overview

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

Mental Health Hero

Mental Health Hero

During this year’s Mental Health Awareness month I was thrilled to be selected as a “2014 Mental Health Hero” associated with PsychCentral’s popular Mental Health Humor column!  I was chosen for this honor by advocate/cartoonist/Psych Central columnist Chato...

Therapy: How to get the most out of it

Is this your first appointment with a new therapist? If this is the case, it will take a while for you to get to know the therapist and their style, as well as for them to get to know you. Therapy is useless if there’s not positive energy both ways.  Evaluate...

More than a Label

I have found one of the most difficult aspects of having a mental illness and specifically bipolar disorder, is realizing we are much more than a diagnosis.  In fact, buying into the whole idea of “I am bipolar” instead of believing “I have bipolar,” in my...

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

As I was sipping a hot cup of tea in a breezy evening, for the first time, I could feel the calmness in my soul as the wind touched my face. For so long, I had been struggling to feel this way. I had never felt this way. What was this calmness? I wondered. It was as...

A new mattress

This Monday I cried tears of joy for the first time in many years.  Probably since my diagnosis, thirteen years ago.  I didn’t even cry at my wedding, and my husband is everything to me.  So what made me weep openly with happiness?  A new...

I Have Bipolar Disorder

My name is Doreen. My psychiatrist says I have bipolar disorder. Some people say I don't have bipolar disorder. Sometimes I believe them.I have had one full psychotic break, one manic episode with milder psychotic symptoms, and one short-lived manic episode....

Medicating While Pregnant

Over at PsychCentral, I've been running a series on postpartum depression and having bipolar while pregnant. I think it's important to reach out to mother's who are struggling with the decision of what to do while they are pregnant or if they are considering...

The Power of One Pill

Pills.  Ah, pills.  “Pill” is such an innocuous-sounding word, but anyone with bipolar disorder who takes medication knows that pills are anything but harmless. However, unless you depend on medications to keep you stable, and unless you've experienced...

My Bipolar Isn’t Severe Enough

When I got into advocacy work, public speaking, and blogging, I knew there would be people who disagreed with me and even disliked me altogether. I am familiar with pop culture references to “haters” and I know the comment section can be a difficult place to get...

Against the Odds

When I was in the beginning stages of being diagnosed bipolar most people wrote me off. They thought this girl’s out of school, she can’t keep a job and she certainly cannot contribute to society. I was a self-fulfilling prophecy in a sense I thought I was worthless...

THE FURRY ANTIDEPRESSANT

As of this writing, I will be welcoming a puppy into our home tonight. Our family is totally freaking out about our new addition in the best way possible! And now more than ever, I believe in "furry antidepressants".  Please allow me to explain…In...

The Importance of Placement in a Crisis

       A couple of months ago I read a very enlightening article in my city's newspaper. This article caught my attention right away because of the title; it literally jumped off the page at me, "We need Taunton State Hospital." The woman...

CRAZY

“We’re never gonna survive, unless, we get a little crazy” Seal, “Crazy”I used to love listening to Seal sing “Crazy” on my VW Jetta’s stereo while driving up and down San Francisco’s steep hills, a fitting backdrop for such a song. One must drive differently in...

Bipolar Has Been A Blessing

I know many of you are scratching your heads and wondering if someone sane could actually make such a statement. But in my eyes, bipolar has been a blessing in many ways. I have learned a lot about myself and how to manage this illness well enough to be an author, a...

The Journey from Despair to Aware

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It got me thinking about when I was first aware of my own mental illness.For me, it came on gradually. As a middle school kid, I battled waves of sadness. It didn't help that I was bullied mercilessly. As I got older, the bullying...

Relationships

Relationships are a difficult thing to navigate, especially when you suffer from depression. If you are one of the fortunate people that has found perhaps a handful of people that understand your pain, your mood swings, and your sadness, consider yourself...

It’s My Birthday

It’s my birthday. I’m 37 today. I have lived with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder for eight years. In that time, literally almost every permutation of the disease has been applied to my particular state. Early-onset but undiagnosed. ...

