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What if bipolar disorder didn’t exist?

I read a lot about bipolar disorder - a lot of books, blogs, and news articles. I live bipolar disorder. It is as intrinsic to who I am as my curly hair and the brown-green color of my eyes. It isn't all that I am, but it is a part of me, it helps to define my moods.

I read news articles about new ways to identify bipolar disorder in the brain with scans and gene...


General

How I Cope with Anxiety

I have problems with anxiety and have had for many years. Large crowds. Driving. The holidays. Many things contribute to my anxiety. And what does that anxiety feel like? It feels like fear, but it is like being scared of something you can't see. It's that "fight or flight" feeling you've heard about and probably, at one time or another, experienced. And it is strange because there is a rational part of my brain and...


Bipolar

Celebrating Life

Last month I celebrated an anniversary. Five years since I nearly died. It is almost like a birthday, in a way. A rebirth.

I drove myself out to the ocean. I walked across warm sand on a nearly abandoned beach and sat down. I watched the waves as they crested and rolled over on themselves until they were just bubbles at the shore. Birds dived into the dark ocean. Seagulls walked where the water...


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Raindrops

Friday was a nice day here on the East Coast. The weather was warmer than it should be for the first of November. The sun shone early in the day and gave way to clouds in the afternoon.

By evening there was the soft sound of raindrops outside the open windows, coupled with that scent - that scent that comes when the rain hits the earth, an explosion of scent.

I was compelled to go out back...


General

Bipolar Wellness

I am currently sick as a dog with some cold my boyfriend brought home and was sweet enough to share with me, so I am trying to take care of myself and get better before I leave town next week. But it got me...


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Good times

"Don't get too attached to the good times."
That is what my psychiatrist told me a week and a half ago. I was going on about being interviewed for this article and being a blogger for that website and a member of this nonprofit and how everything was rosy. I felt great. No changes to the meds. I was ready to conquer the world and I had on an outfit on...


Bipolar

Some days are not so beautiful

Being beautifully bipolar sometimes isn't always that beautiful. Like yesterday. Yesterday I was depressed. What did that look like? An old hooded sweatshirt with frayed cuffs and pajama pants with a stain on the knee. Thank God my hair is long enough to pull back now because that is exactly what I did. No makeup. Dark circles under my eyes, never mind the fact that at 12:30 in the afternoon I was...


Bipolar

Mental Health Advocacy

I am really just beginning to be a mental health advocate. There was a time when I wasn't so beautifully bipolar, but instead hid in the closet. I was afraid to tell people I had bipolar disorder. It has always mattered to me what...


General

International OCD Awareness Week

October 14-20, 2013 marks International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Week.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), "Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce anxiety (obsessions), repetitive behaviors that are engaged in to reduce anxiety (compulsions), or a...