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Archives for August, 2015

Bipolar Laid Bare

How Bipolar Biobanks Can Help

Medical research is hard. It takes a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of patience. It also takes a lot of patients. (Sorry. I had to.) Performing a study is pretty much the same thing we’re taught in high school science class about the scientific method: ask a question, form a hypothesis, conduct an experiment and come to a conclusion. Only, when actual researchers do...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Internalizing Stigma

If you’re familiar at all with mental illness, you’re probably also familiar with the stigma that can go along with it: prejudice, discrimination, isolation, etc. Patients experience stigma. Our family members experience stigma because of our mental illness. We experience it from our family members. There are so many negative assumptions floating around about mental illness that it’s no wonder...
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Bipolar II

My First Day with Bipolar I

For the most part, today was an absolutely normal day. I went to my day-job. I ran some errands, spent quality time with the dog, chatted with my husband, all completely normal. Except that this morning I met with a new psychiatrist and something changed. My diagnosis. Now, I’ve dealt with a few doctors with the philosophy that the diagnosis is a guideline and really only matters to...
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Anxiety

Irritability in Bipolar Disorder

The past few weeks I’ve been irritable, angry, agitated, frustrated, frazzled, whatever you want to call it. It’s awful for me. It’s awful for everyone around me. If you’ve ever heard someone describe interacting with a bipolar patient as “walking on eggshells,” this is what they’re talking about. I want you to know that I fully recognize that I’m being a pain. The vast majority of the time, I’m doing...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

The Language of Bipolar Disorder Part III

Since bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed, you can go into your appointment with confidence after having done your research and tracked your symptoms. It’s helpful to you and your doctor. Mental illness is incredibly subjective, since we don’t actually know a lot about it. Communication is the biggest part of obtaining the correct diagnosis and figuring out the best way for you to handle it. Basically, if you can...
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Bipolar Symptoms

The Language of Bipolar Disorder Part II

In Part I of The Language of Bipolar Disorder, I covered several broad terms that relate to the disorder. It included symptoms or diagnoses that patients may not often hear, but can definitely affect treatment. Knowing these terms is an important part of being your own advocate. Professionals have a problem remembering that patients don’t always know what they’re talking about. Doctors and therapists are constantly surrounded by...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

The Language of Bipolar Disorder Part I

There’s a lot of jargon in the medical world. Medications, procedures, abbreviations. It’s a lot to take in, especially with a new diagnosis. Treatment for bipolar disorder also develops over time, meaning knew terms and phrases will get thrown in. Some of this happens in a doctor’s office and some of it happens in therapy. There are multiple types of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy,...
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Anxiety

Medical Tales Retold: The Battle

I'm an avid follower of The Awkward Yeti. Cartoonist Nick Seluk has the ability to take everyday situations and make them hilariously relatable. He also has a comic series "Medical Tales Retold" which focuses on true (according to the submitter), sometimes bizarre medical situations.

The latest of these is particularly relevant to me and a lot of you. It's also a good way to explain to others what it feels like to deal with depression and anxiety. So, without further ado,
The Awkward...
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