New Phone?

While my blog started out as a place to vent and rave I have discovered that by just regurgitating my daily events I am no longer getting much out of it. As a result I have decided to change my blog into a more 'self-help' place where I can share my thoughts about a...

That’s Not Bipolar

In my role as a mental illness speaker and blogger, I receive a lot of comments and questions. The one item that stands out is that there is a lot of confusion over what bipolar disorder is and what it isn’t.Many folks believe that bipolar disorder is just a more...

Black Box – To Bash or Not to Bash?

Black Box – To Bash or Not to Bash?

Last week while on Facebook I spotted an International Bipolar Foundation post about the new ABC television series Black Box premiering Thursday, which features a doctor living with bipolar disorder. ABC’s Black Box overview is:“The twenty-first...

Co-existing Disease

As you may have noticed I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. Unfortunately I’ve been dealing with multiple hospitalizations for my bipolar disorder as well as my eating disorder. I was at John Hopkins from June-September 2013, and was at the Princeton Eating...

Stigma from the Source

Stigma from the Source

"Stigma = a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation"I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder in October of 2007, six weeks after the birth of my second daughter.  I was thirty-seven-years-old when I admitted myself into a...

Medication Adjustments and Withdraws

I’m so happy it’s the middle of the week already! Nothing major or stressful has happened, but I’m looking forward to the kiddos having a three day weekend. No stress in getting everyone around in the morning for three days will be nice. Believe me, I’m happy I don’t...

The rainbow after the storm: This Is My Brave

The rainbow after the storm: This Is My Brave

As I sit in my parked car outside the grocery store where I just grabbed a cup of Starbucks to fuel my writing, the rain pounds my windshield, coming down in sheets with such force the car is shaking. It’s the kind of rain where it blurs the driver’s view of the road,...

Freaked to Meet with my PDOC

I never knew what "pdoc" meant until I was diagnosed with bipolar one disorder, and learned that it's a shorthand term used for psychiatrists by those in the bipolar community.My pdoc is wonderful.  Out of the myriad of doctors I've seen for bipolar disorder,...

I’m not Just Surviving, I’m living with Hope

        Good afternoon readers, I hope this entry finds you fighting to keep going. Because I truly believe with all my heart every precious life has such Value in this world, and I want to offer you as much encouragement as I...

Six and a half year itch – Part Three

This is the third blog in a series about a recent psychiatric hospital stay that I had in December of 2013.  To read the first post click here. On the second day of my hospital stay last December, I had a big realization.  I was not on ANY...

End of the Day

For the past twenty years I've been a closet songwriter. During my first year attending the University of California at Santa Cruz, I was a regular at open mike night and I belonged to my school’s Concert Choir.  Our final concert was an exotic piece sung in the...

I Need To Hold It Together

Recently my seven year old was rushed to the emergency room. In the past two weeks this kid has been poked with needles, had ultrasounds done, been seen by numerous doctors, and is scheduled for more tests to figure out what has caused her medical issues and how...

As a Bipolar Mom

As a bipolar Mom, I truly believe that parents that are coping with bipolar disorder have an extra obstacle that they must overcome at times. They must learn how to manage their own illness when they are symptomatic and still be effective parents. I think for most of...

Dogs: Your Baby, Psychiatrist, & Friend

Here’s a photo of my dog, Maggie. She’s one years old. I love her like she’s my baby. I can’t begin to tell you how much she has helped me and my Bipolar Disorder. One day last summer, the local weatherman said we were in the “dog days of summer”....

Sleep that Knits

Sleep that Knits

Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care – gimme some!I've always loved the very sound of the famous Shakespearean line from Macbeth:"Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care."Although I have a degree in English literature and I...

Relief & Denial – My First Two Steps

At the age of 16, I was in a serious car accident and suffered a concussion. Within two weeks after the accident, something about me was different.Step 1: ReliefAt the age of 27, during my first psychiatric hospitalization, I was diagnosed with Bipolar...

GO AHEAD; EVERYBODY ELSE DOES!

