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General

Lucky

Sometimes in life it is easy to get bogged down. Babies crying, testy two-year-olds, hectic work environment, family feuds, things just not going your way. I get it. With the exception of babies and toddlers, I've been there.

So right now I want to remind...


General

Books that have helped me

When I was newly diagnosed I did what came naturally to me - I read. I read things on the Internet - forums, articles, blogs. I also read memoirs and self-help psychology books. I want to share what was helpful to me.

I believe the first book I read was An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison. It is unique in that it shares the perspective of both a consumer (someone with a mental illness)...


General

Telling Your Story

I believe an important part of healing and acceptance when living with a mental illness is the telling of your story. Now, before you start telling everything to your new hairdresser, your story might not be for everyone. I'm telling you to hide anything, I'm merely asking you to consider your relationship with your audience and your comfort level. Only you know who to share with and when.

I share through blogging. It's...


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Inpatient Treatment (Part 2)

My first hospitalization I had a roommate - Anna, an old woman who seemed to be 90 years old. I wanted to call her Dora the Explorer. I don't know why either, evidence of a mind's incapacity to think clearly. She had been an illustrious artist in her day and had taught art at New York University, but when I came to know her she was somehow lost in her mind. She was...


Bipolar

Inpatient Treatment (Part 1)

I have been hospitalized 3 times for psychological reasons; none of them pleasant experiences. For my next few blogs I thought I would write a little bit about what that is like - being locked away from the world with other mentally ill people.

My first hospitalization followed a suicide attempt and there are a few things that stand out. First of all, you should know that when I am in that state -...


General

Trapped: Relieving Cabin Fever

I live on the East Coast where we saw more snow, sleet, and ice this week. I don't know about you, but I am really over winter weather. That got me thinking about cabin fever as I was trapped at home yet again. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you are stuck at home - be it because of the weather or another reason.

Just because you are "trapped"...


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Taking a Time Out

Recently I wrote that one of the side effects of my medication has been weight gain. Well, I started a fitness and nutrition plan, and though the change was hard - working out every day and eating in a new way - I was doing it. I lost a couple of pounds the first week. Nothing amazing, but enough to keep me going.

Midweek I did something to my knee. I didn't really notice...


General

Thriving with Mental Illness

Recently I was interviewed for a piece as part of a new series on Psych Central titled "Thriving with Mental Illness." Associate Editor, Margarita Tartakovsky, came up with some wonderful questions for me. But I am afraid you may have missed it so I thought for today's blog I would send you over to the Q & A I did. Hopefully something in my answers will speak to you and help you on...


General

Perfection


I used to wish that I wasn’t bipolar or that I didn’t have anxiety disorder or that my OCD would leave me alone. I used to wish that the abuse of a boyfriend didn’t result in post traumatic stress disorder – the beginning to this end. I used to wish I was perfect. Not nearly. Not kind of. But perfect – without needs or noise. My mother always use to tell me that my...


General

Don’t Give Up

When you have bipolar disorder there are so many challenges. Med changes. Therapy. Appointments. Side effects from meds like libido changes, weight gain, acne (!), tremors, nausea, sweating, headaches. It's rough. There is debilitating depression and dangerous mania.

And it's so easy to want to give up. The meds aren't working so why bother? But what if you gave them one more week and you noticed an improvement or the next cocktail was the...