Irritating Support

Support groups are supposed to be helpful, so how can I go into group feeling neutral and leave totally irritated? And what do I do about it?

I didn't really have a problem to discuss in my group tonight. I've been hypomanic and that's upset...
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Relaxing Sleep

There are some nice guided progressive relaxation audio files on a web site that, although it's promoting a drug, does also provide some useful tips on managing insomnia. It's important to be aware that sleeping pills can be dangerous and generally aren't helpful except short-term. Instead, sleep management establishes new behaviour instead of the behaviour of swallowing a sedative.

To stress the point, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that therapy, in particular CBT, is...
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Mad Pride Month

Imagine these scenarios: A woman with OCD who washes her hands raw a dozen times an hour says, "There's nothing wrong with me, it's only a damaged society that says I don't fit in. Living like this is just a variation on "normality", as...
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Meaningful Work

If you're a person in recovery from an illness like bipolar you've probably heard the phrase "meaningful work" and know it's considered to be a cornerstone of wellness. Like many of you (I read your blogs too) I've had a really hard time keeping...
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Since John wrote about a study on the subject yesterday, I've been thinking about psychosocial treatments for bipolar. To me, the word "psychosocial" goes far beyond what studies narrowly define (though I do understand that science needs to categorize and impose limits in order to make calculations).

For instance, I've not seen much written about the "treatment" of stable and appropriate housing, but it's been one of the most important things for my mental stability. It's been good to see a doctor who...
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Blah, bleh, bleak. Down I go. The mania has been blown away by a cold foggy wind and adequate sleep. I'd gladly trade some of this depression for ridiculously expensive eyeliner, though. No, not to be, things don't work that way.

I'm not too far...
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Signs of Mania

Who doesn't love a good list? A top ten, a series of bullets, it's easy to peruse. I've just read a list of red flag warning signs for mania from and though I agree with their points, I have more of my own. Your mileage may vary.

Signs of Mania

Pink and orange predominate wardrobe and tastes in general.
Waking up, untired, three hours after 1000+ mg of drugs meant to keep you asleep. Doses that would sedate a horse don't faze you.
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Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry

Bebe Moore Campbell, writer and mental health advocate, suffered with a bipolar disorder and died of brain cancer last winter. In 2003 she wrote the award-winning children's book Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry. Narrated by a young girl, it shows how to understand a mother with mental illness and in particular, passionate bipolar mood swings.

It's always sad when someone's life is cut short, but at least Bebe was a writer and left us words to continue to grow. The book is available...
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Lighting the Way

Reader Phil left this comment on my earlier post Light and Dark, in response to Hank Roberts who's been sharing valuable info, like a link to the Center for Environmental Therapeutics on light therapy and negative ions for depression. Phil's comment:

This DESPERATELY needs to be more widely talked about, and tried. I followed Hank’s directions- and for the first time in 15 years, I am able to sleep without medication. Do you understand how astonishing that is?

What happened 15 years...
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Katy-Sarah Culling writes, "Equilibrium aims to bring together bipolar survivors, their friends and family, other charities such as the MDF Bipolar Organisation, and health professionals to work together to understand this baffling disease and to improve treatments available. Equilibrium is thinking on a global scale, trying to bring together people involved with bipolar disorder all over the world with the development of the Testimony Project, "a new scheme whereby people give accounts of their experience of bipolar disorder in their...
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