We probably all feel this way at times.  Hopefully you will not mind too much that this is another self-portrait.  Now, if I could just figure out which bird I am today... This is another painting from my series entitled "Bipolar Too"  It's my goal...

Point of Acceptance

I'm just going to babble here! For most of you that have read my blog posts you know I'm good at that!The last 2 years have been a battle for me and in the end, when I look at the big picture of it all I almost lost that battle. I almost gave in and gave myself up to...

Our Brains Are Tougher Than We Think

Our Brains Are Tougher Than We Think

Recently I struggled with writer’s block.  I really wanted to have the satisfaction of writing something meaningful, though, so I sat down and fumbled in front of my computer.  Facebook was calling my name, but I told it to buzz off!  I...

Awareness through the Eyes of Van Gogh

We all know the importance of mental health awareness, and doing our part of erasing the stigma that still surrounds Disorders like Bipolar. As March 30th approaches which is World Bipolar Day, it’s also Van Gogh’s birthday who is a well known Dutch impressionist...

Mommy Has A Bug In Her Brain

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

Getting Past Being Our Community Horror Story

On Presidents’ Day, a school holiday, I awoke to an unscheduled day. I needed something to do with my daughter Marilla, so I decided to take her to the park. (My other little girl, Avonlea, headed for her best friend’s house.) The weather was clear and sunny, but my...

World Bipolar Day- CALL TO ACTION

World Bipolar Day - an initiative of the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder, the International Bipolar Foundation, and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders - will be celebrated each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously...

Broad Minded People: Mental Illness in the Philippines

I was having an intellectual conversation with a credit card customer services representative located in the Philippines. I asked her how mental illness was perceived in the Philippines, particularly psychosis. I asked her if there was stigma associated with mental...

First Breakdown

I don’t remember all the details of that night or what inspired the events that were about to take place. I imagine my father and mother had gotten into some kind of tug of war match over me and it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. I can...

Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop

Ever since my bipolar depression lifted last year, I've felt I've been tumbling around in my dryer. Maybe that's not the best analogy, but it has been a long, strange, emotional trip! I’ve been holding my breath both literally and figuratively.  I’ve always been...

Breaking the Window on Stigma

Before I knew that I have Bipolar Disorder, I barely knew what it was.  I thought I did, but now I realize I didn’t know much about it at all.  Since being diagnosed I’ve done a great deal of research and study on BPD for a book that I’m writing.  With...

Search for the Strength Deep within

Where is the strength? When did I lose myself in this madness? When I look in the mirror, I only saw sad empty eyes staring back at me. I didn’t recognize who I was anymore. I was afraid of being ME. It was only my reflection, but that’s all I saw, fragments of a...

About Me

About Me

Disclaimer: Any information provided in this blog is based on my own personal experiences and opinions. No information I provide should ever replace the opinions and advice of a professional. I am not a doctor, psychiatrist or affiliated with any Mental Health...

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Loving Someone With Bipolar Disorder

I’ll be the first to admit that loving someone with bipolar disorder is not easy. My husband will be the second person to tell you this. We’ve certainly had our share of major ups and downs, but we’ve managed to make it through the past eight and a half years of my...

Good-bye Medication, Hello Withdrawal

I have Bipolar II. Usually, I am well managed by a combination of medications and counseling. I do not usually battle extremes because usually my meds work. But not today.Today, electricity pulses just underneath my skin, racing from my fingertips to my toes and back...

Are You Shocked That I Got Shocked?

Are You Shocked That I Got Shocked?

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard...

Ok, I’m Bipolar! Now What?

My girls were three and five the first time I was admitted to a psychiatric facility.  I had just crashed from my biggest manic episode and the fallout from my poor decisions had thrown me into a horrible depression.  The year prior to this, I had had a...

Feeling Honored

Three years ago when I started this blog, my intent was to help as many bipolar parents as I possibly could. I wanted to share my experiences and feelings in hopes that others may be able to use what I am going through to feel less alone and be able to cope just a...

