Bipolar

Stop Blaming Stigma: Take Responsibility for Yourself

Stigma: A set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something (Merriam-Webster).

Let’s get the full disclosure out of the way first: I have bipolar disorder (type II, leans far more toward the depressive side than the manic) and borderline personality disorder (would take too long to explain; look it up if you like). I have been on disability for four years because of a nine-month depressive episode for which I received nine months of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It pretty much destroyed my brain. I no longer have a short-term memory of which to speak.

I can’t function in a lot of ways like I used to. I work part-time, for a psychologist who understands my many limitations and helps me work around them. But I could never go back to what I used to do in any aspect of life and expect to handle it like a normal adult.
Continue Reading

Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Autumn Anxiety is Real and Treatable

It happens every year. As I watch the first golden leaves fall from the oak tree outside our house and listen to the sound of the cicadas ushering in autumn, my anxiety spikes. I used to think I was relapsing into depression, but having been through this year after year (and documenting it in my mood journal), I now know I’m just going through my annual bout of autumn anxiety: a nervous feeling in my gut that...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 24, 2016


Well, it's finally fall, y'all!

Though my neck of the woods is still squeezing out every last drop of 90-degree weather it can.

If you're chilling at home like I am (and hey, even if you're not you can check them out later!), take a minute to catch up on the latest about a possible connection between internet addiction and mental health issues, how to cure your fear of flying, a new plan for schools to support students' mental health problems, and more.

Continue Reading

Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: September 10, 2016


On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked by al-Qaeda and flown into both World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon just outside of Washington, D.C., killing more than 3,000 people, including police officers and firefighters.

Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of what we now refer to as 9/11, and people will pause and reflect and grieve just as they have for the past decade and a half.

They will take a moment or two or more to remember those who were senselessly killed during these attacks -- as well as their family members and other loved ones.

I know I, for one, will, too.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Exercise Helps Your Mental Health, Depression & Anxiety: Now What?

At least once, your doctor or therapist has probably urged you -- get out and exercise more. It's the kind of simplistic advice that professionals feel good about doling out, because it's so easy to do. Exercise helps improve your mental health, and can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

But as anyone who's heard this advice knows, it's so much easier to recommend than do. While exercise can help our mental health, it can be hard to put into action without motivation. Moreover, a person who is depressed or anxious may find motivation, well, lacking.

Continue Reading

Bipolar

My Bipolar Care Plan: A 3-Legged Stool

I often find myself putting other people I meet who have bipolar disorder into two clearly different categories. Either they are like myself and they are manic, or they tend to have depression more of the time. For me, if I have depression, it is normally mixed in with feelings of regret of what has happened in the past. I try hard to not dwell on the past.

As a person with mania, there are many things that I feel are different for me than for other people. For instance, I tend to have manic rage and manic anger. I have manic disappointment as well.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Ode to the Duke

I saw my shrink today. I call him “The Duke.”

We had a perfectly fine half-hour meeting. He wrote me some scripts and listened to my current take on my life. Mainly, we talked about my son Tommy’s fear of entering sixth grade. The Duke warned me that the junior high years are awful and to brace myself. The Duke is a straight shooter. At the end of the appointment, I asked him how he thought I was doing.

Continue Reading

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: August 12, 2016


Best-selling author Dr. Barbara De Angelis has said, "We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."

Sometimes, those difficult times come from the dynamics of a relationship. Other times, they come from dealing with our own personal matters.

All times, though, we can pull strength from ourselves and conquer to those difficult times to obtain the courage we need to face any other trials that come our way -- and let's face it, there will be more. Such is life, but also such is the resilience of humans.

Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Why It’s Important to Be Positive About Mental Illness

I love hope-filled stories of recovery from mental illness. Living with bipolar disorder has led to many instances of triumph over my circumstances and I often write about them. As anyone who lives with or knows someone with mental illness is aware, it’s a horrible disease.

Do Positive Experiences Glorify Mental Illness?


As a writer and speaker about my experience with bipolar and
Continue Reading

Bipolar

10 Ways to Prevent Mania and Hypomania

Bipolar disorder is one of the most difficult illnesses to treat because by addressing the depression part of the illness, you can inadvertently trigger mania or hypomania. Even in Bipolar II, where the hypomania is less destabilizing than the often-psychotic manic episodes of Bipolar I, persons often experience from a debilitating depression that can’t be lifted by mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. Antidepressants, though, can cause a person with bipolar to cycle between hypomania and depression.

I have worked with psychiatrists who were too afraid of cycling to risk using antidepressants for bipolar patients. They put me strictly on mood stabilizers and antipsychotics. However, I did not get well. I stayed depressed, and all original thoughts in my brain vanished.
Continue Reading

Bipolar

Bipolar Lenses

Explaining utter darkness to someone who has only lived in the sunlight would be a difficult task. They would have to believe you and trust in something they have never experienced. If you haven't experienced the darkness, perhaps after reading this you can help someone out of it.

Mania


When my eyes open in the morning, my mind goes from slumber to 100 mph. "I don’t know why I haven’t thought that! I need a (brain singing the Three’s Company theme song) new car! If I sold my current car and (dang I need a burger) sold my Xbox and TV I could afford the down payment and if I sell those baseball cards in the attic I can still pay rent! Wow! I am so handsome today! I know that I flunked out of college, but I am smarted than 90 percent of people so does it really matter? I want donuts. What DVDs do I have that I can sell to afford them?"
Continue Reading