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General

Anxiety over Holiday Shopping

As you may know, this beautifully bipolar chick also lives with anxiety problems. I don't like large crowds. I like to know the people in my personal space. I like to know I can escape.

Even in the off season shopping isn't always easy because going in big box stores or department stores causes me anxiety.  This problem started years ago and sometimes it doesn't bother me a bit and some days, like yesterday, I...


Bipolar

Genetic and Environmental Effects on Bipolar Disorder

Last week I listened to a fascinating free webinar given by the International Bipolar Foundation. The topic was genetic counseling for psychiatric illnesses. It isn't the same thing as genetic testing, but rather counseling based on genetics. They take into account family histories and life events. Like I said, it was fascinating.

But the most important thing I learned was that you can't blame your mental illness entirely on your genes. It takes life events...


General

When Depression Feels like the Flu

I'm having a rough day, dear reader. No, nothing has or has not happened. It is just my old friend depression coming to breathe on my neck. I know for those of you who do not live with a mental illness that includes depression, it may be hard to understand. "What's the problem?" you might say. Or "I don't understand why you feel so down." And that is...


General

Depression Fatigue

Being beautifully bipolar can be tough to say the least. One minute you are lower than the ground you walk on, the next you are higher than the heavens. Luckily, there is some in between time where things seem to balance just so and you function like everybody else.

Depression is a part of bipolar disorder. It rears its ugly head in many different forms - irritability, lack of interest in just about everything,...


General

Why having a good support system is important

In my last blog I talked about bravely letting some people in your life go, those that are unable to "deal" with your illness. Today I wanted to talk about the people that stick around. Having a support system is imperative to bipolar wellness and that support can come in many ways.

1. Therapist
I can't say enough about good therapists. Sometimes a beautifully bipolar chick just needs some objective advice. The thing about therapists is that...


Bipolar

Letting Go

I'd like to lie to you. I'd like to tell you that the people who have always been there for you will still be there when you are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I'd like to tell you that there is no such thing as stigma. But I'm not going to lie. I am going to tell you the truth.
I always had a lot of friends, the core quality ones, and then the others...


General

Happiness versus Mania

Yesterday was a good day, a very good day actually. I got very excited about something, even did a little song and dance for the boyfriend when he got home. And when I feel like that, it feels a lot like how it feels sometimes when I am entering mania. Everything just feels so good and exciting. Untamable. I am a 32 year old woman and I still jump up and...


General

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...