World Bipolar Day History

World Bipolar Day (WBD) celebrated its inaugural year on March 30th, 2014 the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder.  The vision of WBD is to bring world awareness to bipolar disorders and eliminate...

Grief

When you lose someone in your life that is close to you, there’s a part of you that dies as well.  As I was entering my 20’s, I knew that there would come a day when my parents weren’t with me anymore.  It still didn’t seem real.  It felt like if I just...

Who Can Have Mental Illness?

Who Can Have Mental Illness?

Ever wonder if mental illness affects some groups of people more than others? Why do I have Bipolar Disorder, and my friends do not? Did I do something to cause it to happen? Was there something I could have done to avoid it? Maybe it’s totally the fault of...

EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE

EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE

 And sometimes it’s me!  Anyone who is around me when I’m in a mania knows that I’m loud, speak rapidly and make sure that everyone knows that I’m the expert on any subject that comes up.   My wife thinks that the resemblance is...

EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE

EVERYBODY KNOWS ONE

And sometimes it’s me! Anyone who is around me when I’m in a mania knows that I’m loud, speak rapidly and make sure that everyone knows that I’m the expert on any subject that comes up. My wife thinks that the resemblance is remarkable….      ...

Remembering Those In Mental Health Facilities

Remembering Those In Mental Health Facilities

I am going to touch upon a subject in which I might offend someone I know. I’m willing to take this chance, however, for if I influence anyone who may someday take action if given the chance, I will be thrilled. If someone you know is hospitalized in a...

Why Do I Fast?

When you hear or read the word fast (in relation to food), what immediately comes to mind? If you had mentioned the word fasting to me a couple of years ago, I would have instantly thought of one or more days without food and/or water. The word fasting...

Which Came First

We often hear people speak of the “chicken or the egg” theory.  Which came first?  The same can be asked of which comes first in people that are both overweight and depressed.  Which came first?  I know that I was overweight as a child.  Was I...

Refused Treatment

It’s very frustrating when you can’t get medical attention because of the medication you are on. Here… Let me explain.  Over the weekend I moved from my three bedroom house into a two bedroom apartment. There was a lot of sorting, packing, lifting,...

Six and a half year itch- Part One

On Wednesday, December 11 of 2013 I ended up somewhere I never thought I’d be again...in a psychiatric hospital unit room in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  After having a manic episode.  It was also the exact same unit that I was in during my last manic episode...

Valentine, Heart Break Time

Doris was the prettiest woman among my friends. She was the kind of girl who always made people stop breathing when they first met her. She is the kind of girl who always gets the boy, be it the soccer team captain in Hong Kong or the football star in the states. She...

Happy New Year

Every New Year people become rather obsessed it seems with making new years resolutions. Many seem to think it is natural to suddenly make long and unobtainable lists of the things they ‘should’ or ‘must’ be doing. ‘I should be slim’ is followed by hopeless looks...

Tag A Friend Who Has This Mental Disability

By Su Bin Cho In just four hours, this Facebook post received 110 thousand likes. I saw the same post copied and pasted onto many other pages appear in my newsfeed because so many of my fellow Korean friends were tagging each other in the comments. It read: “These...

2014 1st Place Essay Winner

By Eric Shan Last month, I was fortunate enough to have been able to interview Kevin Breel, a comic who travels across the US to share his story about struggling with mental illness. One of the most vexing things he said that night of his performance was in response...

Bipolar Too

                 Middle of the Road Rapid Cycling War & PeaceMy name is Roger and I suffer from Bipolar Disorder 2. This blog almost did not get written. I informed Ashley at the International...

Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar

After being a fan of the International Bipolar Foundation blogging community, it is an honor to share my perspectives about living with bipolar disorder with you. I wish to help you feel less alone in living with this mood disorder, and to emulate the I.B.F.’s mission...

Child Free

As far back as I can remember, we have always been fed the same philosophy about life.  You grow up, go to college, meet the man (or woman) of your dreams, get married, move into a big house with a white picket fence, and have a whole gaggle of kids.  That’s...

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...

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